The Hero's Journey (part 1): How It Begins


This week we said classic stories begin with a character who’s in a zone of comfort, but they want something.

  • Make a list of movies that start this way. If your group isn’t a big movie-watching crew, make a list of books.



If you happened to hear the sermon this Sunday, how did it strike you? Does this hero’s journey framework seem interesting, confusing, exciting, compelling or weird? Share.

Would you say you’re in a zone of comfort right now? Is it possible God wants to lead you out?

What more, better or different are you desiring lately? Share with your small group to check and see if your desires are holy and provoked by God or perhaps unholy and simply discontent.

Donald Miller writes in his book A Million Miles In A Thousand Years,

“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn't remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.
But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to be meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won't make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either”

● Is it possible the things you want aren’t big enough things? What wants are too small to make a good story? What wants make great, holy stories?

Without Jesus, you are not what you were made to be, and only He can help you become that. Do you feel like you’re not what you were made to be? Do Paul’s words in Romans 7 resonate with you ("I do not do what I want to do but what I do not want that I do")?

  • Share one way with your group. Offer up an area in which you desire growth and could use some accountability.

Justin said on Sunday that for most of us, when we realize we want something more or better or different, we either...

  1. Try Harder OR

  2. Rationalize our behavior and shift the categories (meaning, we just decide we’re

    already what we want to be by measuring ourselves against a less strict or

    ambitious standard)

Have you done either of those things when you started to feel stirred toward disrupting the status quo?

Have you ever ignored God’s call to adventure? Give an example and share how that went.

We said on Sunday that the hero’s journey begins with a character who wants something and eventually the want reaches an apex and leads to a moment of disruption.

● Have you ever experienced a moment of holy disruption? When have you seen your life upended in a way that led you on transformative journey?

We said Sunday that God’s goal for you is that you would be transformed. Does that make you nervous or excited? Explain. Do you want to be transformed? Do you want it enough to do something dramatic to get it?

● Share something you want that you’re not willing to sacrifice for (maybe to be a good piano player, to retire early, or to lose weight).



For this series’ small group scripture readings we’ll look at some of the hero’s journey stories in the Bible.

This week, read Acts 9:1-9.

  • Who is the person experiencing a call to adventure and a disruption of the status quo?

  • What was Paul’s zone of comfort before Jesus disrupted him?

  • Do you relate to Paul’s story at all? If so, share how so.



Earlier in the discussion group members shared their holy wants and the ways in which they desire more, better or different. Pray over these desires. Take them to God and ask Him to accomplish them. Ask for strength for the journey and, if necessary, a holy disruption. Go one by one through your group, praying for one person at a time.



Check out this easy, entertaining summary of the story structure of “the Hero’s Journey.” It’s animated! :)

You can also check out this compilation of Disney “I want songs”: