It’s not exactly unusual to go to the movies on a Friday night. But why would you want to start your weekend by going to a church—and specifically The Crossing—to watch a film on the big screen and then stick around for a discussion afterward?
I ask because, if you live in or near Columbia, you have a chance to do just that a handful of times each year, including this Friday, when we’ll be screening the under-the-radar but compelling thriller “Midnight Special” (84% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes) at 7 p.m. as a part of our ongoing Talking Pictures series. Given busy schedules and lots of options, why choose Talking Pictures? There are a handful of good reasons:
It’s a chance to have an enjoyable Friday night.
Why do you normally watch movies? You want to be transported to another world, look at things through different eyes, be inspired, unravel mysteries, laugh at funny stuff, experience different times and places, feel deep emotion, see the good guys defeat the bad guys, and so on. Another way to say that is you want to have some kind of experience you can appreciate and enjoy.
We think that you come by that desire honestly. Why? Because you’ve been created by someone who is not only an artist par excellence, but also someone who delights in, or enjoys creativity (see Genesis 1 and Psalm 104:31). So it’s only natural that we do the same. Enjoying good films (or music, books, photography, painting, etc.) is, in a very real sense, something you’ve been created to do. That means a major part of what we want to see happen at Talking Pictures is for people (hopefully) to have a good time watching a well-made film.
It’s a chance to grow our cultural awareness and discernment.
Movies are obviously made by people. And that means they often reflect something of the way those people see the world: what they believe in, what they value, the questions they have, the answers they find persuasive, etc. So watching films allows us to become more aware of the world around us. And that, in turn, can help us become better equipped to engage with that world in winsome, effective, and faithful way.
For that reason, we watch all kinds of films at Talking Pictures. Some are big summer blockbusters, some are smaller, independent films. But they all tell stories, and we think it’s worthwhile to talk about those stories in light of what you might call the Big Story that God authors and we’re all a part of. Sometimes the former reflect the latter in all kinds of creative ways. Sometimes they differ in crucial respects. Discussing them puts us in a better position to celebrate, ask questions of, and even respectfully challenge what we see and hear when we go to the movies.
It’s a chance for people to get to know The Crossing.
It can be intimidating to go to any church the first time. And if the church involves things like getting parking directions on Sunday morning, even more so. If someone is interested in checking out The Crossing, Talking Pictures can be a great way for them to see at least a little bit of what the church is about and make it easier for them to come back another time, on a Sunday morning or otherwise.
It doesn’t cost anything!
Starving college student? Family on a budget (and who isn’t)? Just like free stuff? Well you’re in luck. We don’t charge admission for Talking Pictures, and we throw in free popcorn, candy, and sodas. Hey, if you’re going to go the movies, you want to do it right! And if you need childcare, that’s available too as long as you sign up at least a few days before the event (just to make sure we can line up enough sitters).
If you’re interested, you can sign up for Talking Pictures here. Hope to see you this Friday (and many others)!