How to Use Movie Clips When You Teach

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Last week we talked about how to find great movie clips to use in your Kids’ Ministry. Today and I wanted to share a few tips I’ve learned on how to use those clips well once you find them. Here’s what’s helped me:

Make sure it’s OK to show clips at your church
Some churches are fine with showing clips. Others are not. Find out where your church stands before using one. Also, depending on how long your clip is, you may legally need permission from the movie company before showing it. You usually only need to get that if you’re charging money, but it’s always good to double-check.

Check the rating
It’s a good idea not to show anything over PG to kids. Your boss may not want you to go over G. Find out from him or her what they’re OK with before you start using movie clips. You don’t want an angry parent catching them off guard.

Always preview
Regardless of the rating always preview the clip before you show it to kids. Even the most seemingly innocent movies may have a hint of something that might be inappropriate in your setting. Even if you cue it up to avoid the inappropriate scenes, sometimes players rewind back a few extra seconds which could leave you in a tough spot if you don’t check it out first.

Set the clip up
Before you show the clip let kids know you’re going to show them a short clip from a movie they’ve probably already seen. Give them a little background so they have an idea of what to pay attention to as they’re watching the clip.

Keep it short
One to two minutes is usually enough. Much more than that and kids forget why they’re watching the movie and just care that they’re watching a movie. They’ll miss the point you were trying to make and it’ll be that much harder to get them back on track.

Explain how it reflects your point
After the clip talk to kids about how it illustrates the principle in the passage you’re talking about. It may show how to do something or even what NOT to do. Either one can be appropriate if done correctly. Help kids see where you’re going so they’ll know how to live it out during the week.

What tips would you add to this list?

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