One of the greatest dilemmas any Youth Minister faces is what to do during a long bus ride. “I Spy” gets old real quick, sing-a-longs died when the Brady Bunch was canceled, and a game of License Plate Bingo is just not as exciting as it sounds. With options dwindling, there’s always one choice that works 60% of the time every time: movies. And, as any good Youth Minister knows, if you want to fire up your teens before they even set foot on the retreat site, one movie trumps all: Rudy.
Now some may disagree with me, and that’s ok, but if you’ve been in ministry long enough, you have to admit it. Whether you’ve shown it once or rented it so many times that Blockbuster gave you your own copy, you’ve shown Rudy to your teens.
Honestly, I probably showed it 157 times on bus rides, myself. (Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration.) For me, there’s just something about that “five-foot nothing, a hundred and nothing” little ball of fire that all teens have to see. Maybe it’s the David vs. Goliath spin I can put on it. Maybe it’s because the soundtrack makes me feel like I can run a marathon, swim to Alcatraz, and climb Everest all in one day. Or maybe it’s because after doubting him for an entire movie, Rudy’s brother gives him the one thing that any guy would love to get from his brother: the point.
No matter why we love it, Rudy just leaves us with a good feeling, and (Spoiler Alert: in case you’ve been living in the Galapagos Islands swimming with the sea turtles since 1993) when he sacks the Quarterback at the end, it’s like our way of telling the teens, “You too can ‘sack’ the enemy this weekend.” (I just love the way Youth Ministers can spin anything.)
But, when it’s all said and done, there’s only question I’m left with: between Rudy, The Goonies, and The Lord of the Rings, has Sean Astin become some kind of Youth Ministry superhero?
Question: What movies do you like to show on long bus trips? (Share below)