Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Have any selected video or music clips ready to show
- Encourage your group to listen to the podcast for this session (Share the link via email or social media)
Watch together the tournament scene from the original “The Karate Kid” movie. Before showing the clip, setup the scene by saying something like, “In the original Karate Kid movie, we meet Daniel, a new-to-town teen who had become a target for bullies. Daniel’s landlord, Mr. Miyagi, befriends him, and trains him in the art of karate. Along the way, Daniel grows in character and confidence. In the final scene of the movie, Daniel is competing in a karate tournament against those who had bullied him. They intentionally injure Daniel’s knee early in the fight. Against the odds, Daniel stays in the contest.” Show the scene.
Then, ask questions like:
- What are your immediate emotional reactions to this film clip and why?
- In what ways does being or unable to empathize with the characters in the scene affect your reaction to it?
- How does your exposure to similar scenes (underdog overcomes odds to win) in other works affect the way you see this one?
- What do you think led Daniel to stay in the contest?
- When you find yourself or someone close to you in a seemingly desperate situation, what usually motivates you to keep going and why?
Read together Ezekiel 17:22-24 and watch the Bible Background Video.
Then ask questions like these:
- In what ways does this passage of scripture reflect the video clip you watched earlier?
- When viewed in the context of your personal faith struggles, what are your darker times and more hopeful times?
- What kinds of things are most likely to give you hope that God is actively working in your world?
- Thinking about the thing that has most had you beat – the fear or struggle that used to, or is, most likely to keep you up at night – what word from God could best help you get past it?
Continue by asking:
- As quickly as possible, name some other movie or television scenes that are similar to the clip we began with.
- What do you think that the prevalence of such themes in popular culture says about the way we collectively view life’s struggles?
- What message (it doesn’t have to be in words) from God can we give that might help the strugglers around us?
Invite volunteers to name a particularly intense struggle that is being faced by someone they know (no details, just name it) then lift those struggles in a closing prayer.
Close by listening together to a celebration song like one of these three options:
“Built for Glory, Made to Last” – Lost Dogs
“Hold on Tight To Your Dreams” – ELO
or a song of hope like “We Shall Overcome”