Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach

So, more on hospitality versus entertaining… or a similar, related topic.

A friend and I have been discussing what it looks like to have lives to invite people into and activities to invite people along. We want to have meaningful, purposeful lives that are full of opportunities to show hospitality, serve, disciple and to create community. You can’t do that without thought and some effort. You can’t do that if your calendar is packed full of responsibilities and it won’t work if your life only consists of shopping, reading, watching tv or movies, and ordinary life responsibilities and tasks. I  need to  make some changes 0r be creative :). It is ok to invite people along on responsibilities, but I’d rather invite them along to a Saturday morning at the Children’s Hunger Fund or on a hike at the Santa Clarita Nature Reserve.

One thing we have implemented at our house in an effort to make our house accessible to others is a weekly movie night. We have a random assortment of people that come who don’t always know each other. Who has been in attendance has varied from week to week. The nice thing about a weekly event is that you always know when it is happening and can invite anyone to join. You also know the house and roommates are open to that and for that. Movie night is affordable where as a dinner night open to anyone and everyone isn’t (especially when it comes to college students). The last few weeks we have raided the pantry for random snacks we already had on hand, but it didn’t matter we all had a blast.

There are, however, a few dangers associated with movie nights that we have to be purposeful and thoughtful about. I’m still thinking through these things.

1. You want to be mindful about what you watch in a large group. Consider that it is mixed company. Consider differing opinions on Christian Liberties. Be willing to say no to movie suggestions that might not be appropriate for everyone and be willing to have the discussion with everyone about why you are saying no. There is a danger with watching movies in large groups, but it is also an opportunity in helping others think through discernment, art, why they watch what they watch, and how they think about what they watch.

2. Be mindful of others’ time. How late will the movie go? Should we make it a two-night event? Will people be able to come back next week for the second half if we split it? Should we let people know in advance what we will be watching so they can decide if they should come? How long should we wait for other people to arrive?

3. Don’t waste the opportunity for fellowship. It’s easier to pop in a movie with a random group of people than to sit around and converse when you are tired and to experience some potentially awkward moments, but it isn’t as profitable to JUST WATCH A MOVIE. Make sure that there is time to talk, even if it cuts into the movie time, you have to split it into two nights, or even if it extends the evening past your usual bed time. Get to know people and ask questions.

4. Make it an opportunity for fellowship and community, but don’t stress if the conversation is light and not theological. Sometimes hanging out with people builds rapport that later allows for deeper conversations and friendships. Most spiritually significant moments of walking alongside one another don’t happen in group settings, but group activities often open up the opportunities for those one-on-one moments to happen.

If you have any suggestions for good, clean movies to watch with a diverse crowd, please comment and give suggestions.

Related Links:

Dinner at the Haney’s




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