A Walk To Remember — Leaders Guide

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					                     A Walk To Remember — Leader’s Guide


Introduction
                 “Maybe God has a bigger plan for me than I have for myself.”
                                                       Jamie Sullivan, A Walk To Remember

Wouldn’t it be great if your teenagers were wondering the same thing?
A Walk To Remember is a film that deals with a young man’s encounter with an outwardly plain
girl, whose faith and love transformed his life into something worth living — a life he never
imagined possible.
Warner Bros has created a rare opportunity for church youth leaders — the chance to engage
teenagers in a conversation about how their faith can have a profound influence on the people
around them. Others agree. Christianity Today has called A Walk To Remember “a remarkable
film.” CCM magazine says A Walk To Remember is a “supreme creation — edgy, smart and in
another league all together.”
This guide will help you integrate the movie into a solid, Biblically based discussion that will
reinforce your young friend’s faith in God, and their understanding of His transforming power.
This movie is also a superb occasion for your students to expose their friends to faith. Combined
with the post-film discussion after the film, and the Sunday morning session included in this
material, seeing this movie could be the first step that many teenagers will make toward a
different way of living.

    The Movie and Your Ministry
As a youthworker, you are no stranger to using various teaching methods… everything from
playing a game to playing a song can be used to drive home a point. A Walk To Remember can
be one of those “teaching methods” you employ.
Going to a movie is a very common experience with young people. If you listen in on
conversations between kids, you’ll catch many references to movie scenes. So, using a movie to
make a point seems to be a natural thing. But young people are not conditioned to do the
“thinking between the lines” that is sometimes necessary to extract the message from a movie.
Therefore, you will want to set up this experience as a different kind of movie-going adventure.
A Walk To Remember is a movie that will make your kids think, and create in them a willingness
to talk about important issues. Movies can teach. They can motivate. They can bring issues to the
fore that otherwise might not be dealt with. We hope that you to be able to make the most of A
Walk To Remember in your ministry.

Before the Movie Shows
Here are some things to consider doing before the event:
   Poster          Put one of these beauties up in your youth room for one week with no
                   fanfare. Just put it on a wall and let the kids wonder what it’s for. Then, make
                   a “We’re Going!” placard and put it on the poster. Finally, add “when and
                   where” information to the poster.
   Trailer         Show the trailer to your group, and encourage them to bring their friends.
   Group Tickets Put information about obtaining discount tickets here.


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After Seeing The Movie
   Carefully plan for the hour after the movie. Common sense will tell you that the time just
   after seeing the movie is when the young people will be most willing to talk about it.

   Go Someplace
   Where you go after the movie depends on the size of group you have to deal with. It would
   be best to find someplace neutral where you could talk without being interrupted… a
   restaurant near the theaters with a “back room” would be ideal.

   Generate Discussion
   Once the food has arrived and things seem to be settling down to a dull roar, start getting
   some feedback about the movie by asking questions like:
       If you were to boil the message of this movie down to one sentence, what would it be?
       Which of the main characters surprised you the most?
       The group of friends were partying on Saturday night, and then in church the next
        morning. What did you think of that?
       Talk about the changes you noticed in the different people in the film: Jamie, Landon,
        Jamie’s dad, Landon’s friends.

   Promote the Sunday Morning Session
       The Bible study/discussion guide on pages ##-## is designed to be used in your Sunday
       School time the following Sunday. This is a terrific opportunity for you to invite your
       young friends to your Sunday morning program. The session features clips from the
       movie, and lively discussion topics based on the film.

                     Sunday Morning Session
Gather all of your students in one room, and fire up the VCR. There are a few main issues you
will be dealing with in this session:
   1. Living Intentionally — Most people go through life in a fairly haphazard fashion. This
      session attempts to show your teenagers that they need to become purposeful in setting
      the direction for their life.
   2. Living Contrarily — When someone “goes against the flow” they are usually ridiculed.
      However, it’s only when we find our purpose and meaning apart from “fitting in” do we
      find true satisfaction. You touch on this subject in this session.
   3. Living Infectiously — Influence can be gained in a variety of ways, but a person who has
      a life worth living will find that they have a profound impact on the people they are close
      to. You will encourage your young friends to evaluate how “infectious” they are with
      their circle of friends and family.

Introduce the Discussion
Say something along these lines: “The other night we went to a movie — A Walk To Remember
— that had a very good message. If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking about A Walk To
Remember since we saw it together. I’d like us to discuss the movie a bit more, and take a look at
how it could show us some important things in our own lives.”


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Video Clips 1
Generate discussion for each clip, using these questions as a starting point.
Clip 1 — In Jamie’s Car
      What was the “list” that Jamie was referring to?
      How many items were on that list?
      If you were to write down three things that would be on your list, what would they be?
Clip 2 — On the Bus
      Jamie is evidently known for carrying a Bible with her other schoolbooks. What do you
       think the other kids in her school thought of that?
      What do most people think of the Bible?
      How would you answer the question, “Don’t you care what people think of you?”
Clip 3 — Jamie tells Landon, “I don’t think getting out (of town) is the problem. It’s
         figuring out what you want to do when you get there.”
      Why do many people feel that “getting outta here” will solve their problems?
      What usually happens if a person does change their location? Do their problems go
       away?
      What’s Jamie really trying to say?

Bible Study 1
Hand out the worksheets, and have your group look up Ephesians 5:15-16. Take ten minutes to
unpack these verses phrase-by-phrase. Here’s an outline to use:
   1. “Be very careful how you live” — This phrase, in the original Greek language used to
      write it, is one of those “combo” words… two words jammed together to make one new
      word. The words meant, “to see, perceive, plan” and “accurately, carefully, with
      precision.” In today’s language, we might use the phrase “watch where you’re going!”
      Most people do not think very deeply about their life, or develop a strategy for how they
      live. Sadly, it takes a character like Jamie to show us the value of doing what this verse
      says we should do.

       Give your group a few minutes to fill in the section on their worksheet titled, “Things I
       Want To Accomplish.”

Video Clips 2
Fire the VCR back up, and get some more discussion going around these clips from the film.
Clip 4 — Landon Working On His Car
      Eric says, “This girl’s changed you, and you don’t even know it.” What do you think he
       meant by that?
      Can a person really change that much?
Clip 5 — Jamie Describes Faith
      What between-the-lines message is there when Landon says to Jamie, “You’re lucky to
       be so sure”?

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      If you were to describe what faith “feels like” to you, what would you say?
      Jamie describes her faith in God as “the center of everything.” It’s obvious that being a
       Christian is what defines her… she’s a Christian girl, a Christian singer, a Christian tutor.
       Not a Christian, a girl, a singer and a tutor. What’s the difference between those two
       concepts?

Bible Study 2
Refer back to Ephesians 5:15-16 and unpack the next phrase.
   2. “Not as unwise, but as wise” — “Wise” is the ability (note, not the status or experience,
      but the skill) to take what the Word says and make it work in everyday situations. It’s a
      skill like any other… you get better at it the more you practice it.

       On the other hand, “unwise” is the attempt to take what the World says and make it
       work in everyday situations. In the film, we watch Landon slowly begin the process of
       becoming wise as he learns how to live from Jamie’s example. Her knowledge of God’s
       Word, and her uncompromising commitment and faith, show that she was living “not as
       unwise, but as wise.”

       Give your students a few minutes to fill out the section on their worksheet titled, “Wise
       vs. Unwise.”

Video Clips 3
Once the group is finished working, show these clips and direct the conversation around these
questions.
Clip 6 — Jamie leaving the hospital / Landon thanks his dad
      Do you have anyone in your life where there is a wall between the two of you… like
       there was between Landon and his dad?
      Is there something you can do to bridge the gap between you and that other person?
      Youth leader: if appropriate, tell about a strained relationship that you have, and what
       you‟re thinking of doing about it now that you‟ve seen this movie.
Clip 7 — Reading From Mom’s Book
      In your opinion, which quote stands out from the others?
      What do you think of the saying, “Find out who you are, and do it on purpose”?
      What Bible passage are they quoting? (1 Corinthians 13) Youth leader: have one of your
       kids read that whole passage to the group.

Bible Study 3
Explain the next phrase of Ephesians 5:15-16.
   3. “Making the most of every opportunity” — An opportunity is something that comes
      along only once, and we have to make the most of it while we can. In our families, and
      among our friends, we need to take every opportunity to mend our relationships… to
      build in to them love and encouragement. When you have a “list” — a strategy for your
      life — then you will know which opportunities to you should take advantage of. You will
      be confident in knowing you are doing the most with your life!

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       Give the group a few moments to write down some relational opportunities that they are
       facing, and what they might do to help them become better.

Video Clips 4
If you have time, show these remaining clips and talk through their significance.
Clip 8 — “Are you seduce-able?”
      We all experience temptation, but what’s the difference between “temptation” and
       “seduction”?
      What are some of the “seductive” things in people’s lives? (Youth leader: give some
       personal examples. Power. Money. Recognition. Etc.)
Clip 9 — “Maybe God has a bigger plan for me…”
      How does God work his plan out for individual people?
      How do you think He’s guiding you right now?
      What’s your responsibility when it comes to His plan for you?

Bible Study 4
There’s one last phrase to decipher, and it’s meaning is not a readily apparent.
   4. “Because the days are evil” — Is today… Sunday, January 27th, 2002… and “evil” day?
      Not really. So what does this phrase mean? Let’s think of it this way: if your mom makes
      you totally clean your room, it’ll take you hours of hard work to get it spic-n-span. Now,
      how hard is it for you room to turn back into a mess? You live in an evil room! Your
      room gets messy all by itself, and requires effort to clean it up. We live in a world that
      gets messy all by itself, and it is up to us to put in the effort to clean it up.

       Have the group look up Jeremiah 29:10-12 “„For I know the plans I have for you,‟
       declares the Lord, „plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and
       a future…‟” Talk with your group about how we sometimes think God’s not involved in
       what we are experiencing. Help them to recognize what Jamie saw, that God has bigger
       plans for us than we can imagine for ourselves.

If your life is to matter, to have an influence on people like that portrayed by the character of
Jamie in A Walk To Remember, then you will need to live intentionally. You will think through
the kind of person you want to be, and the things you want to do with your life. You will make
sure that the things you make as goals are based on God’s Word, not what that World tells you.
Then, you will be able to know which opportunities you should take advantage of. And the
reason this is so important is that the world you live in isn’t going to help you.

Wrap Up
To finish your time, show the final clip from the movie (Clip 10) where Landon is
thinking/saying, “Jamie taught me everything. She saved my life…” Then conclude by
encouraging your young friends to be like Jamie to someone they know. Finish by praying for
the strength of character and faith that is seen in the changed lives of our friends and family.




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                              A Walk To Remember — Leader’s Guide


Worksheet
(This should be a reproducible page that includes hot graphics and pictures from the film.)

Things I Want To Accomplish
Start making a “list” like Jamie (and later, Landon) had of what they wanted to do with their life.
Take a few minutes to think through at least five things that you would like to put on that list.
1. ____________________________________________________________________________
2. ____________________________________________________________________________
3. ____________________________________________________________________________
4. ____________________________________________________________________________
5. ____________________________________________________________________________

Wise vs. Unwise
Wise is the ____________________ to take what the ____________ says and make it work in
everyday situations.
Unwise is the ____________________ to take what the ____________ says and make it work in
everyday situations.
List three “unwise” things you’re working against, and their “wise” counterparts.


                    UNWISE                                             WISE




Opportunities
You’re probably experiencing some strain in some important relationships right now. What are
three of them, and how will you handle them?
1. ___________________________________________________________________________
   ___________________________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________________________
   ___________________________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________________________
   ___________________________________________________________________________



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