Why We Do Movies in the Park

Heading into the Summer of 2009, our Launch Team was looking for a way to connect with the community in a big way prior to launching Awaken. After much discussion amongst ourselves, meetings with community leaders, and learning from other churches, we landed on Movies in the Park. What has happened since, has been nothing short of mind-blowing!

That first summer, with about 20-25 people on our launch team, we put on this outdoor movie event hoping that a couple hundred people would show up. Much to our surprise, over 1000 people came to both events! Last summer, we saw an average of 2000 people come to each event. Now, Movies in the Park has become an anticipated event in our part of the city.

Our goals for Movies in the Park are much more and much deeper than just drawing a big crowd of people. Here are the big reasons why we do this event:

  1. To bless our city :: We constantly reinforce the DNA in our church that we are here to make a difference in our city. We want to be so involved in the city that if we vanished, the city would weep and miss us. The idea for this event really started out of conversations with community leaders and asking, “What does the community need?”
  2. To involve people :: Movies in the Park has become a great first step for people who have been attending Awaken, but have yet to get involved. It’s fun to serve at the event and new people get connected with our Partners and volunteers.
  3. To connect with people & invite them to Awaken :: While we do not turn Movies in the Park into a preaching crusade, we do want to leverage the opportunity to serve and connect with the people that come. There are many people who are connected and involved at Awaken now who first came to Movies in the Park.
  4. To build partnerships :: Movies in the Park could not happen without sponsors and partners from the community. This year, Verizon Wireless, Chick-fil-a, EdVenture Children’s Museum, Coca-Cola, Richland County Recreation Commission, and Gary Patterson State Farm Insurance are stepping up big time to make the event happen. We value these partnerships not just for Movies in the Park, but for other opportunities to serve our city.

We thank God for the platform and favor He has given us in the city through Movies in the Park! We’re excited about this years events on May 13 and June 17. If you haven’t signed up to serve, email our event director Misti Bailey (misti@awakencolumbia.com) and join the team putting on this great event! And of course, invite everyone you know to join us on Friday night. It could very well lead to them taking that next step to follow Jesus!

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