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Music Discussions

If Everyone Cared
09/26/2005

Main Point of Discussion: God calls His followers to help Him change the world, so we must do our part!

The Music Video: “If Everyone Cared”

If Everyone Cared isn’t the first song from Nickelback’s album All The Right Reasons to make our list of MUSIC VIDEO DICUSSIONS. (Here’s another one.) Even though the album dropped in October of 2005, several of the songs are still getting lots of play time today. As a matter of fact, the album peaked at #1, and has spent the past 145 weeks in the Top 100! Yeah, it’s a popular album.

Hailing out of Canada, the group made a name for themselves in 2001 when How You Remind Me was released. Today, with more than 14,000,000 albums sold, and trophies collected from the MTV Video Music Awards, the World Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, and the Juno Awards, Nickelback is still reaping the rewards of this album. In addition to If Everyone Cared, the love ballad Far Away and the celebrity-laden, but raunchy messaged music video, Rockstar are also popular songs on this disc.

Nickelback is famous and talented, but not always appropriate. From Fight for All the Wrong Reasons to Animals to Side of a Bullet, the band issues its fair share of dangerous messages. Their lyrics are often laced with sex, jealousy, sex, violence, and sex. Though many youth workers have wanted to turn Nickelback “off” for the past 3 years, remember, lots of kids have chosen to turn them “up.”

It’s possible to teach students about God and His call to us by using Nickelback’s music video without actually endorsing their music to your teenagers. (The practice of using secular material for sacred purposes goes all the way back to the Apostle Paul. See Acts 17.)

You can easily download the video from iTunes for a mere $1.99.

NOTE TO LEADER: This MUSIC DISCUSSION uses two “large” passages of Scripture. Additionally, there are two portions of “context” notes for you to share with your group that will help the story make more sense. That being said, you should allow about 45 minutes for the small group discussion time (which comes AFTER your introduction/showing of the video and your transition statement.)

Introducing the Music Video
While passing out a copy of the song’s lyrics, say, “Here’s a copy of the lyrics from one of Nickelback’s songs entitled, If Everyone Cared. If you need to follow along on your sheet, that’s fine, but make sure you pay attention to the actual video so we can talk about the stories later.”

Song Lyrics:
    “If Everyone Cared”

    From underneath the trees, we watch the sky
    Confusing stars for satellites
    I never dreamed that you'd be mine
    But here we are, we're here tonight

    Singing Amen, I, I'm alive (I’m alive)
    Singing Amen, I, I'm alive

    [Chorus:]
    If everyone cared and nobody cried
    If everyone loved and nobody lied
    If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
    Then we'd see the day when nobody died

    And I'm singing

    Amen I, Amen I, I'm alive
    Amen I, Amen I, Amen I, I'm alive

    And in the air the fireflies
    Our only light in paradise
    We'll show the world they were wrong
    And teach them all to sing along

    Singing Amen, I, I'm alive (I’m alive)
    Singing Amen, I, I'm alive

    [Chorus x2]

    And as we lie beneath the stars
    We realize how small we are
    If they could love like you and me
    Imagine what the world could be

    If everyone cared and nobody cried
    If everyone loved and nobody lied
    If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
    Then we'd see the day when nobody died
    When nobody died...

    [Chorus]

    We'd see the day, we'd see the day
    When nobody died
    We'd see the day, we'd see the day
    When nobody died
    We'd see the day when nobody died
Transition Statement:
This music video showed several stories of people who did their part to change the world. Maybe you didn’t know it, but that’s kinda our job as Christians…changing the world! Let’s take a look at a story from the Bible about a young girl who helped change the world in a very important way.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, 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: As we get started, everybody share their name and their favorite singer or music group.


  2. ASK A FEW: What did the singer mean when he said, “If everyone cared and nobody cried, If everyone loved and nobody lied, If everyone shared and swallowed their pride, Then we'd see the day when nobody died?”


  3. ASK A FEW: Can anyone list the people from the video who helped “save the world?” (leaders – below is a list of the people the video highlights, along with their life’s major accomplishments.)

      Bob Geldof – He was a music journalist who started a band. After hearing about starvation in Africa, he hosted multiple concerts around the world at the same time, raising $150 million in one day! Those concerts continue to this day, fighting world hunger.

      Betty Williams – She was just a mom who worked as a secretary when she saw 3 children die in the terrible violence in Northern Ireland. She organized a peace walk for 10,000 people just a couple days later, but protestors violently broke it up. One week after that, she returned with 35,000 marchers! For her efforts, she won the Nobel Peace Award.

      Peter Benenson – He was a British lawyer who helped college students in Portugal realize their freedom. His mission was so greatly needed, that it grew into a world-wide effort. Still in place today, Amnesty International helps millions and millions fight for human rights.

      Nelson Mandela – He watched oppression and murder run rampant in his country for years. When he tried to intervene, he was arrested, beaten, and imprisoned for 27 years. When he was released in 1990, he led his country through their first free voting process in their country’s history. S. Africa is a different country today because of his life-long work.

  4. ASK A FEW: Do you know anybody else in history that has changed the world, or maybe even helped save it?


  5. ASK A FEW: (based on question #3) OK. Great list! Now tell me, how would the world be different today if those people hadn’t stepped up?


  6. ASK A FEW: As the video ended, this quote from Margaret Mead came on the screen: “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Do you think this is true? Why or why not?


  7. ASK A FEW: Do you think God is involved in changing the world at all? If so, how?


  8. Say, “I want us to read part of a story from the Bible about a person who changed the world. But before we do, let me give you some background info.”

      King Xerxes liked to party…a lot! He would throw parties that lasted 180 days…and then throw parties that lasted a week, just to end the big party! He had a hottie of a wife named Queen Vashti. She liked to party, too. Oftentimes, while Xerxes was throwing his party for the guys, Vashti was throwing one for the ladies. One day, Xerxes called for Vashti to join him at his party, but she snubbed him; she didn’t show. This really ticked Xerxes off, and he kicked her out of the kingdom!

      Then he had his officials search for another queen to take her place. They found another hottie, Esther, a Jewish girl – one of God’s chosen people – to be the next queen. One of the interesting things about Esther was that she had an uncle named Mordecai, also Jewish, who had raised her, and was helping take care of her while she was queen. He told Esther to NEVER tell anyone that she was a Jew, including King Xerxes himself. (At this time in history, the Jews were actually being held as captives; they were hated by many people. So it was dangerous to be a Jew during Esther’s day!)

      Everything was going pretty good until the bad guy, Haman, enters the scene. He’s the second in command, and on a HUGE ego trip. Wherever he went, people would bow down to him. Everybody except Mordecai, that is. This really ticked Haman off! It made him so mad, that he wanted to kill Mordecai. But when Haman found out that Mordecai was a Jew, he decided to kill Mordecai AND every other Jew in the world!

      He knew he couldn’t do this without King Xerxes’ permission, so pulls a fast one, and gets King Xerxes to send a decree through the land that gives Haman’s henchmen permission to kill all the Jews in the land (including Mordecai and Queen Esther!).

      Mordecai hears the news concerning the destruction of his people. He rips off his clothes, and puts on sackcloth, and sits at the city gate mourning his people’s fate. That’s where our story picks up in the Bible.

    Read the following passage:

      Esther 4:5-17 (NIV)

      Then Esther summoned Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why. So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king's gate.

      Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to urge her to go into the king's presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

      Hathach went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, “All the king's officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that he be put to death. The only exception to this is for the king to extend the gold scepter to him and spare his life. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

      When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

      Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

      So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther's instructions.

  9. ASK SOMEONE: Do you think Esther and Mordecai’s plans qualify as “changing the world?” Why or why not?

  10. ASK SOMEONE: What kept Esther from wanting to help at first? In other words, what was she afraid of? (Hint: see verse 11. She could die just for entering the King’s presence without his permission!)


  11. ASK A FEW: What do you think are some of the necessary characteristics of people who change the world?


  12. ASK A FEW: Do you think you could have done what Esther planned to do? Why or why not?


  13. Say, “Let’s take a few minutes to see how the story ends. But again, let me fill in some of the blanks between chapter 4 and chapter 7 where we will read.”

      As Mordecai and Esther try to save their people from destruction, Esther pulls out all the stops, gets all dressed up, and humbly approaches the King’s throne with a secret weapon…an invitation for the king to a rockin’ party! Haman is also invited. Well, no way Xerxes is turning down a party, so both he and Haman go. At the party, King Xerxes asks Esther what she wants of him. She really pours it on and says, “I just want you to have such a good time at my party that you will come back for another party tomorrow.” Well, because Xerxes is a party addict, he doesn’t refuse her request. The party ends, and everybody goes home.

      But Xerxes can’t sleep that night so he has a servant bring him a copy of the official records of the kingdom that he can read to make himself sleepy. While reading it, he finds a story of how Mordecai had actually saved his life by blowing the whistle on an assassination plot!! Xerxes asks the servant what was done to show Mordecai the king’s gratitude. The servant reports that nothing was ever done.

      So, Xerxes calls in Haman (in the middle of the night) and asks him what should be done for a person the king wants to honor. Thinking that the king was talking ABOUT HIM, he rolls out a HUGE list of cool things. Then Xerxes says, “Great! YOU go do all these things you just said…for MORDECAI!”

      Haman does so because the king commanded him, but he’s so angry he can hardly stand it. Well, things are about to get even worse for him, because it’s now time for the second party. Let’s see what happens next.

    Read the following passage:

      Esther 7:1-10 (NIV)

      So the king and Haman went to dine with Queen Esther, and as they were drinking wine on that second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”

      Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.”

      King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, "Who is he? Where is the man who has dared to do such a thing?”

      Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this vile Haman.” Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen. The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life. Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining. The king exclaimed, "Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?"

      As soon as the word left the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A gallows seventy-five feet high stands by Haman's house. He had it made for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”

      The king said, “Hang him on it!” So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king's fury subsided.

  14. ASK SOMEONE: So, were Mordecai and Esther successful? (leaders – Yes. In the end, the bad guy gets it, and in the next few chapters we are even told the king reverses his orders to have all the Jews killed because it was all Haman’s idea in the first place.)

  15. ASK A FEW: Did you know that the word “God” is NOT FOUND EVEN ONE TIME in the entire Book of Esther? Even though that’s the case, do you think He played a role in this story? Why or why not?


  16. ASK A FEW: When you look around you today, do you see things about the world that need to be changed? If so, what are they?

  17. ASK A FEW: What will you do about it NOW?

Wrap Up
So, tonight we watched a fairly compelling video about people who looked into the faces of other hurting people and were stirred enough to do something to change the situation. We say those people, “changed the world.” But there were other people who changed our world. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the rights of African Americans during the 1950’s and 60’s. The Allied powers of America, Britain, France and Russia helped free Europe from the stranglehold of Hitler in the 1940’s. Mother Teresa cared for the impoverished people in the ghettos of Calcutta. The list goes on and on.

Then we looked at a great story from the Bible about a girl named Esther who changed the world. She saved her people, the Jews, from annihilation. With help from her uncle Mordecai, and God too, she did her part to make sure millions and millions of people would be alive today!

All of these people lived the life of a hero. But one stands head and shoulders above the rest, Jesus. The Bible tells us that He saw the shame, pain, and suffering of all people brought on by their sin. He decided something must be done to change the world…to save the world! So He came to us and taught us about God, His Father. He taught us about love and grace and mercy. He healed many people from diseases and sicknesses. A few times, He even raised people from the dead! His love for all of us compelled Him to give His life on a cross to take away our sins so that we could have a relationship with God now, and in Heaven. Though He was dead, three days later, He was raised to life by God.

And now, on top of all that He has done for us, He invites us to join Him in changing the world, and when necessary, saving the world!

In our small groups, you were asked ways in which you thought the world needed to be changed. If you have ANY ambition to serve people and change the world, YOU WILL NEED GOD’S HELP. I encourage you to grab me or one of the other adult leaders that’s around, and share with us what you think God is placing on your heart BEFORE YOU LEAVE TONIGHT. We wanna hear, and we wanna help!

God’s business is saving the world. And He wants to do it through us. Are you ready?

Close in Prayer

Idea by Tyler, written by David R. Smith

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