Monday Ministry Minute #21
Friday Night at the Movies
[The following MMM is a guest edition from Dr. Walter Bradley. Dr. Bradley is Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Baylor University, and has been actively involved in ministry with students and faculty for over 25 years.]
"Friday Night at the Movies" is an outreach program to students in my classes that takes the form of an Open House with food (pizza, popcorn, dessert, etc.) and soft drinks, but most importantly a thought-provoking movie that raises one of the "big questions" regarding life, meaning, purpose, etc.
The movie is followed by an informal discussion which I try to direct in a Socratic fashion, hoping to bring out the important points by a good choice of questions which get the students to identify and think about the key question. I do share my own ideas in the discussion, but I try not to dominate the discussion as students are too deferential to faculty. Thus, I need to be low key, particularly at the beginning so as not to stifle the discussion.
Movies I recommend are as follows:
I prepare a handout piece inviting students to come. When I distribute it, I emphasize there should be no questions during the evening about our class (this is not to be an "extra help section" but a chance to get together and get better acquainted) and no one's grade will be affected one way or the other, so please don't come for "brownie points."
Here is an example of a handout piece:
"Friday Night Movie--Open House"Scripture: Acts 17:32-34 - "Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, "We shall hear you again concerning this." ... But some men joined him and believed." [Following Paul's conversation in Athens at Mars Hill]
At the home of Walter and Anne Bradley
*** Suffolk Avenue, College Station (see map below)
Friday, April 2, 1998, 6:00 P.M. -- 9:00 P.M.
Including, pizza, popcorn, soft drinks, and the movie "Crimes and Misdemeanors" which addresses the profound question "Is there moral structure to the universe?", but spiced with extraordinary humor. A short, informal discussion of movie will conclude the evening. Historically, universities were called such because they saw as their purpose addressing the great universal questions. Today, we should re-name them "Particulars" since that is what we study and discuss. Our open house is our small attempt to restore this important facet to universe life (recapturing a little bit of the "soul" of the university) and to provide an opportunity for us to get better acquainted. Feel free to invite one friend to come along.
Action Point: Invite some students in your class (or grad students) to a "Friday Night at the Movies" to celebrate the end of the semester. This idea works just as well for office mates, neighbors and friends.