Clips and Lessons – “Confession” and Blue Like Jazz


Blue Like Jazz

“ Confession”

Topic for Conversation:  This study is about confession. Youth will discuss what they believe about sin, forgiveness, and the act of confession.

Age group/intended group for discussion: High School Youth

Time frame:  45 minutes

Film (Title, year, director, availability – sources and formats): Blue Like Jazz, 2012, Steve Taylor DVD, Blue Ray, Netflix DVD

Scene(s) to use: Start 1:32:30- End 1:41:25

Description of scene(s):  In this scene Don has taken over the role of the campus Pope. His first job is to run the confession booth where all the college students will come and confess their sins to Don. Don decides that he is fed up with living a closeted Christianity that is fake and begins confessing his sins to the previous Pope.

How to set up clip viewing:  This is a true story of Donald Miller. In the movie he is brought up Southern Baptist and decides to go to a very liberal college after he finds out his mother and youth minister had an affair. While at Reed College Don learns how to experience life, for better and for worse. Reed College does not have any Christian groups present and he must keep his Christianity in the closet. This scene shows the first major time he confesses the faith.

Questions to ask group before watching clip:

1.   Why do people feel the need to confess their sins?

2. What are some things Don confesses to the previous Pope?

3. What is the point of confession?

View the clip:  Start 1:32:30- End 1:41:25

Theological conversation after viewing:

1.  Read 1 John 1:9 to the group

2. How do we as a Church confess our sins on Sunday morning?

3. What part do you have as an individual?

4. Is it important to confess our sins to God? Why or why not?

5.  What are some things you learned from the movie clip about confession?

6. Have you ever been embarrassed to be a Christian? Or have you ever said you weren’t to save face?

7.  Read this to the group: “Confession gets us in tune with God. When we confess our sins, both great and small, we are admitting that we don’t have it together. None of us have it totally together and that’s OK. We pray to a God who knows us and loves us for who we are. So when we confess our sins let us be reminded that it is not about us, but it is about what God in Jesus Christ has done for us.”

8. Pass out a note card and a pen to every youth member. Tell them to write down their sins that they want to confess to God. These can be sins they committed today or last week or last year. It is whatever they want to confess. Ensure them no one will read these.

9. When they are completed you have two options to close:

A. Go outside around a metal trashcan. Use some scrap paper to start a             small fire in the can and encourage youth to bring their sins forward to             burn.

B. Stay inside and gather around a trashcan. Encourage youth to come             forward and throw their sins away.


Close the session:

Gather in a circle and close in this prayer. Tell youth to respond after every line with “God forgive us”

God we have sinned : “God forgive us”

We have ignored you: “God forgive us”

We have ignored others: “God forgive us”

Help this act of confession be life changing: “God forgive us”

Be with us now. AMEN.


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Click here to open a printable copy of this lesson by Russ Pearson


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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