Rated PG, 2005, Warner Bros.
Main Point: We need to know that God is the One who has given us life, and He is our purpose!
Movie - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
is the story of four teenage girls who for an entire summer share a pair of their favorite jeans, and even mail the pants back and forth. As the story follows the pants, it also follows the lives of the four girls. It's a cute movie about loss and love and hope and friendship.
Clip: Something more than life
The scene that we are watching features one of the four main characters of the movie, Tibby, and her new young friend Baily. Baily has cancer and will die soon. This scene contains one of the conversations the girls have about death. The clip begins at Chapter 23 at approximately 108:39, and ends at 109:58, after Tibby says the word “Nothing.”
Tonight we’re going to take a look at some of the BIG life questions like, “Why am I here?”, “What’s the meaning of life?” “Does God have a plan for me?” We’re going to start with a clip from a film called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
. It’s a girl-movie about four teen-age friends who share one pair of favorite jeans and they trade jeans throughout the summer when they aren’t together. This scene takes place between one of the girls, Tibby--she’s seventeen--and her neighbor Baily, who is twelve. Baily is dying of cancer and Tibby is starting to ask the “big” questions because of the young girl’s condition. Here’s the clip…
Baily: You know what I like most about the stars? When you look at them, at all of them up there, you just know that there has got to be something more than…
Baily: There has to be.
Tibby: Are you scared?
Baily: Not of dying really. It’s more that I’m afraid of time and not having enough of it; time to figure out who I’m supposed to be… to find my place in the world before I have to leave it. I’m afraid of what I’ll miss.
(Tibby stares at Baily in silence.)
(Into Agree/Disagree Exercise):
This clip is tough to watch because it includes the idea that death is coming soon for the young girl.
Now it’s time to hear from you! Let’s find out what we think about some of the “BIG” life questions. We’ll use the “Agree/Disagree” exercise. If you would all stand along the line in the center of the room. I will make a statement and if you agree you go to the “A” side of the room and if you disagree go stand on the “D” side of the room and then we’ll be able to discuss why you agree or disagree. OK, first statement, agree or disagree?
Agree/Disagree Exercise: Note to leader: Make sure you plan ample time to ask questions of students/interview them on both sides of the room after they divide by “agree” and “disagree,” thus inviting a wide range of response. Each Agree/Disagree statement with time for leader to ask follow up questions should take no more that 3 minutes.
From this movie clip it seems like Tibby (the 17-year old) has a plan.
Most people I know have a plan/purpose/direction for life.
You discover the meaning of life as you live and get older. You don’t have to figure it out now.
I feel confident in knowing the meaning of life. I know why I’m here and what I should do.
- It is best to live life with a plan (or purpose or direction).
*Ask why students chose their side of the line.
*Why did you agree with that statement?
*What makes you disagree with that statement?
*Then have them return to center line.
When discussion begins to conclude, ask all students to take a seat in their original seats for the transition statement.
Thanks for your honest reactions to those questions. Sometimes this is a tough subject because “the meaning of life” is such a HUGE concept. It’s really easier to not think about it than to try to figure it all out. We’re going to break up into our small groups to dig into this topic a little bit more.
Divide into Small Groups:
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: Before we begin, in honor of the title of the movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, let's go around the circle. Share your name and your favorite piece of clothing ever.
- ASK A FEW: So what were your thoughts about the film clip?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are your thoughts about death and dying? What do you think happens after you die?
- ASK A FEW: Do you know anyone who has been really sick and close to death? What attitudes or thoughts do people in that situation often seem to have?
- ASK A FEW: It’s common for people to think about God and life after death when someone dies. Sometimes that makes them think about the meaning of life too. If you knew someone trying to figure out the meaning of life what might you tell them?
- ASK A FEW: What do you think the majority of people out in the world feel about their individual purpose or meaning in life?
- ASK A FEW: What do you think the Bible teaches about the meaning of life? In other words, have you read anything in the Bible that makes you think God has a plan or a meaning in life?
Let’s look at a couple of Bible verses. (Note to Leader: The following is a list of verses which touch on the subject of life. Each one has a main point and is able to ignite discussion in a small group. It is suggested that you choose one or two verses per small group or ask the small groups to assign different students separate verses.)
With each verse do the following:
Small Group Reporting:
- Read the verse and as a group (or individuals inside the small groups).
- Translate into today’s language.
- Answer: What does this verse teach us about life and God’s perspective of life?
- How might this verse help a person who was trying to figure out the meaning of life?
Matthew 16: 24-26 or Mark 8:34-35 …Lose your life to Jesus to save your life…
Exodus 20:12 …God rewards obedience with long life…
John 3:3-6 …what is being “born again”…?
John 5:24-26 …anyone who believes has eternal life…
John 6:27-29 …Don’t work for food that spoils but for food that gives eternal life…
John 6:40 …God wants us to have eternal life…
John 6:47 …He who believes in Jesus has everlasting life…
John 10:10 …I have come to give abundant life…
Matthew 20:28 …Jesus gave his life as a ransom for many…
Psalm 139:13-16 …God made us and formed us while we were inside our moms…
Each of these verses teaches us something about life. Let’s have each small groups sum up what they learned and report back.
Have each group report what they discussed to the big group.
Come Back Together:
Okay, let's pull back into a large group.
Final Large Group Question: (see if you can get a few responses to this final question in the large group.)
In John 10:10 the Bible tells us that Jesus came to give us life and “life to the fullest.” In today’s world that could mean wealth, success in sports or school, popularity, brains, music, the acquisition of “stuff.” But what did Jesus mean when he said “life to the fullest?”
Jesus wants you to have a life with hope. He wants to give you a life without worry. He wants to empower you to succeed in everything you do when you do it for Him. But the only way to really get a grip on this kind of God-given life direction is to trust Him with your life.
Tonight we read that God is the one who gave us life; He knew us before we were born! Tonight we learned that Jesus came and died to pay the ransom or debt that was owed for sin. Really, all we have to do now is trust Jesus with our lives. Are you ready to do that?
(Give an invitation if the Spirit Leads.)
Written by Teddi Pettee