Animation offers a medium of storytelling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world. -Walt Disney
Movies have the ability to transport us to different time periods, different countries and even to the future. They fill us with a wide array of emotions, teach us valuable lessons and force us to ask questions about things we never once considered. Movie watching creates community; it’s a shared experience that leads to conversation and discussion and allows us to think about significant issues in a new light. Movies offer new perspectives and share old stories in new ways, ways that force us to reconsider what we once thought we knew.
That’s why our CBOQ Next Gen team created the Reel Family Time event. Reel Family Time is an opportunity for families to share in the experience of watching a movie together with the intention of engaging in a discussion about the movie later that day or week. There are two main goals behind this initiative and our heart ultimately is that, in all that we do, families would feel equipped as they lead their children into a relationship with Jesus. Beyond that we have two main goals in creating an event like this:
We recognize that a large part of our mission as the church is to share the message of Jesus with the world around us. As a community of churches we do our best to invite others to our Sunday morning services, our Friday night BBQ’s and our midweek programs. We attempt to create events that will engage new comers but sometimes there are factors beyond our control that can make that difficult. Reel Family time is designed to be an event you could sign your entire church up for or an event that families sign up for individually and invite friends from outside of the church to attend. A movie theatre is a comfortable place for families outside of the church to attend and a new release on the big screen is a pretty convincing draw to get families to show up.
Our goal as the NextGen team is to resource and equip parents and families as they teach their children about what it means to follow Jesus. We create online resources and send out newsletters but we also create events like summer camps at Kwasind, Avalanche, Blizzard, Raptors 905, Centre Court and Reel Family Time. We want to provide real opportunities for families to create memories, build relationships and remember that following Jesus goes beyond a Sunday morning. We can teach our kids about Jesus in every day ordinary moments, like basketball games and in movie theatres and we’re here to support you as you do this.
At the end of the movie for Reel Family Time we supply parents and families with a list of questions they can take home and discuss with their kids. Some of the questions inquire about the child’s favourite character or their favourite part in the movie while others ask the children to identify parts of the movie where characters showed forgiveness or where biblical principles were demonstrated in the film.
On Saturday June 24th we had 50 people come see the movie Cars 3 at Landmark Cinemas in St. Catharines. The movie was amazing and had a lot of valuable content for our families to discuss. Laughter was shared, memories were made and the event was an all-around success. The amazing part about an event like this is that if you weren’t able to join us in St. Catharines you can still take advantage of this resource. We have listed ways that you, your family and your church community can take this event and use it in your own context.
For more information check out our blog post on How to Run Your Own Reel Family Time Event.
(The original blog post by Kaitlyn Kirkwood, Children and Family Ministries Administrator, is available at http://www.cboqkids.ca/plan-reel-family-time-event/.)