Read an Excerpt
It's 5:30 p.m. on a Thursday evening. Everything's set-the pizza, the props, the prizes, and the people. You've practiced and polished a talk that will spur your teens to a lifetime of devotion and discipleship to their Lord and Savior. You read your talk one more time and realize...something's missing. You need the spark, the hook that will command attention from the first word and will draw the crowd in for you to lead them toward spiritual truth. You need a sure-fire illustrations that will leave them speechless.
They've already heard your personal stories and the ones you claim are true-twice. You dig around the office and the only thing you discover to capture the attention of kids weaned on MTV, X Games, and PlayStation is...a flannel graph.
Needless to say, they laugh at you, not with you.
This example is extreme, but every pastor has moments of desperation-needing an innovative, attention-getting way to start a discussion and ending up with something a little more cutting edge than "Pharaoh, Pharaoh." Worry no more, and get thee to the cinema! Group's BlockBuster Movie Illustrations provides a plethora of priceless moments from more than eighty of Hollywood's greatest hits, from classics like Star Wars and Hoosiers to more recent flicks such as Galaxy Quest and Notting Hill.
The clips used in Group's BlockBuster Movie Illustrations powerfully portray biblical truths in a gripping way that will spice up youth talks, devotions, small-group meetings, retreats, lessons, and even Sunday morning sermons! This easy-to-use collection of illustrations covers more than 160 crucial youth ministry topics, such as dating, materialism, and discoveringGod's will. And similar to the way Jesus used parables, movies are something we can all relate to-they provide a common point of reference to kick-start discussions that will reach unchurched seekers as well as seasoned Christians.
How to use Group's BlockBuster Movie Illustrations
Do you have a key point or a specific Scripture passage that you'd like to illustrate? Since the clips are organized by topic, simply flip to the themes that tie in with your main point, or select a clip using the Scripture Index. Once you've picked a clip, you'll find that the illustration is divided into several parts. Each movie illustration begins by introducing the theme, title, and rating information of the movie, and includes a Scripture passage that relates to the theme. You'll also discover...
Funny/Dramatic Icons-An icon is shown at the beginning of each clip to let you know if the tone of the movie clip is humorous or dramatic.
Alternate Takes-Though the discussion questions focus on a specific theme, each of the clips in this book could be used to spark discussions on variety of topics. In the Alternate Takes section you'll find other themes and Scriptures that you could use to start a discussion.
Start Time/End Time-These times tell you when to start and stop the tape. Clip locations are determined by setting the tape counter on your VCR to 00:00:00 when the studio logo for the film appears (immediately before the opening credits). All Start/End Times are approximate and are given to closet 15-second interval.
Start Cue/End Cue-If you have an unreliable timer on your VCR, these visual cues specify the action or dialogue that takes place at the beginning and end of each clip.
Duration-Here you get an estimate of the elapsed time of each clip. To keep the focus on the point you want to illustrate and not turn the clip into a full-blown screening, every movie clip is three minutes or less.
Overview-Here you'll get the scoop on the action of the clip and the names of the main characters. To find out more about the plot of the entire movie, check out the details included in the Movie Background Index.
Illustration-What's the point? This is the place to look for a brief explanation of the spiritual significance of the clip and how it relates to teenagers' lives. Feel free to use it as a guide and then explain the main point in your own words.
Questions-Need some discussion-starters? Here you'll find five questions that break the ice, dig into the truth of Scripture, and help kids apply that truth to their lives. Remember, if you're using an Alternative Take, you'll need to come up with your own discussion questions that apply to the theme you've chosen.
After you've previewed the clip and cued the tape to the Start Time, you're ready to dive in! Just make sure you pay attention to a few important details.
Copyright Laws-Believe it or not, the FBI warning at the beginning of most videos are real! In general, federal copyright laws do not allow you to use videos (even ones you own) for any purpose other than home viewing. Though some exceptions allow for the use of short segments of copyrighted material for educational purposes, it's best to be on the safe side. Your church can obtain a license from the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation for a small fee. Just visit www.mplc.com or call 1-800-462-8855 for more information.
Content-Go ahead and sigh with relief...Group's BlockBuster Movie Illustrations contains absolutely no clips from R-rated movies! As you know, even many PG and PG-13 movies contain inappropriate or offensive content. Be sensitive to the fact that some students may view your use of a clip as an endorsement of the entire movie. Do some research! Read the Movie Background Index to find a summary of the plot, and use resources such as the Internet or movie reviews in the newspaper to get a better idea of questionable themes or content. Sometimes it may be necessary to voice a disclaimer, letting students know that, although you value the scene you're showing, you do not approve of the rest of the movie. (For information on illustrations from R-rated films, such as Braveheart, Schindler's List, and The Matrix, visit Group's Mind Over Media movie clip database at www.youthministry.com.)
I've been very careful to recommend clips that do not have questionable content, though the same guarantee can't be made for the scenes before or after the suggested clip. The most important principle to remember is this: Preview the clips! Be careful with VCRs that roll back several seconds when stopped! Make sure you've got the timing just right so that you don't have to spend the next year apologizing for an unfortunate mistake.
Now you're ready to go!
Dim the lights, pass out the ultrafattening popcorn, press "play" on the VCR, and dive deep with your kids into the issues hidden below the surface of the screen. You'll be amazed at the life-changing discussions that will result from even the cheesiest movies, and you'll be thankful that watching movie clips can actually spur your teenagers on to pursue Jesus!