Feeling ‘Blue Like Jazz’

A few days ago I got to see a sneak preview screening of the movie “Blue Like Jazz,” and I have to say, I’m feeling it. The movie is directed by the amazing Nashville filmmaker and musician Steve Taylor, and based on the New York Times bestselling memoir by Donald Miller. The movie will make its world premier at Austin’s South by Southwest film festival on March 13 and open in select cities on April 13. After the Raleigh screening I had a chance to meet the roving talented film crew including cinematographer, writer and producer Ben Pearson, and manager/booking agent Jim Chaffee of Chaffee Management Group. I don’t know which was more enjoyable, the movie or spending time with this sharp and hospitable group but both made for a memorable night.

If anything, the movie could be an excellent way to get growing Christians and maybe even people of other faiths or no faith to think about certain issues or experiences around faith formation. Here’s my list of 10 discussion starters that could come out of watching this movie.

  1. What could it mean to openly explore deeply held religious views while allowing room for questions and doubt and trusting that God is present even there?
  2. How do we witness to the grace and mercy of God by openly owning our own failings and need of God’s grace?
  3. What could it look like to approach people with respect and compassion even if we don’t agree with their lifestyle or their beliefs?
  4. How can we practice hospitality and humility as we remember that everyone we meet has a story of which we’ve barely heard the surface?
  5. What role does friendship play in challenging our faith, calling us to self-honesty, inviting us to explore more aspects of who God has created us to be?

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