(New Line Cinema, 2001)
Main Point of Discussion:
Character isn’t about outward qualities, but inward qualities.
The Movie Clip:
"If you do not do this, no one will."
This is the first of the three Lord of the Rings
movies. It is about Frodo Baggins, a very noble-hearted but unimportant Hobbitt, who must traverse over great lands to destroy an evil ring. This particular movie marks the beginning of his adventures.
The clip we are using is when Frodo has the crazy experience looking into a pool of water with the Elf queen Galadriel. She turned evil for a brief moment when she was tempted to take the ring from Frodo, but was able to overcome the temptation. She returns to her normal state, and Frodo is scared out of his mind. The two are now able to have a conversation, and Frodo begins to express that he is not able to carry out his mission. It is a very powerful clip, where Galadriel basically tells Frodo that he has to do this, because he is the only one who actually can.
Note paper & pens ready for the wrap-up. If time, pre-print hand-out on color paper (see wrap-up).
Introducing the Clip:
You know, there are a lot of people out there who can do many great things, but just plain choose not to. I guess that's because it's easier to not attempt anything “great” in life because of our own fear or insecurity. So what's the solution to the problem? Many might feel the answer to this dilemma is “boldness.” What if I told you that the answer was actually “character,” not “boldness?” We are going to watch a video clip from the first
Lord of the Rings movie. The movie is about this little Hobbitt named Frodo, who has to go on a very dangerous journey to destroy a very powerful evil ring. In this clip, Frodo has a crazy experience where a magical Elf queen, Galadriel, had the opportunity to take the ring from him, and now he is absolutely freaked out. But after this scary experience he is able to have a conversation with Galadriel, to try to figure out if it's worth it to carry on. Let's watch the clip.
depending on the DVD version you have, the chapter and time will vary. We find that most people have the big 'ol special extended edition. In that edition, you would need to use the 2nd disc - Part Two. Go to the Main Menu and choose "Select A Scene." Then choose Scene 39 - "The Mirror of Galadriel." Begin clip at 54 minutes and 36 seconds (Chapter 12) on your counter.
There is a quick, 2 second, shot of a scary Ork with blood on his face in this scene as Frodo looks into the pool of water. Use your judgement as to whether your group should see this or not. You could always start this movie clip after that scene and just describe to your group what had just happened, so they aren't lost.
Galadriel: Will you look into the morror?
END CLIP AT 1 hour 14 seconds (just as Chapter 13 starts on your counter).
Frodo: What will I see?
Galadriel: (As she is pouring water into the pool) Even the wisest cannot tell. For the morror shows many things... things that were... things that are... and some things that have not yet come to pass.
(Frodo looks into the water... he see's things that are in the future and it scares him. He falls to the ground and is now holding the ring in his hand.)
Galadriel: I know what it is you saw. For it is also in my mind.
(Now speaking to him in his mind.) It is what will come to pass if you should fail. The Fellowship is breaking. It is already begun. He will try to take the ring. You know of whom I speak. One by one, it will destroy them all.
Frodo: (also speaking to her in his thoughts) If you ask it of me... I will give you the One Ring.
Galadriel: (now speaking out loud again) You offer it to me freely. I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired this. (She is now tempted and sort of changes as if the evil power makes her glow-like moonlight)(she's now yelling) In place of a Dark Lord, you would have a queen... not dark but beautiful, and terrible as the dawn! Treachorous as the sea! All shall love me and despair. (now she steps back from Frodo, she looks startled and also relieved.)
Galadriel: (she appears to be back to her normal self again and speaking in a calm voice) I pass the test. I will diminish... and go into the West... and remain Galadriel.
Frodo: I cannot do this alone.
Galadriel: You are a Ring-bearer, Frodo. To bear a Ring of Power... is to be alone. (showing him the ring on her finger) This is Nenya, the ring of Adamant. And I am its keeper. This task was appointed to you. And if you do not find a way... no one will.
Frodo: Then I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it.
Galadriel: Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.
One of the things that matters most to God about us is our character. And God is looking for people of “character” to accomplish great things for Him. He is not necessarily looking for great people, good looking people, or people in top physical shape. He is looking for people of character. Clearly, Frodo isn't chosen to carry out his dangerous job because he's tough. He's no sword-fighter or dragon-slayer. He's not even tall enough to run real fast. Simply, he's a person with character, and that is what his job requires. Let's break up into our small groups and discuss what this "character" is all about.
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: If you could have any kind of adventure in the world, what would you do? Why?
- ASK A FEW: In the scene we watched, Frodo admitted he was afraid. Why didn't fear disqualify him from taking the ring back to Mordor?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are some things that people today won't do because they are afraid to try? (For example, trying out for a sport you're not that good at, trying out for band or a drama/musical, sharing Christ with a classmate, saying "no" to a temptation - maybe in front of others?)
Read the following passage: (Here Samuel has come to Bethlehem because God told him he would find Israel's next king--David).
ASK A FEW: It's been said that as a teenager David was small and ‘ruddy’. What qualified him to do things for God that were "bigger" than him?
ASK A FEW: What is it that causes God to look twice at a person to do great things for Him? What matters most to God? (Leader - After students have shared their answers, talk about David being a man after God's own heart even though the Bible clearly exposes his sinful choices.)
ASK A FEW: Let’s talk about what character is and what it’s not. Talk to me first about what it isn’t. (Personality, being liked.)
1 Samuel 16:5-7
"'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.' Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab (Jesse’s oldest son) and thought, 'Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.' 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'"
ASK A FEW: If character isn’t those things we just mentioned, what is it? (Integrity; having convictions when people around you are apathetic; acting honorably when it would be easier to follow the crowd.)
ASK A FEW: In many situations the opposite of fear is not courage or boldness, but rather character. What kinds of situations could this be true in? (Leader - students may not get this at first. That's ok. Don't rush to answer; let them process it. Then, you might say something like, "It doesn't take courage or boldness to make most right decisions - the day-to-day choices to show up, to be on time, to not cheat, to have a higher work ethic at your job, even though everyone else is slacking. It just takes character.")
Character is perhaps one of the greatest aspects of walking with Christ. Without character, we will never fully accomplish all that God has called for us to accomplish. We're going to hand out a piece of paper to everyone. On this piece of paper, I just want you to finish three statements.
Wrap Up Continued:
I want you to look at these pieces of paper in your hand. They are a huge step in developing your character. Tonight, I want you to share your answers with at least one other person in this room. Share it with a leader or a friend. Then, the two of you pray for each other, that God can help the both of you keep to your commitments, and actually be specific in praying for what's on that paper.
Close in Prayer
- The thing that's bigger than me that I want to attempt right now is…
- The part of my character I'm most secure about is…
(This is key because many people have a hard time complimenting themselves. Encourage your students that it's important to be able to acknowledge both strengths and weaknesses.)
- The part of my character I need God to help me develop is…