Using a movie as a discussion starter for a bible study can be a great way to get your group to participate in and talk about important issues and concepts in daily life. There are many great bible study books, guide books and workbooks available at Christian bookstores and online, but some of us are impacted more when we can visualize an event, theme or story.
There are a lot of movies available – which have been produced in both the secular filming industry as well as the Christian media industry – that are not only family friendly but present Christ-like ideas, values and can also inspire your life. Take a look at the following movies and see if you can use one for a home bible study or for an inspiring family movie night. If you do decide to use a movie for a bible study, consider breaking your study night into three half-hour blocks, give or take. Allow time for your participants to arrive and fellowship to catch up on their busy week (fifteen to thirty minutes) and then show the movie for thirty minutes. You should preview the movie so you can stop it just before or right after an important scene but not in the middle of an impactful or moving part of the script! Use the last thirty to forty-five minutes of your time to discuss what happened in the movie, the characters, the setting and how our personal lives are reflected in or relate to the movie. Discuss what may happen next or what we would do if we were in that particular situation.
If your group would like to do a study based on bible characters, consider one of three movies produced by Turner Broadcasting in their “Bible Series.” The movies Joseph, Jacob and David are each feature-length movies based on the live and times of their namesake. Joseph’s character is a wonderful study of faith in God and perseverance through the most difficult times (like being sold by your family!). Many can relate to Joseph as they find themselves in seemingly impossible situations when experiencing a job loss or difficult relationships. This version of the movie stars Sir Ben Kinglsey.
The movie Jacob follows the story of sibling rivalry, family values and the ability to work hard and long for what we truly desire, just as Jacob worked to win the hand of his love from her father. Even so Jacob is tricked and has to again work for what he wants: the lovely Rachel. Forgiveness is eventually forged between brothers and family and the story ends with a happy ending.
David was a tortured soul, longing to find peace with God after fighting Goliath and finding favor with Saul only to be hunted down by him later. David struggled with his relationships, lost his best friend, lost a child and sought earnestly to understand God’s love, forgiveness, patience and redemption. This is a wonderful story for anyone who has struggled to find God in the midst of difficulty.
Whichever of these particular movies you see, you’ll be sure to start a lively and interesting conversation between the members of your bible study!
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