Clips and Lessons – Discipleship and Men in Black


Men in Black

“Consider the cost”

Lesson by Russ Pearson

Topic for Conversation:  This study deals with discipleship, specifically the decision to become a disciple. A lot of youth grow up in the church, but rarely are they pushed to make a decision for themselves regarding their faith journey. This study will help them consider the cost of discipleship and hopefully allow them to grow in their faith.

Age group/intended group for discussion: High School Youth

Time frame:  45 minutes

Film (Title, year, director, availability – sources and formats): Men in Black, 1997, Barry Sonnenfield, DVD, Blue Ray, Netflix DVD

Scene(s) to use:  Chapter 8: “Casablanca and Coffee”

Description of scene(s):  In this scene Will Smith weighs the cost of becoming an agent for Men In Black.

How to set up clip viewing:  Will Smith is a cop who has been recruited to join the Men In Black. This agency monitors alien activity on Earth. This scene is after his tests when he considers joining the agency.


Questions to ask group before watching clip:

1.   What are some questions running through Will Smith’s mind?

2. What are some things he must give up to become a member of MIB?

3. Do you think it’s worth it?

View the clip: Chapter 8: “Casablanca and Coffee”


Theological conversation after viewing:

1. As a group Read Luke 14:25-33- The Cost of Discipleship

2. What are some qualifications of being a disciple according to Jesus?

3.  Do you think he is being literal? Why or why not?


4. What are some things the people must give up to be his disciple? (both in the text and logical reasoning)

5. Read this to the group: “Jesus wants all of you. He wants your entire being to be apart of his Kingdom making. This is a hard task to take on and Jesus does not sugar coat anything in this text. To be a disciple means to follow the one who calls you. The calling from Jesus is for everyone, but only some take up his offer. Part of being a disciple is laid out earlier in the chapter. We must be humble, hospitable, inviting of others; especially outcasts, and Jesus must be first. We are told to weigh the cost to consider our calling”.

6. Has anyone here ever thought about what it means to be a true disciple? What does it mean to you?

7.  Read Luke 5:27-28. The Call of Levi

8. What are some things Levi must give up to follow Jesus?

9. What are some things you are willing to give up to follow Jesus more closely?

10. Split the youth into 3 equal groups. Give each group a piece of paper. Tell them to come up with a top 10 list of the most important things in their life. When they have time to complete that gather back in a large group.

11. Ask youth to share a time they gave up something and what impact it had on their lives.


Close the session:

Gather in a circle and close in this prayer:

“God, all to often we think we understand you. We try to fit you into our box, into our schedule, and into our lives. We forget you are the one calling us to give up control and simply follow you. Make us humble and help us listen to you more closely. When the time is right give us the courage to take up our own cross and follow you with all of our hearts. AMEN.”


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Rev. Tom LaBonte, Rev. Mason Todd, Rev. John Elam, Elizabeth Sigmon, Star Crawford, Rev. Jeff Smith, Rev. Noe Juarez, Erin Mills, Katie Todd, Kelly Hames, Russ Pearson, Kathy Sharp, Lisa Lewis-Jenkins, Newton Cowan, Andy Blackwelder, Kim Lee, Inger Manchester, Dr. Pamela Mitchell-Legg, Jonathan Davis, Holly Frisk, Rev. Bob Tuttle, Donna Fair, Jana Creighton, Marty Simmons, Frank Cunningham, Tommy Holderness, Katherine Lamb, Megan Argabrite, Ken Fuquay, Mark Moss, Mary Anne Welch