(Warner Bros. Pictures, 2001)
Main Point of Discussion:
When we think no one is looking, we often discover the true desires of our heart.
The Movie Clip:
What happens when the lights go out?
Dapper Danny Ocean (GEORGE CLOONEY) is a man of action. Less than 24 hours into his parole from a New Jersey penitentiary, the wry, charismatic thief is already rolling out his next plan. Following three rules — don't hurt anybody, don't steal from anyone who doesn't deserve it, and play the game like you've got nothing to lose — Danny orchestrates the most sophisticated, elaborate casino heist in history. The movie is a pretty clean, extremely well-written and scripted movie, with a dynamite cast.
This is a movie clip you can use for a lead-in to a discussion about character and sin and who we are when we think no one is looking. The clip features Ocean's team of thieves ready to turn off the power to the casino by setting off an EMP. After the EMP is set off, the lights in the casino go out and immediately chaos ensues. Be careful for a swear word right after the power goes; you may want to mute it during that piece.
Introducing the Clip:
Ocean’s Eleven is about a group of eleven thieves masterminded by Danny Ocean (George Clooney). The movie focuses on their attempt to rob a highly guarded casino (The Bellagio) vault with over $160,000,000 inside it on a fight night in Las Vegas. In this scene, they are about to shut the power off . . . notice how people react when the lights go out.
BEGIN CLIP AT approximately 1:22:30 (the beginning of Chapter 26)
(Scene opens with Danny Ocean and Linus hanging from ropes in an elevator shaft at the Bellagio Hotel)
END CLIP AT approximately 1:24:52. (The scene ends when it cuts to the chaos in the boxing ring.
Dwight L. Moody defines our character as “WHO WE ARE IN THE DARK.” Some of us live very different lives when certain people are watching. We might look very good on the surface, but under the surface we have something to hide. It’s these areas of our life that we are holding onto that come out when we think no one is looking, and we discover the true desire of our heart.
Divide into Small Groups:
DANNY OCEAN: Livingston we’re set.
RUSTY: Livingston we’re set.
LIVINGSTON: Basher we’re set.
BASHER: Hang on a minute chief.
LIVINGSTON: We don’t have a minute. Yen’s gonna suffocate.
BASHER: Well, then you had better leave off bothering me. Don’t you think?
(Basher proceeds to trigger an EMP that temporarily knocks out all the lights in Las Vegas.)
***Warning*** There is a single cuss word spoken in between when Basher starts the EMP and when the lights come back on, be ready to turn down the volume or mute your video.
(When lights come back on mass chaos has broken out as people are stealing money and chips and running patrons over in the casino.)
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: If you could be invisible for one day and you had the ability to go anywhere, what would you do?
- ASK A FEW: What is an example you have observed when you’ve seen people act one way around certain people, and different around others or when they're alone? (don’t use names)
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think people sometimes act one way in public but another way when they are in private?
- ASK A FEW: If you know a person acts one way in private and a completely different way in public, does that person’s actions have any influence on what you think of them? What kind of impact does that knowledge have on your trust level of them?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever done something in private, when no one was looking, that you later regretted doing? (leader—the answers you might be looking for: stealing, internet pornography, drinking, drugs, etc.)
- ASK A FEW: How do you think what you did would affect how people think of you if they knew about it?
Read the following passage:
ASK SOMEONE: What does Paul say here about the “darkness”?
ASK SOMEONE: Darkness is often the cover that provides the outlet for our sinful desires because we think no one is looking. What does Paul say in the passage about our sinful desires and evil deeds?
ASK SOMEONE: Whenever we get rid of something it leaves a hole that needs to be filled in. With what does Paul say to replace the evil deeds we have shed?
ASK A FEW: Paul says to clothe ourselves with the “armor of right living” and to “Let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you, and don’t think of ways to indulge your evil desires.” How can we do that? How can we avoid thinking of ways to do the sinful things we desire to do? (leader—the answers you might be looking for: accountability, quiet times, prayer, discipleship)
AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are you going to do this week to shed one sinful thing that you tend to keep being tempted by?
When we think no one is looking, we often discover the true desires of our heart by what we do. There’s a part of every one of us that needs to be changed by God, from missing the mark of what He desires (a.k.a. sin) to being in-line with God on a journey to a changed and incredible life! So, what are you doing to fix the sin in your heart? Start tonight to deal with the sin in your heart by praying to God and asking him to take control once again (or for the first time) of everything in your life. Then find someone who you can talk to about this area of sin in your life that will hold you accountable and pray with and for you so that you can overcome this and be more like who God created you to be!
Close in Prayer
Idea by Tim Ippolito; Curriculum written by Jamie Locklin
Romans 13:12-14 (NLT)
The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So don't live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes. Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light. We should be decent and true in everything we do, so that everyone can approve of our behavior. Don't participate in wild parties and getting drunk, or in adultery and immoral living, or in fighting and jealousy. But let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you, and don't think of ways to indulge your evil desires.