August 20, 2010 Tony Morgan

At the Movies

For the last several summers, Craig Groeschel and the LifeChurch team have been offering a fun outreach series called “At The Movies.” As soon as the weather gets toasty, LifeChurch sends out promotional materials in local neighborhoods in the form of doorhangers with a bag of popcorn attached. Meanwhile, each campus participates in a movie-themed, decorating contest. Imagine walking into church and finding yourself in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, Jurassic Park or The Batcave. Volunteers go nuts with the competition and invite their friends and family to see what they’ve been working on.

For each week of the “At The Movies” message series, Craig pre-records his teaching, weaving in clips from a popular movie. Some of the movies they’ve used in the past include We Are Marshall, The Pursuit of Happyness, and The Bucket List. Here’s the catch–they never reveal the movies that they’re going to use in the annual series. Check out the promo.

The result? Every July, the “At The Movies” series generates the highest first-time visitor rates. Who turns down an invitation to see a movie at church? Furthermore, LifeChurch experiences record salvation decisions. It’s become their biggest outreach push of the entire year, and kick-starts the momentum heading into fall. LifeChurch has expanded to 14 campuses in 5 states including their online campus, and it’s one of the fastest growing churches in the country.

This year, LifeChurch has produced the At the Movies @ Home Kit. The kit includes a DVD with movie suggestions for the whole family, activities and biblical truths that you can pull out of each movie. Families can invite the neighborhood gang over for a movie, or use it for a family movie night.

By the way, LifeChurch makes their resources available for free. Here are the various resources that they have available from this summer’s At the Movies series.

That’s what’s worked for LifeChurch during the hot summer months. Yes, it’s possible to gain momentum when most churches experience a dip in attendance. What has worked during the summer for your church?

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Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
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