If you’ve been following this series of studies, you should now be well equipped to have some great conversations with non-Christian friends and course mates about how science and Christianity connect. Hosting a sci-fi movie night is a great way to explore some deep questions about science and technology, and create a platform for talking about Jesus with friends.
Choosing a movie
For an evangelistic event like this, an ideal movie is one that leaves you asking some big questions about life, reality, and what it means to be human. Conversations that lead to Jesus will be easy if you’re already pondering profound themes! There are loads of thought-provoking sci-fi movies to choose from, but here are a few suggestions to start with:
After Yang (2021) – a visually beautiful and thought-provoking arthouse take on the Artificial Intelligence genre, looking at relationships with AIs and data privacy (on Now and SkyGo).
Don’t Look Up (2021) – a fun but shocking look at science, politics, religion, authority, fake news and climate change (on Amazon and Netflix).
GATTACA (1997) – a futuristic exploration of the impact of genetics on society (on Amazon).
Contact (1997) – a take on Carl Sagan’s novel of the same name, includes general science-faith content as well as questions about the existence of extra-terrestrials (on Amazon).
It’s worth also taking the runtime of a film into consideration: the shorter it is, the longer people will stick around for discussion time after the closing credits.
Start talking and praying with your group about which non-Christian friends and course mates you might like to invite along several weeks before your planned movie night.
Making a quick flyer or poster on Canva with a one-line summary of the film will help people know what they’re being invited to. Make sure you include that there’s going to be a time for discussion afterwards!
Hosting the movie night
Try and find a comfy venue with a high-quality screen. Maybe you could host it in a student’s living room, or a common room in halls? For a bigger event, you could book a lecture theatre in the science faculty and make it feel cosy with blankets and fairy lights.
If your venue allows, provide some food at the event. Pizza is always a hit, or you could offer popcorn/sweets if you have a lower budget. Allocate someone from your Hub to be in charge of food!
After you’ve shown the movie, it’s time for discussion. This is an opportunity both to listen well to your non-Christian guests, and to point them to the hope on offer in Jesus.
You want to provide just enough structure for a constructive conversation, while also letting people be free to express their genuine reflections on the movie. You might want to choose two or three questions from the list below for the host to read out, or to print out and hand round at the end.
After the movie night, think about how you could follow up with friends who you had good conversations with. Could you invite them along to church or your Science Network Hub in the future, or pass on a book like ‘Can Science Explain Everything?’, or offer to read Uncover with them?
Suggested discussion questions
- What questions did the film raise about what it means to be human?
- What answers did it offer? Do you agree?
- What alternative answers have you come across?
- Is there a hero in this film? What do their actions say about what we value today?
- What values are celebrated, brought to light or explored in this film?
- What human weaknesses are explored? Do any of them resonate with you/relate to your own experience in any way?
- What source(s) of hope does the film offer?
- If the God of Christianity was real, what hope might he offer for the situation explored by this film?
- If the God of Christianity was real, what might it mean for how we answer these questions?