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Music Discussions

How Far We’ve Come
09/04/2007

September 20, 2007

Main Point of Discussion:
The Bible teaches that this world will one day be destroyed, so we need to serve God every minute of every day.

The Music Video: How Far We’ve Come

Matchbox Twenty is a rock band formed in Orlando, Florida. Matchbox Twenty has sold in excess of 39 million albums worldwide from the releases of Yourself Or Someone Like You, Mad Season and More Than You Think You Are. The current members of the band are Rob Thomas (vocals, piano), Paul Doucette (rhythm guitar - formerly drums), Kyle Cook (lead guitar, vocals) and Brian Yale (bass). Adam Gaynor (rhythm guitar) left the band in 2005, after performing on all three of their studio albums. After a three year hiatus, they are back and stronger than ever with their release of their new single “How Far We’ve Come”, which is currently #2 on iTunes and #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

At THE SOURCE FOR YOUTH MINISTRY we like to use pop culture references to start Biblical conversation (just like the Apostle Paul used culture to start conversations about Jesus in Acts 17). This music video might be a good discussion starter in some circles. Use your discernment.

If you want, you can print out the lyrics (below) and give each student a copy to refer to.

MTV.com has the video on their site for free right now and iTunes offers the video as a download for $1.99. Ask the tech guy at your church how to play the video on a laptop through a projector.

Introducing the Music Video: (say this)
Many of you have probably seen the video or heard the song called ‘How Far We’ve Come’ by Matchbox Twenty. It is the #2 download on ITunes and is rapidly climbing the Billboard charts. Tonight we’re going to take a closer look at the song and the powerful themes that come out of it.

Pass out a handout with the lyrics on it.

Song Lyrics:
    "How far we’ve come"

    I'm waking up at the start of the end of the world,
    but its feeling just like every other morning before,
    now I wonder what my life is going to mean if it's gone,
    the cars are moving like a half a mile an hour if that
    and I started staring at the passengers who're waving goodbye
    can you tell me what was ever really special about me all this time?

    chorus:
    but I believe the world is burning to the ground
    oh well I guess we're gonna find out
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come
    Well I, believe, it all, is coming to an end
    oh well, I guess, we're gonna pretend,
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come

    I think it turned ten o'clock but I don't really know
    then I can't remember caring for an hour or so
    started crying and I couldn't stop myself
    I started running but there's no where to run to
    I sat down on the street and took a look at myself
    said where you going man you know the world is headed for hell
    say your goodbyes if you've got someone you can say goodbye to

    I believe the world is burning to the ground
    oh well I guess we're gonna find out
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come

    Well I, believe, it all, is coming to an end
    oh well, I guess, we're gonna pretend,
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come

    its gone gone baby its all gone
    there is no one on the corner and there's no one at home
    it was cool cool, it was just all cool
    now it's over for me and it's over for you
    well its gone gone baby its all gone
    there is no one on the corner and there's no one at home
    well it was cool cool, it was just all cool
    now it's over for me and it's over for you

    but I believe the world is burning to the ground
    oh well I guess we're gonna find out
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come
    Well I, believe, it all, is coming to an end
    oh well, I guess, we're gonna pretend,
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come
    let's see how far we've come
Transitional Statement:
If you would like to facilitate some large group discussion, talk to your group about why they think this song is so popular and ask them what they think some of the themes are. Then say something like:
    ”How Far We’ve Come” is one of those songs that at first makes you go ‘huh’?, but when you take a deeper look at the video and lyrics, you start to connect with what Matchbox Twenty is trying to communicate. See if you can pick it out while we watch the video.
Show the video, then Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups to discuss this video, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:
  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, let’s go around the circle and name some of the historical events featured in the video. I’ll start…


  2. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What do these events have in common? (i.e. progress in race equality, technology, political peace, etc.)


  3. ASK A FEW: Did you detect a note of sarcasm in the lyrics? Why or why not?


  4. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Do you agree with Rob Thomas’s perspective in terms of the world ‘burning to the ground’? Why or why not?


  5. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Do you think he means global warming? Why or why not?


  6. Say something like:
    You may or may not know this, but the Bible has it’s own version of ‘global warming’, but it’s not the result of technology or even a 1500 year cycle. Let’s check out what it says:

    Read the following passage:

      2 Peter 3:10
      But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

  7. ASK SOMEONE: Is the ‘Day of the Lord’ the same as the end of the world? Why or why not?


  8. ASK A FEW: How does this description of the end of the world compare to the way you’ve pictured it?


  9. ASK SOMEONE: Why does the ‘earth and everything on it’ deserve judgment? (leader-the answer you are looking for: everyone has sinned)


  10. ASK A FEW: Why does God need to destroy everything?


  11. ASK A FEW: Why do many people doubt that Jesus will actually return to earth one day?


  12. Say something like:
    This is the part of the Bible that will never make it into a Veggietales video, but it is a scene we need to “Tivo” into our brains. Jesus once promised that He would be killed. He was. He also pledged to come back from the dead. He did. One of the promises He made over and over again is that He will return… and He will. That’s why Peter follows up his description of the ultimate global warming with this ultimate global WARNING. Check it out…

    Read the following passage:

      2 Peter 3:11-14 (NLT)
      Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

  13. ASK SOMEONE: Why do you think God uses fire to destroy the world? (i.e. He promised not to destroy it with water after the flood, fire represents purifying, etc.)


  14. ASK SOMEONE: What is the connection between the end of the world and living ‘holy and godly’ lives?


  15. AROUND THE CIRCLE: How do you picture ‘holy and godly’ lives? (leader-the general answer you are looking for: these words essentially paint a picture of a life that looks different than the world because of respect for God)


  16. ASK A FEW: Why would holy and godly living ‘speed’ the Second coming of Christ?


  17. ASK SOMEONE: Are most Christians looking forward to the return of Christ? Why or why not?


  18. AROUND THE CIRCLE: How do you picture ‘spotless and blameless’ living?


  19. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Can you think of one or two ways you can get ready for the ultimate global warming?

CLOSE GROUP IN PRAYER

Wrap Up:

One of the haunting questions in How Far We’ve Come is this: ‘can you tell me what was ever really special about me all this time?’ Sometimes we all have feelings like this, and the great news is that when we trust Christ as our only hope of salvation and live for Him, our lives take on a ‘special’ and unique quality that give us peace on earth and reward in heaven. I want to challenge everyone with this final thought: even though we also believe the world is ‘burning to the ground’ and many people are ‘headed for hell’, we don’t have to pretend. Through a relationship with Christ and godly living, you can find the life that evidently Rob Thomas is still looking for: one with authenticity, meaning, purpose, and value.

Give the group a chance to reflect and pray in silent for a few minutes, then close in prayer and an invitation for students to trust Christ, and Christian students to live their lives in light of Christ’s return.

Written by Lane Palmer

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