The Superhero Within

Last week, I saw the movie The Amazing Spiderman with my two boys. Wow, what a good movie! I have to admit that my expectations were not very high. However, I left the movie theatre more than entertained. I was inspired and moved by the story! I think it was because I was speaking at a preteen camp later that day. After the movie, I reflected on the very concept of superheroes. Why do their stories inspire us? Why do we identify with them? Do we all deep down want a superhero present in our lives? If so, why? Those questions led me to come up with some interesting conclusions.

My big conclusion – We all have a superhero within us!

Use these ideas to build a series around or simply talk about them with your preteens.

Every superhero has super powers.
Spiderman can climb buildings, has really quick reflexes and super strength. He also figured out a way to design a spider web that shoots out of his wrists at will, which allows him to do some pretty cool stuff. Jesus has powers too! He healed the sick, raised the dead, gave sight to the blind and so much more! The same Spirit inside Jesus, the Holy Spirit, resides inside you and I. We have the power of God, the creator of the universe, inside of us. And with His strength and power, we can do so much! His power moves through us to impact others around us. I simply forget how much power and strength I have in Christ.

Every superhero has an enemy.
Spiderman’s enemy this time around was a giant lizard. As followers of Jesus, we have an enemy too. His name is Satan and he is alive and active in the world today. He blinds people to the fact that they need Jesus and works to move Christians away from their relationship with God. Yes, he our enemy and he is out to get us. He wants to take us out.But the good thing is that OUR superhero, Jesus, gives us the power to overcome Satan. His power trumps the enemies power! When we trust and rely on God’s strength, we overcome Satan’s schemes.

Every superhero has people to rescue.
Spiderman needed to save the city from the giant lizard. He was compelled to selflessly help others, putting aside his own interests. Just like every other superhero out there. They’re not in the fight for popularity or money. They desperately want to serve others and rescue them from danger. That’s their motivation and inspiration. Jesus came to rescue us from sin and a life without Him. He came to save the world from ourselves!

Every superhero has a mission.
Early on, Spiderman was searching for his mission. What would he do with his powers? At first, it was to get revenge for the man who killed his step-father. But later, he discovered the larger story. He was in the unique position to save the city from the giant lizard. Only he could stop it! We go through our lives looking for a mission. We search for something to give us meaning and purpose. The truth is that only in Jesus can we discover our true mission in life. Our mission involves reaching out to others who don’t yet know Jesus and growing in our relationship with God. It involves loving and serving others, putting our own interests and desires in second place. That’s our mission, if we choose to accept it.  

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Over twelve years ago Nick Diliberto lauched a preteen ministry with a handful of volunteers and about 25 kids. Over the years it grew to over 100 kids and has impacted hundreds of young people's lives. Nick is the driving force behind, Children's Director at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, workshop speaker and author of an ongoing preteen column in Children's Ministry Magazine.