Pay It Forward

A teacher at a school challenges his 11 year-old students to make a difference in the world. He gives it to them as an on-going assignment for the whole year. This challenge is listened to intently by Trevor who unknown to anyone else initially, decides to put an idea into practice.

Trevor’s home life isn’t great. His alcoholic mum works in a pole dancing bar and his abusive dad has left home. Nevertheless Trevor decides to put his strategy to the test. The first thing he does is allow a homeless drug addict in to his house to let him shower and sleep in the back of his mum’s broken pick-up truck. Meanwhile, the movie takes us to Los Angeles 4 months on where a reporter has his car damaged – but a total stranger gives the reporter his Jaguar for free. Intrigued, the reporter wants to find out more about why and finds the principle of ‘Pay It Forward’.

Cut back to Trevor at his school explaining his principle in front of the class: you help 3 people, 3 strangers, for no reason but to help them, they then have to help 3 other people.. before you know it this idea of ‘pay it forward’ reaches loads of people. If it works. Trevor finds that life isn’t always that simple. A powerful and moving story of hope in the middle of helplessness.

The clip is of Trevor explaining his principle. If you rewind the movie back a bit you can also include the part where Trevor’s mum discovers the homeless man living in her truck in the garage. If you watch through the movie there’s a piece where Trevor gets interviewed by the reporter. This can be stitched into the clip if you can to help.

The point is that we can make a difference – that our faith must be demonstrated through action as well as prayer. You can use James 2.14-26 for more.