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How to find movie clips to use in your sermon

   I recently had a student who told me she loved movies.  This woman watched lots and lots of movies.  I was wishing she would read a few more books and go out more often with friends.  But I also encouraged her to write down a movie clip she could use in teaching for each movie she watches.  One of my students emailed me that she is sometimes doing this.  (See the end of this post).  More_movie_based

I don't have this habit down myself but I would like to!  Movies can be a big waste of time but if you are reflecting on them, they can be edifying. 

You can send those clip descriptions into Preaching Today and get paid $75 for each one!  See here for a list of their illustrations which you have to pay to access (but you can still the list).  See here for their guidelines on submitting articles. 

Or get some practice and share your insights with the world by starting a free blog entitled "______'s Movie Illustrations" on   

I gave my students a Movie Clip assignment in Teaching and Learning Strategies  The Microsoft Word assignment sheet is available free for download at the following link: Download mfilm_clip_assignment.doc

There are a few examples at Leadership Journal’s Website .  Search for “Movie Clips to Show or Tell”.

Here are some books which give movie clips for sermons:Videos_that_teach_4

  1. Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching - Volume 1 by Craig Brian Larson
  2. More Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching: 101 Clips to Show or Tell (Movie-Based Illustrations) by Craig Brian Larson
  3. Videos That Teach 4: 75 More Movie Moments to Get Teenagers Talking by Doug Fields
  4. Videos That Teach 3: 75 More Movie Moments to Get Teenagers Talking (Youth Specialties) by Doug Fields
  5. Videos That Teach 2 by Doug Fields
  6. Videos That Teach by Doug Fields
  7. Group's Blockbuster Movie Illustrations: Over 160 Clips for Your Ministry! by Bryan Belknap
  8. Group's Blockbuster Movie Illustrations: The Sequel by Bryan Belknap
  9. Group's Blockbuster Movie Illustrations: The Return by Bryan Belknap

I have created an Listmania! list entitled "Using Movie Clips in a Sermon" if you want to see the covers of the books. 

The reason I mention all of this is that I got an email from Kerrie Schene, one of my students from that class.  After the course had ended, she thought of two movies that could serve as illustrations.  She didn't put her email to me in the "correct form" for the class assignment but I still thought it would be worth sharing with you.  I'm proud of her for watching movies and thinking about the themes and how she might use them in teaching.

Hey, Andy!

How's it going?  I hope your summer is going well with Amy and Ryan in Upland.  I hope you guys are getting some good relaxing time amidst plans for this fall. 

This is random, but there were two times this past semester when I had seen movies/remembered movies with good scenes in them that reminded me of our movie scene presentation in Teaching & Learning.  So, I'm not sure why, but I randomly remembered those just now and wanted to send you them before I forgot once again! Groups_blockbuster

Okay, the first one I saw over Christmas break-"Christmas with the Kranks".  The basic gist of the movie is a married couple in Suburbia boycott having Christmas and decide to skip the traditions and go on a cruise instead.  Then, their daughter decides to come home for Christmas at the last minute so they scramble to make it a good Christmas for her.  The main scene that I thought was really good was one that parallels Christ's gift of mercy, redemption and grace to us.  It's one of the last few scenes in the movie.  Tim Allen's character decides to give his obnoxious neighbor and his sweet wife (who has cancer) his cruise tickets.  His neighbor refuses to take them and insists that he can't pay for them, though Tim repeats that they're a gift over and over and finally the neighbor takes them in amazement.  After I saw that, I said, "That is such a perfect scene to teach God's free and undeserving gift of Jesus to us!" 

The second one came to mind on the spring CE retreat, actually.  I was in the Lectio Divina room (which was awesome, btw) and my scripture to read was 1 John 3:1-3-

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

The word "lavished" was what stuck out to me the most from the passage and made me think of the movie "A Little Princess".  I don't know if you or Amy are familiar with it-there are a couple different versions, but I was thinking of the most recent version made probably in the mid-90's.  The main story is about a girl named Sarah who came to America from India with her father to live in a boarding school as he goes to war-WWI.  He dies while she is at school and the cruel headmaster makes her become a maid at the school and she has to live in the attic with another servant girl named Becky.  They live in very poor circumstances, but still try to hang to some hope despite them.  They notice that a very rich man lives across the way and they can see both him and his butler, who dresses like an Indian sheik, through the windows.  He sees the girls and notices their living conditions.  One morning they wake up to beautiful surroundings.  They have big comfy blankets, pretty robes and slippers and a table covered with hot food that they haven't tasted in forever.  The girls are so excited and try everything at once and exclaim at the beauty of it all.  They end up playing and dancing in the sunlight through the windows and that was the main scene that I thought of when reading and thinking on the word "lavish".  The colors and cinematography in this movie are great, and definitely help when the cold attic is transformed with beautiful colors and sunlight.

So, I hope that maybe these can help for class next year if you are teaching a section of it at all or in the future.  I have just had those in my head for a while and kept forgetting to share them with you.  Again, I hope you are all enjoying the sweet country summer that exists in Upland, Indiana. :)  See you in the fall!

Kerrie Schene
Women's Ministry/CARE Ministry Intern
Southland Christian Church
Lexington, KY