(Disney Productions, 2008)
God doesn’t need “superheroes” to help Him rescue the world; He can use “regular” people like you and me.
The Movie Clip:
tells the story of a dog who plays a heroic canine in a hit TV show who has some trouble recognizing that he doesn't actually have superpowers. This reality becomes something of a hindrance when he is accidentally shipped from Hollywood to New York City. From there, he has to make his way home with the help of an old cat and an overweight hamster in a plastic ball.
Introducing the Clip:
Some of you may have seen the Disney film Bolt, the story about the dog who plays a superhero on a TV show. However, in real life, Bolt is just like any other dog… completely void of any super powers. But in this scene we are about to watch, he makes a courageous decision to help his friend even though he does NOT have any super powers. Let’s see what happens when a regular dog attempts something extraordinary.
Start clip in Chapter 11 at 56 minutes.
End the clip in Chapter 11 at 1 hour and 48 minutes.
This clip is about 5 minutes long. In it, Bolt and Rhino sneak into the animal shelter to rescue their friend Mittens the Cat. First they must sneak past the employees working at the front desk. They do that easily enough, but find that there is another employee guarding the area where cats are kept.
Rhino distracts that guard while Bolt sneaks in to find Mittens. When he locates her, she is a bit surprised that Bolt would come all the way back to the shelter for her, especially since she knows he really doesn’t have any superpowers.
They talk briefly and encourage one another for the “jail break” they are about to attempt. After opening her cage, Bolt leads Mittens and Rhino out of the animal shelter… in a very chaotic manner!
This clip demonstrates the idea that ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they are courageous enough to attempt them. As Christians, one of the extraordinary responsibilities we have is to share the Gospel with our friends who do not know Jesus. Like Mittens the Cat, our friends are also trapped, but by sin. Do we have the courage as “ordinary” Christians to help God rescue our friends from sin?
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: As we begin, let’s go around the circle and share our names and who our favorite superhero is.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Why do you think our culture is so fascinated with superheroes and superpowers?
- ASK A FEW: If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think the heroes in the Bible had superpowers? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Can ordinary Christians do extraordinary things for God? If so, how?
- ASK A FEW: Is every Christian called to be a hero for God? Why or why not?
Read the following passage:
ASK SOMEONE: What was Gideon doing when the angel found him… and WHY? (leaders- he was threshing wheat in a hiding place to stay safe from the Midianites.)
ASK A FEW: Why do you think the angel called Gideon a ‘mighty hero’?
ASK A FEW: After the angel told him he would be a hero, did Gideon suddenly gain confidence? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: Have you ever felt like you were ‘the least’ in your family? How about God’s family?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are some parallels you see between Gideon and Bolt?
ASK A FEW: In this passage, what is the key promise the angel of the Lord gives to Gideon? (leaders- “The Lord is with you. I will be with you.”)
ASK A FEW: The rest of the story shows how God took an ordinary and even fearful person and used him to rescue the nation of Israel. (leaders- you may want to actually tell the rest of Gideon’s story at this point before asking) Do you think God wants to use us to rescue our friends? Why or why not?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: In the clip we just saw, Mittens was imprisoned. What are the ‘prisons’ that trap our friends?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: If we trust that God is with us like He was with Gideon, how can we be used by God to help our friends? (share the gospel, help those trapped by sin)
AROUND THE CIRCLE: So, exactly how will you let God do that through you this coming week?
Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!”
“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The LORD brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”
Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”
The LORD said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”
In the Bolt
clip we see how Bolt returned to rescue his friend even though it was dangerous and he didn’t have any superpowers. As Christians, we know that God is with us just like Gideon, and He wants us to be a ‘mighty hero’ by sharing the gospel with those who don’t know Jesus, and coming alongside those who are trapped, maybe in a habit or other type of prison of sin. God wants to use us to help set our friends free! The challenge for us is to look at each day as an opportunity to rise above the ordinary and let God do extraordinary things through us.
Close in Prayer.
Written by Lane Palmer