Monday, March 2, 2015

What Movie Should I Show My Youth Group?

Photo Credit: when i was a bird (Creative Commons)
My latest blog post for LeaderTreks centers on a single question I think every youth worker has asked themselves at some point:

What movie should I show my youth group?

Here's an excerpt from the post:

I’m often asked which movies are best to show youth groups. My personal blog gets thousands of hits from this googled question. While I could offer you a simple list of films, it’s best to understand how to choose a movie with wisdom and discretion. We live in a movie world. From YouTube to Netflix, Blu-ray to the box office, filmmakers are the bards of this generation, and they’re teaching our students a theology we may not be aware of. It’s not enough to know what to watch; we have to understand how to watch.
Here are five questions to ask when considering which movie to show your youth group:
1) Why are we watching a movie?
What’s the purpose of this movie-watching event? What do I hope to accomplish? Entertainment? Time-filler? A spiritual conversation? Life transformation and an encounter with Jesus? We all approach movies with different postures, ranging from condemnation (avoiding movies because you believe they are inherently sinful or tempting) toconsumption (watching anything and everything no matter what the content). What posture are you modeling to students by showing (or avoiding) a particular film? If you’re throwing a movie up on the tiny TVs of a bus, you’ll probably choose something different than you would in a small group study about using discernment with media. Know why you’ve decided to watch a film, and choose it with that purpose in mind.
2) What are the themes or truths I want to discuss?
This question assumes that you actually want to have a spiritual conversation, which means you’ll have to put some time into watching the film before you show it to students. (Never show a film you haven’t already screened!) Look for spiritual themes and truths, connections between students’ stories and the story presented on screen. Don’t just watch a movie without discussing it after. Foster conversations, even if they aren’t particularly “deep” or spiritual. Simply debriefing a film is an act of discipleship, modeling thoughtfulness and intentionality in the way we consume media. The things your students take in will affect who they become, so teach students not to watch things thoughtlessly.
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Click here to read the rest of the post, including the remaining of the questions to ask when considering a movie.

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