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How to run an evangelistic film event

Film events can be a highly effective way to engage with people who would not consider coming to a normal church event.

In our experience the purpose of a film event has been to engage the thoughtful sceptic who is interested in ideas, meaning and film but who would not necessarily say they were interested in Christianity. A thought-provoking film event is an opportunity to move someone on to a subsequent stage where they are challenged to think about the claims of Jesus through an explicitly evangelistic event.

A thought-provoking film event is an opportunity to move someone on to a subsequent stage where they are challenged to think about the claims of Jesus

Requirements

  • Film – choose a film which is rich enough in ideas to justify a 30-minute talk and promote decent discussion afterwards.
  • Speaker – the speaker should have a thorough knowledge of the film in question, speak authoritatively and handle Q&A effectively.
  • Lecture / talk – this should be about 30 minutes in length, longer if necessary. It should summarise the plot, analyse the main themes and how the film deals with them verbally / visually (background on director, screenplay and producer will all generally help in getting at authorial intent). It should raise a whole range of issues of significance, including Christian themes in particular, tease out some of them further and leave time for further discussion afterwards in a Q&A. A laptop should be used to present key ideas, stills and short clips from the film to illustrate the speaker’s themes.
  • Venue – ideally this should be a neutral non-church venue such as a local bar, club or pub, where people can buy drinks. It should have a private room / area quiet enough for the lecture.
  • Food – a good idea if possible. If it is a bar / pub, you can generally arrange for them to provide food and charge people individually, or you buy platters of food and charge for it or provide for free. Often those inviting friends will choose to pay for food / a ticket for them.
Mark Harris

This article was originally published in 2010 for A Passion For Life’s Ideas for Mission.

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