watching in a way that builds

I first posted this a little under a year ago, but it’s actually more appropriate for September than October. And while college football is on my mind (as a Texas A&M graduate especially), I figured I’d remind us of some low-hanging fruit for building community with our students.

Have you considered hosting an event – or even forming regular fellowship groups – around the TV shows your students (and their friends) are already into?

An obvious choice would be the weekly football game (at least when your team’s got an away game). Big sports events – like the World Series or the Super Bowl – are other obvious choices. Political debates, when they’re “in season,” are another “television event.”

But what about regular series? Anything you hear your students talking about? That means they’re already primed for attendance, and they’d be able to invite friends, too. I bet a lot more non-Christians would accept this front door faster than our usual ones.

And there’s a lot of ways to do this: Watch a show the night it airs, DVR it and watch at a better time, grab some DVDs and have a marathon. Further, the group can vary: it might be just girls or just guys; it might be the whole crowd. You might hold it in a dorm room or in a huge theater.

Obviously, we have to add wisdom to the mix when we’re dealing with TV, movies, and other media. But if you’ve got students who are excited about watching shows (even if they tend to watch ‘em online), this is an opportunity not only to fellowship, but to fellowship with guests.

And it’s a perfect thing to hand off to students to plan. They’ll do it better.

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