Spidey is back, raking in rave reviews as the summer sequel to see!! As a youth leader, it should warm your heart that a teenaged Spider-Man in the awkward fits and starts of learning the ropes about how to rescue others is impressing movie critics and fans alike.
But this superhero movie gives us more than just the Marvel Comics special effects we’ve come to know and love. Spider-Man: Homecoming provides more than thrills and chills. It encourages and inspires us with a welcome dose of courage and heart in the midst of teen angst. This Spider-Man is an average, nerdy, sometimes insecure high school student struggling with a crush of monumental proportions, all the while coming to grips with his own unique ability to impact the world for good.
Fifteen-year-old Peter Parker even has a mentor—Tony Stark/Ironman—coaching “Spider-Boy” on the finer points of learning to use his superpowers. Stark encourages Peter to start by being a friendly neighborhood superhero, but when the need arises and Peter’s high school classmates need rescuing, Peter finds a way.
Teenagers to the Rescue
So why not use the buzz from this movie to cast a vision for your students as you challenge them to advance the gospel and rescue their friends who don’t know Jesus? Your Christian teenagers also have “superpowers.” And they have you and your ministry leadership team to mentor and coach them as they learn how use those special powers.
Just as Peter Parker is learning how to step up to challenge after challenge with courage and conviction, you can help your students learn how to respond when things are stressful and spiraling out of control. Here are three key lessons this young superhero models that can serve your students well.
Try This! ❯
As the Spider-Man buzz escalates, challenge your students to use their own special superpowers to rescue their friends through the power of the gospel.
Tap into Your Supernatural Power!
As Christians we too have access to supernatural power—a power we can tap into whenever we call upon God in prayer and use our spiritual gifts to further His kingdom and bring glory to His name. A power that is amazingly beyond what our finite minds can sometimes even think or imagine. The Bible tells us it is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead! It’s described like this in Ephesians 1:18-21:
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.
Lean on Others When the Going Gets Tough!
Much like Peter Parker needs a little help sometimes, the Bible has words of wisdom for us in this area as well. It’s clear that as believers, we’re “better together,” encouraging and watching out for each other. Check out Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12:
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble…The person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Keep Trying and Never Give Up!
No matter the obstacles hurtling his way, Spider-Man is never down for long. When our world is stressed and out of control, we must learn to lean into God’s promise that “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5). Help your students learn to walk in the kind of confidence the Apostle Paul spoke of when he said: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
Tapping into God’s power in our lives gives us strength and courage. So as the Spidey buzz escalates, take the opportunity to challenge your students to use their own special superpowers to rescue their friends through the power of the gospel.