Our church, The Intersection, has never made a big deal of traditions. We are very intentional at putting things out to pasture when they have outlived their usefulness for our church, or if they just no longer fit with what we are trying to do.
One tradition that has endured takes place in July of each year… it’s our God At The Movies series. Every summer we pick four or five films and build our worship services around them… we roll out the red carpet, pop up a bunch of popcorn, provide snacks, decorate our facilities, and generally have a lot of fun.
Sometimes we pick movies around a common theme, like the years we did “Classics” (movies like The Day The Earth Stood Still and Casablanca), “Chick Flicks” (think Steel Magnolias and Pay It Forward), and “Super Heroes” (Thor, Wonder Woman, etc.). Other years we have just picked great movies – both current ones and older blockbusters – like The Shawshank Redemption, Star Wars, The Martian, Inside Out, and The Revenant.
This year’s series is all about Classic Disney Movies. We went way back into the vault and are looking at some timeless flicks: Pinocchio, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Dumbo. Like every year, this series has been so much fun to plan out, and we really enjoy each Sunday building our messages around these iconic films.
This series is a great way for us to see God’s fingerprint in everything, even in things that weren’t necessarily created to honor God. It’s so easy for us, as Christians, to be critical of Hollywood for pumping out a lot of films that contain offensive content and a blatant disregard for God’s truths, but I think we are kidding ourselves if we expect anything less. It is, after all, a fallen world that we live in. Even so, we worship the God who is the Creator of all things – including the very people who reject Him and who create movies (and any other media, for that matter!), and He is also the God who redeems the fallen (like me – and like you). So maybe, instead of being people who are often quick to criticize, we could become people who look for the Redeemer in all things and point those around us towards Him!
I absolutely believe that Jesus wants us to follow his example and use the elements of our culture that people are familiar with to help communicate his truths to them.
Another reason that I love the God At The Movies series is because I love stories. Jesus was a master storyteller who used everything around him to teach people about the Kingdom of God and what it means to live in that Kingdom in the here-and-now. Movies are one of the greatest storytelling mediums of our time, and I absolutely believe that Jesus wants us to follow his example and use the elements of our culture that people are familiar with to help communicate his truths to them. Movies are simply a great “jumping off” point to help others see and understand spiritual topics in a way that they can easily understand.
People love movies. We can use those same movies to introduce people to God and help them understand Him a little better. I consider that a win for the Kingdom of God!
Do you agree or disagree? Have some feedback on our current series? Have a request for a future God At The Movies series? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below…