The Youth Pastor’s Movie Co-Efficient

by Richard on February 3, 2011

If you’re a minister, pastor or other sort of church worker, you might sometimes have struggled to decide whether a film clip (or whole movie) was suitable for use with your congregation. If so, help is at hand. Blogger has developed The Youth Pastor’s Movie Co-Efficient which can be calculated using the formula


S = Swear-words
! = Super swear-words (The kind of words I can’t write here or no American evangelical college will appoint me as a lecturer in the future)
b = Boobs or other tame nudity
V = Tame violence (Like a cartoon scrap or someone getting in a playground fist-fight)
G = Serious nudity (The kind you don’t want to watch with your mom in the room)
m = Serious violence (The kind that doesn’t make you think “I could be the next Karate Kid!”)
i = Innuendo (That most slippery of youth group movie downfalls)
A = Alternative music laden soundtracks (Kids dig those hip beat combos)
H = Happy endings (All youth group movies have to have it!)
PRm = Positive Role-model (If the star of the movie prays, talks kindly to people with mental disability or shaves regularly then you have some prime youth group movie potential.)
SI = Sermon Illustrations (Every scene that can be the basis of a preachy-session at the end has to be very valuable)
ir = Improper Relationships (Depending on the youthgroup, a remarried after divorce mother constitutes an improper relationship but the real nightmare here is a one of those heinous movies that depicts a gay couple as happy and satisfied- you might even have to add extra weight to the negative consequences of that nightmare!!)

What you’re aiming for is a coefficient <0.5. As the meerkat says — Simples!

That’s what I like about the web. For every problem, there’s a solution out there.

I owe someone a credit for this, but I really can’t remember how I came across it. Sorry.

Update: The h/t goes to @davidmkeen

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }


Doug 02.03.11 at 9:16 pm

How about 0/1 = infinity is an oversimplistic movie coefficient for and Christian group. Therefore it is infinately good. :)

My suggestion would be this:

(zero-A to the third)/((PRm.SIsquared)-zero)H to the third)

V could equal something but when multiplied by the other becomes zero. Hense the zero on the top of the division. On the bottom ir=zero hense the zero on the bottom.


Doug 02.03.11 at 9:18 pm

Therefore whatever the coeeficient ends up is appropriate and everything else is zero and should not shown. :)

“Whatever is good, lovely…” Phil. 4:8


Pam 02.03.11 at 10:05 pm

Can we go to the movies together Doug? What would you like to see?
We’ve just been to see “The King’s Speech” - some four-letter words, no nudity, no violence, no improper relationships (unless you call the Royal Family improper relationships) and definitely a happy ending!
That superb Australian actor Geoffrey Rush was in it.


Paul Martin 02.03.11 at 10:31 pm

I’ll take you to see the Royle Family - Jim is my favourite!


Pam 02.03.11 at 10:40 pm

Out here in the colonies I haven’t heard of Jim Royle! (Possibly a better adjusted family than the Windsors?)
btw, Dame Edna sends her regards.


Richard 02.03.11 at 10:43 pm

I don’t want to be pedantic Doug, but 0/1 = 0.


Richard 02.03.11 at 10:46 pm

I’m surprised The Royle Family haven’t made it to Oz. Can’t get away from it here.


Doug 02.03.11 at 11:00 pm

okay, I have agreed to make a change. Thanks for the help Pam. What do you think Pam:

(S/2 - A to the third)/((PRm.SIsquared)-zero)H to the third)

S/2 is to minimize the number of swear words.

BTW: Saw “The King’s Speech” and it was a very excellent movie. Made my top 10. :)


Bob Gilston 02.03.11 at 11:21 pm

Pam. “The King’s Specch” is a great movie. However, I don’t think Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mum) thought that the relationship between The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) and Mrs Simpson was proper.


David Keen 02.03.11 at 11:54 pm

You read it on Twitter this morning!

Richard says: Thank you David. I’ll update the post!


Pam 02.03.11 at 11:57 pm

Doug, after that btw I think I could like you. :)

Bob, Queen Mum certainly did not think the relationship between Eddie and Wallis Simpson was proper. But that didn’t stop them!

Richard, I don’t watch much TV. Just a few selected from ABC or SBS. I’m really boring!!


Tim 02.04.11 at 4:15 am

Let’s not forget the Queen Mother’s famous hollow leg…


Richard 02.04.11 at 7:02 am

Tim: ???

Pam: It isn’t boring to not watch television! In any case, I imagine you struggle to get a signal out there in the outback…


Pam 02.04.11 at 7:11 am

I’m a burly stockman remember I can do anything.


Tim 02.04.11 at 7:20 am

Simply drawing attention to hidden questionable behaviour. The fact that it was hidden in the movie must make it more furtively sinister, right?


Richard 02.04.11 at 7:41 am

Of course, Pam. But you’ll have your hands full, what with tying kangaroos down and everything. ;)
Tim: sadly, royalty and questionable behaviour have a long association. Not that they’re any worse than the rest of us.


Pam 02.04.11 at 8:38 am

Listen, you pommy upstart, be nice. :)


Richard 02.04.11 at 9:08 am



Pam 02.04.11 at 9:53 am

Sorry Richard. I just think you’re a pommy not an upstart.


Richard 02.04.11 at 9:56 am

‘Pommy’ is a matter of fact, ‘upstart’ an opinion. But I’ve been called worse!


Beth 02.04.11 at 10:56 am

Just as a matter of warning, I went to see Black Swan recently. I don’t really know whether it’s any good or not (I have no film-skills), but it’s disturbing, and not in a good way. I would recommend that everyone avoid it!

I really want to see The King’s Speech…

Pam, could you be a jolly swagman instead of a burly stockman? It fits my preconceived notions better. ;)


Kim 02.04.11 at 12:01 pm

I guess the serious point is that some Christians judge art solely by its propaganda value. A further serious point: the propaganda is always right wing and theologically oppressive.

BTW, on The King’s Speech, which I haven’t seen (and actually have no real desire see), I gather that, historically, all the King’s speeches were microedited before broadcast. We wouldn’t want vestiges of a disability to disrupt national morale, now would we?


Beth 02.04.11 at 12:58 pm

Kimmy, I think that’s unfair - more to the point, we wouldn’t want the man to be embarrassed. Those were different times. He was - by all accounts - a shy man, who had really never expected to be King. Would you have had them hold him up to ridicule? Sure, we’d prefer that it weren’t a matter for ridicule, but it was - and is - and no-one should have to be the punching bag for that, even in the cause of dissipating prejudice.


Kim 02.04.11 at 3:42 pm

What I’m saying is that I gather that the film is historically inaccurate and perpetrates a myth which, granted that “Those were different times”, should be unmasked, not reaffirmed, for our times.

And “no-one should have to be a puching bag” - also granted. Perhaps one of the points to be made, however, is that we must pray for public figures with social stigmas, that they will be given the courage to “come out”, and, given the “ridicule” you rightly point they will undoubtedly get, promise them our total public support.

I’m thinking, for example, of gay athletes, particularly in the United States. The coming out of a star, who is ipso fact a role model, could be a game-changer. (And, BTW, I would urge all heterosexual Christians who support the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church to join LGCM [£40 a year, with a discount for the unwaged].)


Doug 02.04.11 at 4:47 pm

“Doug, after that btw I think I could like you.”

How about just say “you like me” as opposed to “could like you”? Just kidding. Thanks for the compliment. :)

Kim, what does “The King’s Speech” have to do with homosexuality, etc., etc.? What is the point of bringing that up? There is absolutely no connection whatsoever. Beth’s latest comment should be supported. Kim, I have no idea why you wouldn’t want to see this fabulous movie. Your bias and predisposition against the Monarchy is clouding you from seeing a wonderful piece of film. Your missing out.


Richard 02.04.11 at 5:00 pm

I thought it was pretty clear from his comment how Kim connected this film with the treatment of homosexuality.


Tim 02.04.11 at 5:43 pm

As I’m told they say in the Australian outback (maybe Pam can correct me!), ‘Choose your rut carefully, you’ll be in it for the next thirty miles’…


Doug 02.04.11 at 6:01 pm

“I thought it was pretty clear from his comment how Kim connected this film with the treatment of homosexuality.”

Well, homosexuality is a choice while having a speech impediment is not let alone even bringing it up in the first place. Again, all Kim is attempting to do is to be provocative and there is a time and place for it and this was not one of them. Although, we know Kim is good at that. :)


Bob Gilston 02.04.11 at 6:47 pm

“Well, homosexuality is a choice ….”
That’s not my understanding of homsexuality. To be homosexual is not a choice, to have a relationship is a choice.


fat prophet 02.04.11 at 7:06 pm

I am always amazed how homosexuality seems to creep into the comments on almost any topic or situation - I am beginning to wonder whether Shakespeare was right when he said ‘He protesteth too much me thinks’!


Bob Gilston 02.04.11 at 7:15 pm

Kim happened to pick on homosexuality as an example of social stigma, he could have picked others. It’s a shame that Doug’s misunderstanding of homosexuality yet again ignites the touch paper.


Doug 02.04.11 at 8:49 pm

Bob, it was Kim bringing up the subject in the first place that ignited the touch paper. If he wouldn’t have brought it up there would be no issue in the first place. Fat prophet is right in his response.

Amen, to Fat Prophet.


Richard 02.04.11 at 8:55 pm

I’m not sure that homosexuality ‘crept in’ to this thread. It was introduced for a good reason, not as a provocation despite what Doug seems to think. But here’s a hint: if you think you’re being provoked, the best thing to do is not to take the bait.
I don’t share Doug’s opinion that homosexuality is a choice but it is pointless to argue.


Richard 02.04.11 at 9:08 pm

No Doug. Just to repeat myself, Kim was making a valid and worthwhile point. We get that you don’t agree, but for many of us here the way that gay men and lesbians are treated is a matter of social justice. Would you have said to MLK in the 60’s, “Stop going on about civil rights?” or to Wilberforce, “Why does it always have to be about slavery?” (Those are rhetorical questions btw — no need to reply)


Kim 02.04.11 at 9:49 pm

You want “provocative”, Doug? Here is “provocative”. Giles Fraser in today’s Church Times, reflecting on the murder of David Kao, the Christian Ugandan gay-rights activist, at whose funeral the lay leader, with timely pastoral sensitivity, launched an attack on the “evil” of homosexuality. “Even the animals know the difference between male and female,” he said - a view with which I take it you concur, homosexuality being a “choice”, as you say. Anyway, Fraser:

“Homosexual violence is encouraged by homophobic theology. Unless this link is made and explored fully, the Church’s condemnation of violence against gay people will be seen as little more than a self-serving PR shield designed to deflect consideration of this more disturbing connection.”

Yes, “provocative” - and true.


Pam 02.04.11 at 10:07 pm

Doug - I stand corrected. Not “I could like you” but “I do like you”.
Kim - you haven’t seen the film “The King’s Speech” yet you are quite willing to offer some opinions. From my viewpoint, it was about the relationship between a speech therapist (highly skilled, but without formal qualifications) and a shy, damaged individual who happened to be in a position where he was expected to make articulate speeches. The elder brother in the family was also damaged by parents who were a “firm” not a “family”. Tim, Bob and Beth thanks for being clear-sighted in your comments (my opinion). Richard, of course, rushes to the defence of Kim. A close relationship there. There was no need whatever for homosexuality to be introduced into this particular debate.
And I was annoyed at Richard’s little dig at Aussies. If he visited Australia he would realise just how “dated” his notions are!


Pam 02.04.11 at 10:09 pm

oops, left out Fat Prophet. Thanks Fat Prophet, please keep making your comments!


Doug 02.04.11 at 10:12 pm

Richard, I will reply anyway. I don’t believe homosexuality is at the same level as “civil rights” and “slavery”. While I believe violence against homosexuals should always be condemned and myself believin that homosexuality is a sin does not promote homosexual violence ina anyway.

Just because some people are unable to “love the person but hate the sin” doesn’t mean that all people or a majority are unable to do so or that “love the person but hate the sin” shouldn’t be pursue or believed.


Doug 02.04.11 at 10:17 pm

Pam, you are a sweet. May God richly bless you. The same goes for all who have commented. I didn’t want to leave anyone out so everybody who comments and reads this is included. :)


Bob Gilston 02.04.11 at 10:41 pm

Tim - Post 27
I think we’re still in the rut.


Pam 02.04.11 at 10:59 pm

Bob, while I totally disagree with Doug’s take on homosexuality he did not introduce this topic into this particular debate.
The person who did introduce the topic knew very well how Doug would react. So that’s why we’re still in the rut.


Pam 02.04.11 at 11:09 pm

You know, Bob, when you’re in a rut there are three options:
1. Stay in the rut.
2. Work hard to get out of the rut (if possible).
3. Walk away.
Option 3 looks goods.


Bob Gilston 02.04.11 at 11:10 pm

I agree with the reason Pam but it would be nice to get back to Movie Co-efficients. I happen to think Kim must have missed a lot of good films if he lets historical inaccuracies (post 24) prevent him from going to see them. Maybe Kim you’re not bothered about watching films anyway?


Bob Gilston 02.04.11 at 11:14 pm

Pam, the number of posts that I’ve read here and elsewhere that grind out the same comments re homosexuality make me want to walk away. Not because the posts made have no validity but sometimes it does get boring.


Richard 02.04.11 at 11:25 pm

Pam — of course there’s a close relationship there! Kim has been one of my best friends for more than 10 years. Nonetheless, I remain of the view that his comment was appropriate. It’s true that there wasn’t any ‘need’ for homosexuality to be introduced — but the relevance is obvious.

I’m surprised you were annoyed. I thought we were being playful with some stereotypes. I’ll try to remember that playfulness is not welcome.


Kim 02.04.11 at 11:39 pm

The non-sequiturs here are astonishing. To mention just #43, I never said that historical inaccuracy had anything whatsever to do with my not caring about seeing The King’s Speech. And as for not caring about seeing films as such, I guess that ’s why Richard and I ran - and now Richard’s successor and I run - a weekly film night at the Swansea University Chaplaincy Centre; and why Richard and I once together posted a long list of “Must-See Films for Christians” according to genre, or why I once posted at Ben Myers’ blog “Twelve Great Filmic Christ Figures”.

Also, I made a comment, not the rut. And like I’m not supposed to post or comment because I can anticipate how some folk might respond? I made a serious reply to Beth’s comment about “dissipating prejudice”, which I turned, by association, to the prejudice of homophobia. It’s not as if someone was speaking about the weather and I told them the time. People responded, some negatively. That’s cool. That’s blogging. And misrepresentation - that’s blogging too.


Kim 02.04.11 at 11:43 pm

BTW, to forestall the conspiracy theorists out there, or anyone who might think that Richard and Kim are the same people (as some have suggested about Ben Myers and me), I posted #46 before seeing #45. Of course I may be a liar.


Bob Gilston 02.04.11 at 11:52 pm

“BTW, on The King’s Speech, which I haven’t seen (and actually have no real desire see), I gather that, historically, all the King’s speeches were microedited before broadcast.”

“What I’m saying is that I gather that the film is historically inaccurate and perpetrates a myth which, granted that “Those were different times”, should be unmasked, not reaffirmed, for our times.”

Certainly gave me the impression that historical inaccuracies were high on the list for not wanting to see the film.

My apologies for the mis-understanding.


Bob Gilston 02.04.11 at 11:56 pm

Your post Kim was perfectly proper and acceptable. It’s just unfortunately it took us down a well worn path which had nothing to do with the purpose of your post.


Pam 02.05.11 at 12:22 am

Richard - yes, the Aussie stereotype thing was funny the first time, but the humour wears a bit thin when it’s flogged. Beth thinks the Jolly Swagman thing is funny too. I don’t. Humour can be tricky, and amongst friends comfortable with each other it’s great, but the situation is a bit fraught for that.


fat prophet 02.05.11 at 12:42 am

Pam I think you make an interesting point about humour because what may be funny to one group of people may not be to others. I have watched numerous comedy programmes that were not ‘British’ and have to say I often struggle to understand what the audience are laughing at - but then give me Ronnie Barker or Tommy Cooper or Les Dawson or Ken Dodd and I can laugh heartily.
I suspect though that many others would not because humour is different in different cultures and nations and as you say can be great among friends who are comfortable with each other.


Pam 02.05.11 at 1:37 am

fat prophet, I think Ronnie Barker (and his friend the other Ronnie) are very funny. I love Monty Python, Fawlty Towers and Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean is my dream man!). I think the best Aussie humour is very dry, very self-deprecating. As a general rule, I don’t find American comedy that appealing (except The Three Stooges).
And the Marx Brothers. But they’re long gone.
I feel like I’m besieged on this blog (Richard will give a lucid argument as to why this isn’t so!) and you’ve been quietly supportive, thank you.


Richard 02.05.11 at 9:27 am

“I feel like I’m besieged on this blog”

Pam - I’m not going to offer an argument, lucid or otherwise. I work on an assumption of friendship with all who choose to hang around here. I try to be nothing more than ‘me’ here. There’s no grand strategy guiding the blog, no plan. I’m not interested in ‘professional boundaries’ or editorial policies. This blog is entirely personal and I’ve thought for a long time that the comment threads are as important as the posts. So your comments about humour and being under siege give me pause. First because, though you describe the situation here as ‘fraught’ you continue to introduce some (very welcome) humour into other threads, and that seems inconsistent. And second because I don’t see how it is possible to be besieged on a blog. You’re welcome to come and go as you wish. Virtual tea and scones when you arrive, cheery waves and ’see you next time’s when you go. Absolutely no need to get worked up.


Kim 02.05.11 at 12:22 pm

Bob, you and me - we’re good.


fat prophet 02.05.11 at 3:22 pm

I can see where Pam is coming from with the ‘besieged’ comments as it can be rather daunting making comments on any blog, especially if you are trying to disagree with whatever the thinking of the majority of commenters is.
I am sure I read something about this blog being a bastion of white male supremacy and I suppose that is reasonably understandable when many of the comments are made seemingly by males given the names they use on blogs and possibly by people with letters after their names (this includes me btw - but nobody knows what my letters mean).
I think Richard makes a good point in his comment in respect of coming and going a we please and certainly for me in the past I have made comments and then chosen not to respond to responses as I did not really want to get into a massive debate.
I do always try to look at things sensibly and respond as gently as I possibly can, sometimes hoping to bring a little peace and tranquillity into heated discussions, sometimes trying to gently bang heads together, but if all else fails I back out gently.
Keep coming Pam sharing your humour with the grumpy old men that sometimes appear here.
(Just in case anyone is interested the letters after my name are Cert.CIH - bet you don’t know what they mean)


Bob Gilston 02.06.11 at 4:12 pm

Could it be Certificate of Christian Indoctrinated Humour? (I do know what they really stand for).
On post #51. My wife couldn’t see anything funny about Tommy Cooper whereas I only had to look at him to collapse in a fit of laughing. How much more difficult is humour in blogging?


fat prophet 02.06.11 at 5:23 pm

Well Bob I am impressed if you do know what they mean - they do allow me to wear a Batman look alike outfit (cap and gown) and I keep threatening to wear it when I preach or play the organ as I know some preachers and organists who do both.
In reality I only started using them on the circuit plan because there seemed to be some folk who thought I was a bit thick because I speak with a Black Country accent ( the Black Country is a wonderful part of the old industrial Britain next to Birmingham but not part of Birmingham - I am not a Brummie!)
Re your comment on Tommy Cooper I didn’t like him when I was younger but realised a I got older what a great magician and comedian he was.
I have never ever found Morecambe and Wise remotely funny and sometimes wonder if it is me as everyone else I know things they are extremely funny.
You are absolutely right about humour in blogging it is not easy to do or convey, but then humour can be difficult in any situation.


Bob Gilston 02.06.11 at 6:43 pm

We’ve removed all letters after preacher’s names in our plan (except for an OBE). I think the reason was because it suggested that those without letters were somehow inferior to those who did. The OBE was initially removed then put back when the recipient said that they thought it strange that the Circuit would remove something that had been bestowed by our monarch.


Beth 02.06.11 at 7:59 pm

Pam: grow up. Seriously. You must have skin like onion paper.


fat prophet 02.06.11 at 9:08 pm

Bob I think that is an excellent thing to do -my other gripe is the date that people went on plan as that again seems to impose a pecking order with the longest serving person being more senior than the rest.
I find it particularly annoying when some of the people haven’t preached for 15 years or more and yet still get a long service award when they reach certain numbers (40,50 etc). I am all for putting people in alphabetical order ( I would be fairly low down either way so doesn’t make a lot of difference for me).

Beth don’t think I have ever come across onion paper - sounds and interesting concept like rice paper.


Richard 02.06.11 at 10:06 pm

I hate to disagree with you FP, but I like the listing of Local Preachers by seniority, and especially of continuing to recognise those preachers who are no longer able to occupy a pulpit.


Richard 02.06.11 at 10:15 pm

On the other hand, I’m all for not using letters after names, so we agree that far.


fat prophet 02.06.11 at 11:05 pm

Sorry Richard I sounded a little harsh in my last post. I saw a situation in a previous circuit where the minister would have assistance with communion and no matter how many preachers where in the congregation he always used the ’senior’ one which created a real sense that there was a pecking order with the longest serving preachers having a higher standing than those with less service.
I also knew of a preacher who took almost twenty years off from preaching and came back on plan with their original date and immediately got a thirty year certificate which seems a little unfair to me.
I have no problem with us having something like Local Preacher Emeritus which recognises the long standing preachers and also gives preachers the ability to retire so to speak with a certain diginity. I remember a discussion a few years ago at connexional level about all this but it was thrown out by the preachers themselves.
As always I am happy to recognise that there will most likely be a broad range of opinion on this topic and we appear to be on opposite ends but I will not be sending the lads round to sort you out.
Thanks for the support on the letters - in a sense I would like to drop mine but having made a fuss to have them on I think I better remain quiet.


Tony Buglass 02.06.11 at 11:52 pm

We now put preachers in alphabetical order (makes them easier to find), and don’t put degrees after names. I used to put them in, but my co-super says his degrees aren’t relevant to ministry, so there’s no point. Fair enough. I put mine on my letterhead and visiting cards, so I’m not concerned about the plan.

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