Last night I had the chance to watch To Save a Life with my fiancee. It was a great movie and I’m glad I had the chance watch it! I first heard about this movie last year at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Chicago. They had a showing of it and was giving giving out info and resources for the movie. This is a great relevant Christian movie that is geared towards students.
The movie in a nutshell is about a high school guy named Jake Taylor who was best friends with a boy named Roger growing up. When they where in elementary, Jake was almost hit by a car, but Roger pushed him out of the way and took the hit himself. Because of the hit, Roger suffered injury to his leg and had an odd limp in his walk for the rest of his life. Jake was a big basketball player and as a freshman at his high school was already a star athlete. Because of his new “popularity” a girl caught his attention and took all his attention. Because of this Jake and Roger no longer where friends and Jake was too “cool” for Roger. Through the years of hurt in high school for Roger because of people picking on him and not accepting him he came to school one day with a gun and fired a few shots before shooting himself. The rest of the movie is about Jake finding God and realizing life is more than just being “cool” but it is about reaching out to others.
The things that jumped out at me where things I believe all students and people in ministry need to be reminded of and need to focus on. First, the movie was very blunt and raw by showing the typical lifestyle of the teen in this culture. The first part of the movie shows Jake partying and going through high school as a “cool” guy. It shows the drinking, sex, cussing that our students are doing today in our culture. I think the guys who made this movie did a good job at being bold in what they showed the students doing in this movie. Sometimes we have to see the ugly side of things to wake up and do something. Drinking and partying are a normal activity for most teens today and we are doing nothing to let them see there is more to life. Second, the youth pastor in this movie was a good picture of what we need to be doing as youth pastors. The youth pastor went to pick up Jake when he was drunk at a party. He spent time with Jake and accepted him into the youth group before he was a Christian. As youth pastors, and someone in school training to be one, we must get our hands “dirty” and not be afraid to get into the life of todays teens. If we need to pick up a drunk kid, we need to. That might just be the door for that teen to see Christ in us and get saved!
The one thing I did not like about the movie was it didn’t give a clear picture of the Gospel and what it means to be saved. It showed Jake more along the lines of “becoming” a Christian by trying to live and be better. It never showed him come to the point where he realized he needed Jesus and made that decision. I believe it vitally important we let people know you have to receive Christ (Bible calls it being born-again) and it is a definite decision you make.
I think every teen, youth pastor, and parent should see this movie. It will open up your eyes to the lifestyle of most teens today and show us that by getting our hands “dirty” we can help change the life’s of students around us. Click here to view the trailer for To Save a Life.