Dec 03

At the Movies: The Greatest Showman Unpack Notes

Big Idea

In this week’s At the Movies message, Pastor Tracy unravels the dream which quickly became a reality for P. T. Barnum as he founded Barnum and Bailey’s Circus. As she dissects the hit-musical, The Greatest Showman, Pastor Tracy relates Barnum’s innate dream for success and pursuit to create significance in the lives of others to how we live today. P. T. Barnum’s wild imagination propelled him into a life of love and purpose within his family. And when he was let go because of bankruptcy, Barnum realized he hadn’t been living according to the dreams he once had. Barnum used the unfortunate circumstances of his life to chase after the success he always desired and embraced the unusual, which lead to the foundation of the American circus. In Pastor Tracy’s message, she uses P. T. Barnum’s successes and speed bumps to discuss how we have been created for more than we can imagine, while examining the things in life which too often crush our dreams and stop us from living a life of success and significance. 

God uses our dreams as a seedbed for significance because in His ability to do more than we can ask, think or imagine, He uses our dreams to till the soil of our purpose and instill a hope in us for something better (Ephesians 3:20). Through God’s desire to see our lives reflect His nature of love, power and significance, He imparts specific dreams – attached with purpose – deep within each of our souls. Yet even in our dreams to make a difference, God’s plan for our lives will always be grander than what we can draw up. It is for this reason God delights in our dreams because they deliver us into His presence. It is not by strength or might, but only according to the power of His Spirit, living inside us, are we able to do greater things in this life (Zechariah 4:7, John 14:12). And in order to experience the One in us, we must first come to believe and know the One who sent Him. It is through an intimate relationship with God and the pursuit of uncovering His mysteries do we begin to see God’s plans unravel and witness His power work through us to accomplish more than we could ever imagine. 

God’s promised that as we seek Him, through our righteousness, He would reveal His secret counsel to us (Proverbs 3:32). He’s promised that as we abide in Him, He would equip us with wisdom and strength to see our dreams come true; but that doesn’t stop the devil from attempting to steal, kill and destroy the good plans God has for us (John 10:10). This resistance we face from the enemy is too often the reason for so many unfilled dreams. In the devil’s resistance, we experience struggles releasing shame and a sense of inadequacy into our lives. Through our pain, we experience a sense of disappointment, dissolution and depression. These emotions quickly lead to derailment, causing us to lose sight of the purpose within our dreams. Still, Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). He came to give us a life of significance and success regardless of what our yesterday looks like. God is holding onto our dreams just as tightly as we do. He just simply wants us to take the journey with us. 

Discussion Questions

  • What are your dreams? Would you say you are living your dream?
  • Do you have an easy or hard time dreaming?
  • What things in your life may have stopped you from pursuing your dream?
  • What may be currently stopping you from taking steps towards your dream?
  • What can you do daily that will help you realize your dream?
  • Who can you share your dream with? Do you have people in your life that can help you see your dream fulfilled?
  • How does your dream impact those around you?

Prayer Focus

Thank God for giving you more than you can ask, think or imagine. Ask God to reveal the mysteries and secret council of what He wants to do through you. Pray for God to release any binding thoughts or past experiences that have kept you from pursuing your dream. Thank God for creating you in His creative image and ask that He would give you a greater anointing for what He wants to do through you. Thank God that He is a redeemer of time that may have been lost in regards to your dream. 

Leader Tips

Inspire your group members to dream daily. Help your group members discover dreams they may have discounted over the years. Encourage your group to constantly be writing down clues God gives them to their dreams. Remind them of God’s promise that they are to do things greater than Jesus. Ensure your group members that it is never too late to see a dream come true.