In a bid to spread holiday cheer and encourage reflections on faith, the Methodist Church has launched a heartwarming Christmas film titled ‘Out of the Ordinary.’
The church hopes the film will resonate with those who may not typically consider attending church events but are drawn to the magic of the Advent and Christmas season.
The storyline of ‘Out of the Ordinary’ centers around a young mother grappling with financial challenges. Transported to an animated, angelic world, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, realizing her inherent worthiness of love. The film aims to gently engage people in contemplating the role of faith during the festive season.
Ben Hollebon, Director of Digital at the Methodist Church, shared insights into the film’s purpose, stating, “The idea behind this film is to reach people who wouldn’t traditionally think about the church during the rest of the year. At Advent and Christmas time, there’s so much ‘magical-ness’ in the air that they might think to themselves, maybe this is something I might go along to. The whole idea is that it’s a chance that the church has to reach people who are open to exploring faith. That’s really what the film is about — encouraging people to think about what church might offer them at this time of year.”
To complement the film, Methodist Churches are distributing scratch-off Christmas cards during services and events, doubling as invitations within local communities. Additionally, individuals can sign up for daily digital Advent reflections, fostering a sense of community engagement.
The soundtrack of ‘Out of the Ordinary’ features a new arrangement of the Christmas carol, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem,’ which will be released as a single. Hollebon highlighted, “Christmas is such an amazing opportunity for the church to speak with a voice that so often isn’t heard in the rest of the year. We’ve got to be thinking creatively. It’s about those conversations beginning that hopefully lead into something where someone might go, ‘this whole church thing, this whole faith thing, maybe there’s something in it for me.’”
In addition to the film, the Methodist Church has designed various assets and resources to assist churches in inviting people to their Christmas services and events. These include visually appealing posters and scratch-off postcard invitations that aim to spark curiosity by revealing surprises or thought-provoking messages beneath the surface.
Hollebon emphasized the importance of creativity in reaching out during the festive season, stating, “It doesn’t mean we’ve got to do big productions like certain supermarkets do with adverts. We need to think about ways to connect with people.” He encouraged a shift in perspective, urging churches to scratch beneath the surface, looking beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary.
The Methodist Church’s initiative seeks to make Christmas a time of connection, inspiration, and contemplation for individuals who may be exploring faith or considering a visit to a church service. By leveraging the magic of the holiday season, the church aims to foster meaningful conversations and open doors to the possibilities of faith.