Movie Clip Discussions

To Save A Life – Let This Change You

Dynamic Image

(New Song Pictures, 2010)

Main Point of Discussion: Let God’s Word Change you!

The Movie Clip: Let This Change You

To Save A Life is a powerful movie about the real-life challenges of teens and their choices. But it's more than just a movie—it's a story about change and a powerful reminder of how we can all make a difference in someone's life. At some point, every teenager has to decide: “What's my life going to be about?” To Save A Life dares to bring that question into their world, encouraging them to answer it with boldness, honesty, and Christ-likeness.

Introducing the Clip:
Today I want to show you a clip from the film called
To Save a Life. Ever since Jake was a kid, he was the type of guy you couldn’t help but like. For Jake, life’s good. He has a ton of friends, a basketball scholarship, a beautiful girlfriend and a really bright future.

Jake’s childhood best friend is Roger Dawson. But Jake’s growing popularity has pushed Roger away. Tired of being an outcast, Roger walks onto campus with a gun in his pocket and pain in his heart.

Jake is devastated by what Roger has done, and something in him changes. In seeking answers in his own life, one question plagues him the most: Could I have saved him? He finds himself deeply compelled to reach out to kids on the fringe – kids who aren’t viewed as cool enough. But this decision among other things, threatens Jake’s world. He may lose his friends, his scholarship and even his reputation by asking “What do I want my life to be about?”

In this scene we are going to see Jake Taylor, an all-star athlete, attend a youth group a lot like this one. Play close attention to Jake and the other students when the youth pastor challenges them.

Scene Script:

BEGIN DVD CLIP AT 57 MINUTES AND 49 SECONDS

    Chris: You know, they did a survey to find out the places that people least like to be. And some on the top of the list were the DMV, the dentist, the principal’s office. But you know what the number one place was? Church. Boring. Judgmental. Hypocritical. Why is it that so often we can be the exact opposite of what this teaches? That’s not how it’s supposed to be guys. This is supposed to be a place where you don’t have to pretend like you’ve got it all together or that you don’t have any problems. A place where you can come and be who you really are and not feel judged. I want to take 30 seconds right now – 30 seconds of silence – and I want you to ask yourself the question: Who have I judged?

    (Jake looks around the room and notices all the side chatter from the other kids not paying attention to the question Chris just asked them to ponder. One kid is asking about the game. A few girls are whispering amongst themselves. It all gets to be too much for Jake.)

    Jake: Dammit! Didn’t any of you hear what he just said? My girlfriend came here today and she left because she felt judged. And no one even noticed. Roger walked into school and started shooting. I knew him. He wasn’t crazy. And did anyone ever stop and ask why? I mean, how did it get to the point where his only option was to shoot himself? There are people killing themselves and you’re chugging soda through a sock! I mean, what’s the point of all this if you’re not gonna let this change you?

    Chris: What do you think we should do Jake?

    Jake: I don’t know.

    Andrea: We could all hang out together at school.

    Danny: Loser.

    Jake: That’s a good idea. Hey, why don’t we all have lunch together in the quad?

END CLIP AT 1 HOUR 00 minutes AND 15 SECONDS

Transitional Statement:
I realize that’s a pretty heavy clip but tonight the discussion is going to be pretty heavy. For some of you, you will be tempted to respond like the students in the clip responded…with giggles and whispering etc. But as we go into our groups I want you to put yourselves in their shoes. Imagine with me that just this week you experienced a horrible tragedy. Maybe it was a school shooting or an accident that took the lives of some of your friends.

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.

Discussion Questions:


  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, tell everyone your name and your favorite and least favorite place to be?

  2. ASK A FEW: In the scene we just watched, what happened when the youth pastor asked the students to spend 30 seconds in silence asking the question, “who have I judged?”

  3. ASK SOMEONE: What was Jake’s response?

  4. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Jake’s final question was, “What’s the point of all this if you’re not going to let it change you?” So here’s what I want us to do. I think we should spend the next 30 seconds in silence asking ourselves that question. What is the point of coming here to Youth Group or going to church or reading the Bible if we are not going to let it change us?

  5. ASK A FEW: Would anyone like to share their thoughts to that question?

  6. SAY: Let’s take a few minutes to search God’s Word and see what He has to say about all this.

    Read the following passage:


      James 1:19-27
      19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

      22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

      26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.


  7. ASK A FEW: What do you think it means to “humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts”?

  8. ASK SOMEONE: Once we humbly accept God’s word, what is the next step?

  9. ASK A FEW: Can you explain why it is so important to “do what it says?” (Leaders: allow several students to answer and really unpack the mirror illustration that James gives us. Talk with them about the fact that we need to read God’s Word and let it change us.)

  10. ASK A FEW: In the clip, Jake is clearly upset by the students. Then the youth pastor asks Jake what he thinks they should do. Do you remember his response? (Leaders: He says, “I don’t know.”)

  11. SAY SOMETHING LIKE: We don’t always need to know the answers, but we do need to be willing to listen to what God is saying to us…allow it to change us.

    Reread the following passage:


      James 1:26-27
      26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

  12. ASK A FEW: Do you think that particular youth group thought they were religious?

  13. ASK SOMEONE: Do you remember what the girl suggests they do?

  14. ASK A FEW: What were some of the things that happened because they were willing to listen to God’s Word…and do what it says?

  15. ASK SOMEONE: What happened in the final scene of the clip?

  16. SAY SOMETHING LIKE: “That final scene was a living example of James 1:27 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” Jake was willing to listen to God’s Word and allow it to change him…he was willing to do something.

  17. AROUND THE CIRCLE: My question for you is, “Are you willing to listen to God’s Word and allow it to change you?”

  18. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are some areas in your life that you know God wants to change? (Leaders: Obviously they do not need to answer this question out loud, you may want to provide them index cards or something to write on.)

  19. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is one thing you can do this week to change that area?

Wrap Up:
Tonight we have spent a lot of time talking about God’s Word. We talked about how important it is to read it and do what it says. Maybe you have been mean or bullied other students, maybe you have lied or spread rumors about students or maybe you have just ignored that weird kid who sits by himself/herself. Maybe you have been struggling with alcohol or anger or pride or lust…the list goes on and on. Listen to me…God loves you and wants to change you.

My guess is that you already know what areas in your life God wants to change. I believe for many of you – even before you got to that question in your small group – you already knew it was coming and you already knew the answer. The question is, “Are you going to be like a person who looks in the mirror and then immediately forgets what they look like, or are you going to allow God and His Word to change you?”

Tonight, right here, right now…this is the mirror (if you have access to a large mirror this would be a great prop). For many of you it is so clear what needs to change. Are you willing to give whatever it is over to God and let Him change you?

Close in Prayer

(Allow students to spend some time in prayer or with leaders to discuss their commitments.)

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Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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