The Little Mermaid and Sharing Your Faith

October 25, 2011

[From time to time we’ll post about evangelistic resources we recommend. We hope you will find them helpful as you seek ways to engage with today’s culture and introduce people to Jesus.]

Global Short Film NetworkImagine five college guys in a living room watching, you guessed it, The Little Mermaid. This actually happened. One of my friends, Stephen, and a group of his friends, had some time to kill and were in a nostalgic mood. They decided to watch some movies they hadn’t seen in a while. After the movie one of them said, “You know, that’s not a great message. Think about it, the teenager disobeys her dad and gets away with it.” Stephen answered, “But think about the father’s unconditional love and sacrifice.”

Watching and discussing movies is one of the most natural ways to get into deeper conversations with your friends. We do it all the time, even after movies like The Little Mermaid. After watching a movie, you almost always ask your friends about their favorite scenes, characters, and even the themes of the movie. It would be weird to watch a movie with someone and then not talk about it.

These conversations can become opportunities to discover where your friends are in their spiritual journeys, and for you to share your relationship with Jesus. But when it comes to fuel for spiritual conversations, not all films are created equal. You’ll be much more likely to get into a spiritual conversation from watching The Passion of the Christ than Dumb and Dumber.

That’s where the Global Short Film Network (GSFN) comes in. They have put together a great library of short films, many of which were specifically created to help start spiritual conversations. You can search on their website for different themes you want to talk about, from drinking to self-image to peace. There are more lighthearted short films like Vinyl, which is a modern day retelling of the parable of the lost coin, and more intense films like La Liberté de l’Interieur, which centers on the theme of freedom.

To help guide discussions, Global Short Film Network has provided discussion questions for specific short films on their resources page.

If you want more help getting into spiritual conversations using film, GSFN has some training videos that explain how to get into spiritual conversations using film as a springboard. There’s even a sample discussion video if you want to see what a film-related spiritual conversation would look like.

Most movies have deeper themes that could lead to spiritual conversations, even The Little Mermaid. So be creative in the questions you ask and have fun with it. Your friends will want to give their opinions and they’ll be interested to hear your thoughts too.

What’s one of your favorite movies that you think would be a good spiritual conversation starter? Let us know in the comments below.

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