SERIES INTRODUCTION

At the Movies is a series we do every year where we explore the Biblical truths, we find in Hollywood movies.  So, break out the popcorn.  It’s going to be an adventure!

  • What are you most thankful for in this season?

 


MESSAGE TITLE

The Sandlot

SERMON GUIDE

Note to Leaders: Watching this video is optional, but it may help give context to people who have not seen the movie or were not able to be at church.

This week we looked at the movie The Sandlot.  It's a story from the early '60s about the new kid in town.  His last name immediately became his nickname in the movie - Smalls! 

  • Did you have a nickname placed on you growing up? How did that make you feel?

Have someone read Matthew 13:53-58.

All of us have faced a time we desperately wanted to be one of the insiders but realized we were still an outsider. We have all felt what it is like to be the new person at some point in our lives.

Belonging and having strong relationships are the things that matter most in life. You can accumulate cool things but if you don’t have someone to share them with, it really doesn’t matter.  God created us for relationships. It was his intention that we spend time with people and build relationships. His desire is for us to get along and show the love of Jesus to others. But many times, we sit around waiting on someone else to go first. We want someone else to be nice to us or to reach out to us first.

Have someone read Luke 6:31.

Jesus says don’t sit around waiting on someone to do something good for you. Instead, do good for someone else. “Do for others what you would like them to do for you.”  Smalls’ life changes because one kid named Benny takes time for him.

We’re all “Benny” to someone. I don’t care who are you, if you look around, there’s someone in your life who looks up to you. You have this great gift to give to others, to be a Benny and be nice to someone who is need of a friend. You just might change that person’s life for the better.

  • Who is someone in your life that you can be a “Benny” to, and how can you reach to that person this week?

Have someone read Matthew 25:40.

Out of all those hundreds of people in the crowd, Jesus reached out to this small guy with no friends. That simple invitation changed Zacchaeus’ life forever.

Zacchaeus was a tax collector for the despised Roman government that occupied Israel, and as such, Zacchaeus was an outcast.  Jesus’ decision to visit Zacchaeus’ house was a turning point in Zacchaeus’ life.  After spending time with Jesus, Zacchaeus commits to restore anything he’s wrongly taken as a tax collector and to give away a huge portion of his wealth.

It’s amazing what happens when we take the initiative and just reach out to someone and love them like Jesus loved people. It might be a lifeline of hope for them.

In tough times we see who our real friends are. You can have lots of people who say they are your friends, but when tough times come you get to see who shows up for you. Proverbs 18:24 says, “Someone with many companions may find themselves alone in difficult times. But then there is that true friend who is actually closer than a family member.”

  • Share a time you were in the midst of tough circumstances and someone showed up for you.

  • What holds you back from showing up when a friend is in need?

Have someone read Galatians 6:7.

What is the secret of great friendships?  It grows out of a simple principle that’s taught over and over again in the Bible. If you give just about a thimble full of friendship to others, you won’t get a lot back.  But if you give a barrel full of friendship, that’s what you usually get back in return.  You will always harvest what you plant.

Maybe you’ve felt at certain seasons in your life that you don’t even have one good friend, but that’s not true. You already have a good lifetime friend. Jesus loved you before you knew Him, and that’s why He gave His life for you.

  • Rate on a scale of 1 to 5 how strong your friendships are right now. Share one or two actions you can do this week to strengthen those relationships.

  • What seeds do you need to plant in life?

Have someone read John 15:13.

That is exactly what Jesus did for each of us. He is willing and ready to be your best friend for life! He’s willing to walk through this life with you every step of the way, through all the good times and even the bad times.  He will never, ever leave you, even when you’re having the worst day ever. No matter where you go, He will be with you, ready to help you in any circumstance!

People will let us down over the course of our lifetime and we will each experience times of loneliness. We can take heart and find true comfort in Jesus. He is always there.


APPLICATION

  1. This week be the first to reach out in friendship. Text or call someone and make plans to meet up.

  2. Take time to reflect on your friendships and pray for God to show you areas you need to invest in and fears you might need to overcome to be a better friend.

PRAYER

Pair off and spend time praying for:

  • Courage to be seed planters who reach out and care for people as Jesus did.

  • Areas in your life where you really need a friend. Pray for God to bring you a Benny, to walk alongside you.