(No Spoilers!) Whatever your preconceived notions are about this episode, you’re probably wrong! Student pastor and host of the We Think God is Awesome Podcast, Aaron Mamuyac, joins me for a fun look at movies and culture, including how we find traces of the gospel repeated over and over again in our favorite stories. Your children and their friends are most likely going to see Avengers Endgame. This gives you a great opportunity for discipleship as you help them be gospel detectives with a modern cultural phenomenon.
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Discover the gospel story with your students through movies in modern culture. It can sometimes be a struggle to find commonalities with your kids, but we have a golden opportunity for connection and discussions into what our kids are interested in and focused on! New movie releases (like Avengers Endgame now released after a 22-film build up) provide great conversational pieces and really interesting ways to help train your kids to observe hints of the gospel.
There are redemptive analogies in each culture.
- Missionary to canibalistic tribe: Peace Child by Don Richardson
- Don studied cultures and found redemptive analogies in each culture
- Don and his family were missionaries to a canibalistic tribe who’s highest values were trechery, revenge and betrayal (people who befriended you, make you feel safe and then kill you)
- Don learned this tribe’s culture but couldn’t communicate the gospel in a way the tribe could understand
- Don eventually found a gateway to the tribe by teaching Jesus as the peace child
- Finding the gateway story for this tribe lead to massive conversion in the village and eventual spread of the Gospel to other tribes
There are redemptive analogies in our culture as well!
- Our redemptive analogies are played out through our stories.
- The stories we like follow a similar framework, and this pattern seems to be naturally embedded in us:
- there a peace that’s somehow broken
- hero comes from the most unlikely place
- help appears and tries to fix the brokenness
- good over evil arc
- when rescue comes, it’s when all hope is lost
- the rescue comes at great personal sacrifice to the hero, sometimes to his own life
- peace comes after the hero sacrifices himself
How our culture’s favorite stories parallel our lives as believers:
- Life is broken and confusing now, and Jesus triumphs over evil and He wins
- The end is better than even the beginning was!
- There’s HOPE
As parents, we want to connect with our kids and find the gateways into their culture.
- We start with telling them the Gospel story and how it’s TRUE.
- Story form holds our attention more than anything else. The reason we like these books and movies is because there’s a TRUE story that God has written into our hearts to respond to.
- Go with your child to watch the movie and talk with them ahead of time – explain how this seems to be the similar narrative of the Gospel.
- Teach your children to be explorers of redemptive meaning.
- Stories are so captivating because it leads us to the greater narrative of Jesus. Over-fascination and over-involvement in characters and video games is because we desire the Gospel in its true form; the characters are just shadows.
- Kids learn morals, ethics, and values in these stories. We need to address the values and proactively teach our kids values from Scripture and help them understand how to differentiate culture vs God’s way
Three Circles: a simple method to sharing the gospel
- God’s Plan, Brokenness, Jesus
- Tying Three Circles method into movies: set up a framework for your kids to see the Gospel framework played out in the movies
- Where did we see God’s design in this movie?
- Where is the brokenness?
- In what ways are they trying to escape the brokenness?
- What are elements of the Gospel in this movie?
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