Hosting a church movie night is an effective way to invite your community to come and visit your church and get to know you. Movie nights are no-pressure events, and encourage people who might not otherwise attend to visit and find out what your church is all about. It’s also an impactful outreach to support your community with inspiring messages about God, love, family, marriage and more. What makes for a successful church movie night? Here are some tips!
Pick the Perfect Movie
When deciding to host a church movie night, the first thing to determine is your theme. This will help you pick the right film. Are you planning a date night event? Choose a love-affirming romance. Are you looking for a simple night of entertainment and community? Select a movie that’s universally appealing and uplifting. Think about the needs of your community and work to meet them where they need you most when selecting your film.
Outreach allows you to browse by audience, theme and genre, so you can find the perfect film for your church movie night.
Purchase a Movie License
Did you know that copyright law requires that you purchase a movie license to screen a film outside the privacy of your home, even if you already own the film? There are big, expensive penalties, even if you screen a film without knowing a license was required. Fortunately, licenses are very affordable! You select your license based on your overall church attendance and they are good for a year from the date of purchase. Make sure you purchase the license before you advertise your church movie night.
Share Your Church Movie Night
Add your church movie night information to your promotional materials (posters, InviteTickets and bulletin inserts). Show your congregation the movie trailer to get them excited to share the event with their friends and family. Create fliers and canvas your surrounding neighborhood with them, send out direct mail postcards and advertise in the local paper so that everyone knows about your event. Create a Facebook event and encourage your congregation to share, share, share!
A movie license from Outreach Films allows you to promote your church movie night to your community using film artwork, the title and the actors’ names.
Make It an Unforgettable Experience
Provide refreshments for your guests such as popcorn, hot cocoa, soft drinks or candy. Use a projector to create a real theater-style experience indoors, or take your movie outside with blankets on the lawn. Consider renting out a local theater or other venue if your crown will be extra large. Make time for mingling before and after the show, with designated greeters to help facilitate the activities. Remember, the more creative you are, the more likely people will be to attend. At the end of your church movie night, consider giving first time visitors copies of the DVD. Make DVDs of the movie available for attendees to buy so they can share the story with others. (Bulk DVD sales also make a great fundraiser!)
Manage All the Logistics Ahead of Your Event
Preparation is key to ensuring a successful movie night. Test your movie event DVD on the equipment BEFORE the event to avoid any last minute issues. Recruit people to greet attendees and to facilitate discussions at the end of your church movie night. If you are expecting a lot of people you must make sure you have ample parking, clear directional signage and adequate refreshments. Use your Facebook event’s RSVP feature. Also, don’t forget to share it on all of your promotional materials, like your door hangers and direct mail postcards. This will help you get a reasonable estimate of attendance. And don’t forget to thank your attendees as they leave!
If you’ve been looking for new ways to connect with your community and reach out to the unchurched, a movie night is fun and engaging. With a little planning and a whole lot of enthusiasm, you can create a memorable movie night that will turn one-time visitors into valued members of your congregation.
Want more tips? Don’t miss our follow-on article, 4 More Tips for Hosting a Successful Church Movie Night