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What is success to you? Just think about it for a minute.

If you think about the word success, think of something you did that was successful.

Why do you think it was successful?

Quiz – Name The Classic Movie

Point – classic movie covers (from the top 50 movies on IMDB)

Get a couple of contestants up and go through this enclosed PowerPoint. Give both contestants a bit of paper and pen each and show each slide, getting them to write down what each movie is (or do something similar). Then get the sheets in and quickly mark them – or get them to mark each other’s sheets as you go through the answers!

Click here to download the PowerPoint (zip file) | Download direct PowerPoint file

What Is Success? 

Maybe success looks like getting a well-paid job. Or maybe success is winning the lottery. Maybe success is going out with the hottest guy or girl in the school. Or maybe success is starring in a movie and becoming famous. Or success can look like being part of a band and going on tour around the world.


Success isn’t about winning or losing in a quiz. It’s something more!

On an episode of the BBC TV quiz show called ‘Pointless’, the contestants got through to the final and didn’t win the prize money of £3750 but they did win the Pointless ‘trophy’. One of the contestants joked when they got their trophy saying, “That’s what we came here for!”

For the contestants of the Pointless quiz show, success was winning the money. Sadly they didn’t win but they at least tried! People have all kinds of dreams and dreams are really important. But is success just about what you can get? Isn’t there something more?

Big Brother

In 2006, a guy called Pete Bennett won the UK Big Brother, winning £100,000. Unfortunately things didn’t go well and nine years on he was battling drug addiction and homelessness. He said, ‘Having all that money, I didn’t know what to do with it. To be homeless after having too much money, I didn’t mind too much. The fame pushed me in a way I didn’t want to go.’

As tough as this story is for Pete, we learn that just having success doesn’t guarantee being happy. Happiness and true success comes from something much deeper. It’s not about winning or losing but is something more.

The Bible

In the Bible, we learn about the true historical figure of King David. He was a great king, an amazing warrior, a great leader and was also a talented musician and song writer! 

1 Samuel 18.14 – “In everything David did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.”

So David had success because God was with him. And you know what – David messed up and did things wrong. But he said sorry, kept on going and he made things right. God didn’t agree with some of the things David did, but he was with him all the way.

So what is success?

Christians believe that when God is with you, things change for the better. That’s definitely been my experience!

For Christians, they would say that success is doing the things and living the life that God talks about in the Bible: this is about being truthful, caring, loving, faithful, loyal, trustworthy, helping others, doing their best, standing strong even when other people persecute them, loving your enemies and wanting to do good and make a lasting difference in the world. 

Sometimes people think Christians are irrelevant. But across the world (and despite thousands being killed each year simply for their faith), the church is the biggest single provider of social care, education, health care, youth and children’s work and help around the world – for people of all faiths and beliefs.

Maybe these are the kinds of values and things you think are important. Many of these things will give you a happiness way beyond making money or getting drunk or sleeping around. It’s not wrong to want to be famous, it’s not wrong to want to make money or be the best athlete etc. But true success doesn’t come from doing these things!

So here’s three challenges for you:

1. Success is doing something worthwhile with your life.

2. Success is about doing your very best and being all that you can be – fulfilling your potential, not throwing it away. 

3. Success is about achieving your ambitions – but not in a way that abuses other people.

So what is success for you?