A movie event can attract new and old members of your church for a night of fun and worship. This is an opportunity for your organization to self-promote and provide information about your church in an approachable way to potential new members. It is important to keep in mind that prospective members might be intimidated by a church service or event they have never attended. Extending a friendly invitation to a movie event is an easy way to put them at ease so they can experience what you have to offer in a low-pressure situation.
Hosting a movie night is a way of inviting people into your church, but hosting a movie night they will remember is key to having them return for another event or better yet, a service.
In this blog post, we are going to introduce five key elements to hosting a movie night that people will remember.
The 5 Elements of A Successful Movie Event
Key One: A Fun Theme
Assigning a particular theme to a movie night does three things for your event. First, it invites people to get involved in the event by either dressing for the theme or bringing props that coincide with it.
Second, it creates a carefree environment that attracts people because it is fun to participate in. Finally, it gives an extra element that guests can get excited about before and during the event. An example of a theme you could use for your next movie event is a tropical luau or based on a popular Bible story.
Key Two: An Outdoor Movie Night
A classic movie pastime during the summer is to visit a drive-in movie. With the number of these locations declining around the country, the feeling of attending one is something that you want to preserve for a unique spin on a movie night.
Having an outdoor movie night gives a special touch to your event rather than hosting it in your church’s sanctuary. This element contributes to the inviting, pressure-free feeling you want new guests to experience.
To create a sense of comfort during the film, provide cozy cushions or chairs for people to sit on and offer blankets to keep them warm during cooler months. The space you provide your guests for your event will give a lasting impression and one that has the right atmosphere will give them something to remember the night by.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:8-10
Key Three: A Slideshow Before/After the Movie
Typically, the first ten to fifteen minutes that moviegoers are waiting before the show starts they are greeted with previews. This gives them a sneak peek of what movies will be released in the near future and highlight some ‘movie basics’ such as turning off your cell phone and what snacks they should enjoy during the movie.
Similarly, a beneficial way to provide your guests with information about your church is a slideshow displayed on the big screen before and after the movie is shown. For example, the history of your church would be beneficial to new guests who want to learn more about your origins and what you have to offer.
In addition, slides showcasing current events you are hosting or general information, including photos or videos, can give people more ways to get involved. A slideshow will keep your guests entertained the duration of the event and give them something to remember long after they leave.
Key Four: A Plentiful Snack Bar
There is no better way to keep your movie guests satisfied than providing delicious treats they can snack on throughout the film. From the traditional staple of popcorn to a variety of candy, a snack bar will provide your guests with nourishment to keep their stomachs full and their attention focused.
One of the first things you utilize when you walk into a movie theater is your sense of smell. The aroma of warm, melted butter drizzled over freshly popped kernels of popcorn greets you as soon as you enter the theater. You want your movie event to mimic all of the crowd-favorite feelings someone experiences when they visit an actual movie in a theater.
Key Five: Start a Series
As we previously discussed in our previous blog, the featured film we recommend for your movie event, I Can Only Imagine, is a true account of MercyMe’s lead singer, Bart Millard, and his journey of discovering his faith in God.
Beginning a series with this movie can create an opportunity to begin a collection of movie nights with similar topics related to Christianity. Promoting a series of movie events will give your team room to grow in the successes of your events. After your initial movie event, taking the aspects that worked well for your event into account along with the factors that weren’t as successful will help to improve the ones that follow. Hosting a monthly movie night will give people an opportunity to plan for the event and make it a part of a monthly schedule.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
At the end of your movie event, conclude with prayer over your guests. Invite your guests to bring their friends and family to your next event so that God’s message will be spread and heard. Remember that every church is unique and adding your individual personality to these movie events will give your guests a true sense of who you are as an organization.
A movie event is an effective outlet for gathering your congregation and expanding your community outreach. Read more about how to plan your next movie event and why a movie event is a great way to reach your community here.
If your church or organization has already hosted a movie event, we would love to hear from you! Give us a shout-out in the comments below and let us know how it went. If you’ve been thinking about hosting a movie event, purchase your movie license here and start dreaming about what your outreach or community-building event could be!
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