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Music Discussions

Roar
08/10/2013

Dynamic ImageMain Point: We must make sure that our identity is firmly rooted in Jesus and what He has done for us.

The Music Video:
As talented as she is beautiful, Katy Perry doesn’t have to rely on her star power achieved as a successful recording artist to capture the attention of the world; she can do that by simply wearing a certain dress, sending a tweet, or merely sharing her opinion on something. In the past few years, Katy Perry has become a household name…even if it’s a controversial one.

She built her career by making music about kissing other girls, living an impossibly consequence-free teenage dream, and surviving risqué and irresponsible Friday nights. Her sultry apparel and attitude even got her cut from an episode of Sesame Street. It’s little wonder why most parents and youth workers don’t trust her or appreciate her work.

But lately, the same celebrity has been producing more socially-responsible music. In 2010, she released the song Firework, a tune about revealing one’s inner strength in the face of adversity. Then in 2012, she released Wide Awake, a song about learning lessons the hard way. Now comes Roar, another song about finding courage in life’s upsets.

The song has been a huge hit since she sang it underneath the Brooklyn Bridge on MTV’s 2013 VMAs. The video has been viewed several million times, and as of this writing, the song is ranked #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. No surprise really. It’s got a pretty positive message, and a catchy vibe, to boot.

In Roar, Perry channels her inner Survivor and sings about “the eye of the tiger.” On a few occasions in the music video, Perry wears a leopard print bra and grass skirt, but compared to some of her earlier attire, that’s pretty tame.

Introducing the Music Video:
Take a look at the lyrics we just passed out to you. You’ll quickly recognize the tune. It’s Katy Perry’s song “Roar.” You may have watched her perform this song at the 2013 MTV VMAs, but if not, you may have been one of the millions who’ve watched the video on YouTube. If you’re not familiar with the song at all, take a close look at the tune’s music video and the message she’s embedded in her lyrics. Specifically, look at all she has to overcome, how she does it, and how it affects her life.

Song Lyrics

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar

Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero

You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You'll hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You're gonna hear me ROAR...

Roar-or, roar-or, roar-or, roar-or, roar-or

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You'll hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You're gonna hear me ROAR...

The Video:
The music video can be found online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CevxZvSJLk8



Transitional Statement:
Aside from Perry painting an elephant’s toenails and brushing a crocodile’s teeth, the video was fairly straightforward: she’d been through some pretty difficult upsets, but she found strength inside of her that allowed her to roar. As youth leaders, we want something along those lines for you, as well. We want you to be able to overcome the adversities in your life. We want you to be a champion. We want you to be victorious. But for any of that to happen, you must first find your true identity in Christ. That’s the first and most important step. Let’s talk about that for the next few moments.


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, let’s all take a second to share our names and one place we definitely wouldn’t want to be stranded.

  2. ASK A FEW: What were some of the things that went wrong for Katy in the video? (Leaders – Her plane had crash-landed, her selfish boyfriend was eaten by a tiger, she was terrified by wild animals, she had to fashion her own survival tools, etc.)

  3. ASK A FEW: Would you say she did a good job of getting over those hurdles? Why or why not?

  4. ASK A FEW: How did Katy’s identity change from the beginning of the song to the end? (Leaders – This is a key question. At the beginning of the song, she admits to being somewhat of a loser. She was pushed around. But she made some changes, and by the end of the song, she was a fighter and a champion.)

  5. ASK A FEW: Katy said she went from a zero to a hero in her song. What were some of the “inner” changes and “outer” changes that Katy made to alter her identity?

  6. ASK A FEW: What did Katy mean when she said “you’re gonna hear me roar”?

  7. ASK A FEW: How do you typically handle obstacles in life? What do you do to get over and past them?

  8. ASK A FEW: In the song and video, Katy made it sound like her strength came from within her. Where does your strength come from?

  9. Read the following passage:

      Ephesians 2:1-10 (NIV)

      As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-- it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

  10. ASK A FEW: How does Paul, the writer of this passage, describe our identity in verse 1? What does that mean?

  11. ASK A FEW: According to verses 4 and 5, what has God done for us? What does that mean?

  12. ASK A FEW: How does Jesus, and what He’s done for us, change our identity?

  13. ASK A FEW: Why does Paul make a point of saying that our salvation was “not from yourselves” and “not by works”?

  14. ASK A FEW: In the music video, it seems as though Katy is her own hero. She makes all the changes necessary and saves the day for herself. She seems able to alter her identity right by herself. Based on this passage, how do we know that it’s Jesus who changes our identity?

  15. ASK A FEW: What is the difference between basing our identity on ourselves and basing it on Jesus and what He’s done for us? Which is better and why?

  16. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are some of the obstacles you will face this week? How will basing your identity in Christ change the way you face those obstacles?

Wrap Up:
The music video we watched is a very popular one. It’s been viewed online literally millions and millions of times! The message is certainly a clean one; Katy faced some difficult times and some tough challenges, but she made the necessary changes and fixed herself.

Unfortunately, I’m not so certain her message is a biblical one.

You see, in comparison to Ephesians 2, we read that only Jesus can change our identity. When He found us, we were dead in our sin. That’s a pretty rough place to be! But He gave His life for us on the cross 2,000 years ago, and He saved us from our sin. He’s moved us from death to life. That’s great news!

No matter how hard we try, no matter how badly we want to change ourselves like Katy did in the video, you and I cannot forge our own identity as Christians apart from Jesus. Our identity MUST be wrapped up in Jesus and what He has done for us on the cross.

Katy claims that she made herself a champion.
Scripture tells us that Jesus is the One who has been victorious. (1 Cor. 15:55-57)

Katy spends a lot of time cleaning up her outside, showering, putting on lipstick, making herself new clothes, etc.
Jesus tells us to make sure that what’s inside is clean. (Matthew 23:25)

Katy says she had the “eye of the tiger.”
Jesus calls Himself the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” (Revelation 5:5)

Our identity must be rooted in Christ and what He’s done for us because we cannot live the life God wants us to live, otherwise. Verse 10 in the passage we just read, says,
“We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God wants to do great things through us. We are His workmanship, His product, the fruit of His labors. He’s destined us to do good works through His Son Jesus. In fact, that’s been God’s plan all along. But we MUST do those good works through Jesus Christ, according to this passage. There is no other way.

So, don’t make the mistake Katy made and base your identity on yourself and what you can do. Make sure you base your identity on Jesus and what He did for you on the cross.

That identity is the only one worth living!


Close in Prayer

Written by David R Smith


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Comments on this post

   Tammy         12/15/2013 4:56:53 PM

Thank-you for a well written talk and group discussion on inner strength. I am a counselor in public schools and I am able to keep God's message in your talks without actually saying it. That's the power of the Word. I used this lesson for my new student group! Our mascot is The Tigers so it was perfect! Thank-you!

   Lori M         9/27/2013 10:33:48 AM

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