Regarding "how" are churches reaching and teaching kids during the Coronavirus crisis...
One of the things we can do is direct families to existing resources already available to them, such as Bible movies on Netflix and Amazon and Cable TV, and then put out some discussion suggestions and invite feedback or discussion via a Zoom meeting or Facebook postings. See the next post about hosting a Facebook "Watch Party."
Movies to Watch and Discuss for "At Home Sunday School" this Holy Week and Easter...
Jesus Christ Superstar (the movie)
I've watched it and taught with it MANY times with kids and youth. They love it. It's currently on NETFLIX and available for rent on Amazon as well.
Pose questions, then invite people to watch it at home and post their comments online at your church's Facebook page or have them text you their comments.
Supporting Members can see and print Rotation.org's exclusive scene by scene guide. It includes insights. A good tool for posing questions too.
SON OF GOD (the movie)
Terrific depiction of a friendly and compelling Jesus. We use scenes from it all the time in our lessons.
Watch and discuss. Share your comments with others at your church. Pose questions to viewers.
Currently available on Amazon Prime to rent (might be free when we get to Easter)
Now available! Supporting Members can download the Son of God At-Home Viewing Guide for Families and Small Groups (PDF).
Prince of Egypt (the movie about the Exodus by Dreamworks)
Good animated movie for kids about Moses and the Exodus. Good music too.
Currently playing on Amazon Prime and Hulu (may have a rental fee).
See Rotation.org's Teaching with Secular Movies article and discussion. It has many suggestions.
Movies for youth and adults to watch anytime:
I Can Only Imagine
The true story about the origins of the most popular Christian song in modern history, "I Can Only Imagine" by the founder of Mercy Me. (YouTube link to the song.) The movie is as uplifting as the song and it's a tear-jerker, Good production values. Includes Amy Grant who first introduced the songwriter to audiences and Dennis Quaid who plays the father about whom the song was written. Subject matter includes abusive father and redemption. Super movie with a great message, especially for sons and fathers. Look for it on Amazon Prime and Netflix. It was free when I watched it.
I Still Believe
This 2020 movie just released straight to online video when the theaters shut down, otherwise, I think it would have done well. This is the true story of Christian contemporary mega-artist Jeremy Camp and his young wife's struggle with and death from cancer. It's a love story for sure, and includes the actor doing a number of "concert scenes" singing Jeremy Camp songs from his early days, and the terrific song "I Still Believe." (I actually liked the actor's voice and version more than Camp's.) It has a surprisingly good ending. Gary Sinise ("Lt Dan") plays the father, Shania Twain the mother. GREAT music and message. Look for it on Amazon Prime and Netflix.
Here's the trailer:
The Netflix miniseries "MESSIAH" is a fascinating drama about a would-be messiah, the lives he changes, and the questions he raises about faith. In the first episode, he appears preaching during the Syrian war. Eventually, he comes to D.C. Lots of discussion potential. Ten episodes. Here are the wiki and episode guide. Free on Netflix.
It's only ten 45-minute episodes. Invite your youth to "binge-watch it" with you over a week, post some questions to watch out for, and then organize a Zoom video conference party to discuss it. Have everyone bring their own snacks.
Invite youth and adults to suggest other movies that have religious or social significance and can be watched from home on a certain "watch party night." See notes about that in the next post!
The Two Popes
"The Two Popes" ...award-winning movie featuring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce portraying how Pope Francis came to replace the retiring Pope Benedict, their interactions and clash of differences, backgrounds, and personalities. Even as a Protestant, I found this super interesting and relevant. Here's the wiki. Free on Netflix.
Invite your adults to watch this movie one evening at home, and then jump online to your Facebook page for discussion, or Zoom meeting for face to face.
EDITED TO ADD: Host a Movie "Watch Party" on NETFLIX or Amazon Prime Movies!