To Save A Life
Main Point of Discussion: Even though there is hypocrisy in Christianity, following Jesus Christ is the most rewarding and valuable path in life.
The Movie Clip: Is It Worth It?
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 teen 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:
I want to show you a clip from the movie To Save a Life. Jake, who you’ll meet in this scene, is a popular kid from an unchurched background who has recently visited youth group and is open to the idea of following Jesus with his life. The problem is that he’s seen hypocrisy amongst the Christians he knows, so he has a one-on-one conversation with the youth leader to try and sort out the dilemma he sees. Check it out.
Note: You’ll need to rent the movie To Save A Life, or purchase it, and cue it up to the scene mentioned above, where Jake has just visited the youth group and is having the one-on-one conversation with the youth pastor.
In this scene you can feel the dilemma Jake is trying to process, and the youth leader is careful not to give oversimplified or ‘churchy’ answers. Rather he is trying to paint a picture that helps Jake look at his options and decide for himself.
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 all take a second to share our names and our favorite place to ponder life.
- ASK A FEW: In the scene we just saw, we see that Jake is struggling because of all the ‘fakers’ in the youth group. What do you think he means by ‘faker’?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think most Christian teens struggle with a double lifestyle? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: What do you think the youth leader meant when he explained their hypocrisy by saying they were “afraid” and “willing to settle?”
- ASK A FEW: The youth leader encouraged Jake to do more than just “try out” Christianity; he encouraged Jake to really look into it. What’s the difference?
- ASK A FEW: What would make or does make following Jesus ‘worth it’ for you?
Read the following passage:
Hebrews 11:1-7;13-16;32-38 (The Message)
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
By faith, we see the world called into existence by God's word, what we see created by what we don't see.
By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That's what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice.
By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn't find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.
By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn't see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.
Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.
I could go on and on, but I've run out of time. There are so many more— Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets….Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn't deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.
Tonight we discussed the idea of living for Jesus Christ and whether or not it is worth it. I’m sure that we all struggle with this issue, but the Bible is crystal clear that the eternal value of serving Christ is beyond our imagination.
Pass out 3×5 cards/pencils and say:
I want you to prayerfully consider what living for Jesus Christ means to you, and write a response to Jake if he asked you why it’s worth trusting Christ and making Him Lord of your life.
(Youth Leader- you may want to write a response before you teach this lesson from you own experience and share it with the group before they participate in this exercise.)
Close in Prayer
Written by Lane Palmer
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.