With all due respect to The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Seabiscuit was actually the best movie of 2003. And, given that Return of the King represented only a third of the TLOTR trilogy, Seabiscuit was also the best small-group movie of that year. (Our criteria in making this determination is top-secret, proprietary, very complicated, and is apparently different from every other system we’ve found.)

Accordingly, Seabiscuit starring Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, and Chris Cooper, makes for great small-group discussion. Keeping in mind that it is rated PG-13, we suggest making the next meeting a Movie Night! Tradition suggests a dinner comprised of spiced mustard-glazed ham, green beans with lemon, corn pudding, and derby pie—very common items on the first Saturday in May in a certain Bluegrass State.

Take a moment to discuss these questions with the group before the movie:

How do you define the term “redemptive community”? How is “redemptive community” different from a normal community?

Describe a time when you believe God worked through someone else to redeem an event, a particular mess, or something else in your life.

What do you think Isaiah 61:1-2 implies we all need?

Here are a few questions for discussion after Seabiscuit with relevant Scripture included.

How do the characters’ similarities in this movie mirror what we oftentimes see today in the lives of the people around us?

Wounds can be handled in many ways. Read Jeremiah 6:14 and talk about what this verse says about the way we sometimes handle the wounds of others. What do you think is being criticized in this verse?

Read Proverbs 20:5. How do you think asking clarifying questions and seeking to be discerning in one another’s lives apply to healing? How is it demonstrated in Seabiscuit?

Read 1 Peter 4:8. From the movie, can you remember scenes where empathy (deep love) played a critical role in each of these character’s redemptive journey? How do you think these scenes help us understand 1 Peter 4:8?

When we are moved by a story it is because it is either borrowing from the larger story of life, from our own story, or both. Which is it for you? What part of this movie made you stop and think? Why do you think this is the case?