The Song: “Going Gone” by The Black Eyed Peas
Main Point of Discussion: Store up treasures that please God
As students arrive welcome them at the door and give them the choice between a small candy bar or a ticket (like a carnival style ticket or a Monopoly style form of money or a home made version of money like “Baptist Bucks” with your pastor’s photo in the middle) which they may spend later on “other candies.” They’ll ask about what they can buy later and you will simply reply that they will have to wait and see. “Make a choice now, take a snack now or wait until the end of your meeting time to get a snack.” Don’t allow trading, don’t allow long periods of decision making time, just make them chose and send them into your meeting area.
Transition Statement (intro. optional game)
If you have snacks, finish up cause we’re about to get started. If you have tickets, just store them away until later. We’re going to divide you into two groups. Team A is on this side of the room, Team B on that side of the room.
You can play a game called Capture the Wardrobe. (Basic capture the flag, but stealing items of clothing instead of a flag.) Each team has a home mannequin or volunteer draped with popular clothing and accessories (don’t worry—kids won’t be stripping the mannequin or volunteer… just removing a few accessories). Your goal as a team is to protect the items on your own mannequin while also stealing the most valuable items off the other team’s mannequin (mannequins don’t move… they just stand still). Each team is allowed only one mannequin guard and that guard may not be closer than 5 feet from the mannequin (or if you have a basketball court, you can use the “key” as the safe zone). You must get any of several designated items off of the mannequin/volunteer and return to home base without being tagged. If you are tagged, you are escorted to the designated jail in enemy territory and can only be freed if someone makes it to the jail without being tagged—the entire jail is freed.
The game is timed by the music. When you hear the music start, you may go, when the music stops, all play is over and no more items can be added to your vault. Background music for this game is “Gone Going” by the Black Eyed Peas.
Team with the HIGHEST VALUE OF ITEMS COLLECTED wins. On the inside of each item place a sticker with a dollar amount for value. Play as many rounds as time allows.
Possible Items: (check your local Goodwill or find volunteers who have grown out of some clothing items that will work for your group. Name brands aren’t important to everyone, but students will relate to “stylish items” being worth more than run-of-the mill stuff.) (Important Note: Designate which items they are to grab. Any sweatshirts or t-shirts should be draped across the mannequin for easy removal… we don’t want kids stripping these “mannequins” of their real clothes.)
- Abercrombie T-Shirts
- Roxy Sweatshirts
- Oakley Sunglasses
- Ball Caps
- Designer jeans
- Designer shorts
Have a seat and we’ll add up the teams’ totals. A couple of quick questions I want to throw at you:
Optional Large Group Questions: (have someone tallying points while you throw out these questions)
- What made you want to grab this pair of shorts/jeans/?
- How much do you think these sunglasses should be worth?
- When you see people wearing this brand, what do you think about them?
- What brand do you prefer to wear?
- What’s most important in a good pair of shoes?
Announce winning team as amounts are totaled. No prizes are necessary.
Maybe you noticed the song we played while you were scrambling for your fashion. It’s called “Gone Going” by the Black Eyed Peas. They put out some controversial music and I am not suggesting you go buy their albums, but I wanted to take a closer look at this one song. I’ll play it again and I’ve got the lyrics printed up for you to read along.
(Pass out lyrics and pencils to students. Lyrics below.)
I’m going to play the song through one more time. This time please underline phrases that jump out at you. Maybe you disagree or agree with something being said. When the song is over at the bottom of your page write what you think is the song’s main point.
(Play song again and allow students 3 minutes to come up with a main point/idea.)
- SONG LYRICS: “Going Gone”
Johnny wanna be a big star
Get on stage and play the guitar
Make a little money, buy a fancy car
Big old house and an alligator
Just to match with them alligator shoes
He's a rich man so he's no longer singing the blues
He's singing songs about material things
And platinum rings and watches that go bling
But, diamonds don't bling in the dark
He a star now, but he ain't singing from the heart
Sooner or later he's just gonna fall apart
Coz his fans can't relate to his new found art
He ain't doing what he did from the start
And that's putting in some feeling and thought
He decided to live his life shallow
Passion is love for material
And it’s gone… gone… going…
Gone… everything gone… give a damn…
Gone be the birds when they don't want to sing…
Gone people… up awkward with their things… gone.
You see yourself in the mirror
And you feel safe coz it looks familiar
But you afraid to open up your soul
Coz you don't really know, don't really know
Who he is, the person that's deep within
Coz you are content with just being the name-brand man
And you fail to see that it’s trivial
Insignificant, you addicted to material
I've seen your kind before
You're the type that thinks souls is sold in a store
Packaged up with incense sticks
With them vegetarian meals
To you that's righteous
You're fiction like books
You need to go out to life and look
Coz… what happens when they take your material
You already sold your soul and it’s…
You say that time is money and money is time
So you got mind on your money and your money on your mind
But what about… that crime that you did to get paid
And what about… that bid, you can't take it to your brain
What about those shoes you'll wear today
They'll do no good on the bridges you walked along the way
All that money that you got gonna be gone
That gear that you rock gonna be gone
The house up on the hill gonna be gone
The gold purse on your grill gonna be gone
The ice on your wrist gonna be gone
That nice little Miss gonna be gone
That whip that you roll gonna be gone
And what's worst is your soul's already gone
Large Group Questions:
- According to this song… what happens to material things?
- What is the main point of this song? What makes you think that? Do you agree or disagree with that point? Why?
- What do you suppose God thinks about this song?
Transition Statement (into Small groups)
We’re going to look at a passage of the Bible that talks about wanting special stuff; like our mannequins wore and like the subject of this song. We’re going to do that in small groups. Let’s break up into small groups now.
Small Groups Introduction:
- Before we dive into that passage of scripture…let’s go around the circle and get everyone’s name and one of their favorite songs that they’ve listened to in the last week. I’ll start. (leader shares a song they listened to)
- Now let’s each share something we wanted for Christmas last year … and we got it as a present.
- Do you still use/enjoy that present now? Will you still be enjoying it in 5 years? 10? 20?
Here is a copy of a passage from the Bible that talks about the same things that the Black Eyed Peas song talked about. Underline words and phrases that stand out to you. Look for the writer’s main point.
Small Groups Questions:
Pass the following excerpts of Matthew 6:19-30 to each student. (We provided NASB and New Living Translation below for a broader perspective and to teach students how to seek multiple sources for study.) Ask students to read and underline key phrases and words. If you want to go deeper, after ten minutes with one translation, ask the following questions, then follow the same instructions for the second translation. It can feel repetitive, but the variety in key words helps students go deeper into God’s truth and take the accurate study of Scripture seriously.
Matthew 6:19-30 (NLT)
“Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves.  Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.
 “Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul.  But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. If the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness will be!
 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
 “So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing?  Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.
 “And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing,  yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!
Matthew 6:19-30 (NASB)
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  “The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.  “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!  “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.  “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?  “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  “And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span?  “And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,  yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.  “But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you, O men of little faith?
More Small Group Questions:
- Who is talking in these verses?
- Who is listening? (At the beginning of Chapter 5 Jesus sees the crowds and begins teaching.)
- What is the instruction being given in verses 19 and 20?
- What treasures might the people have been storing up?
- What kind of treasures do people store up today?
- What kind of treasures do you store up today?
- There is a promise in verse 21. Put it into your own words.
- Verses 22 and 23 talk about pure and evil eyes. What does a person who has “pure eyes” act like? What about a person with evil eyes?
- What does verse 23 imply when Jesus says IF the light you think you have is REALLY DARKNESS…? What does that mean? (People can fool themselves into thinking that something is good when it is really evil.)
- We asked you to sum up the main point of this passage. What do you think it is? (Store up treasure which God honors, not earthly treasures.)
- What did the people in the Black Eyed Peas song treasure? What was the result?
- Have you ever felt like you treasured the wrong things? Anyone willing to share an example?
- What are “treasures in Heaven”? What are treasures that God values?
- How could a person store up treasure in Heaven?
- Picture yourself on your school campus. What kinds of treasures are around you? (Peers, lonely people, teachers, opportunities to serve, etc…)
- Picture yourself in your home. What kinds of treasures are around you which God values?
- How might you treasure these things?
Close Small Group In Prayer:
“As you think about the things you treasure, you may feel convicted to leave a few of those behind. Chose one specific thing that you treasure but you don’t think God treasures and decide tonight to leave that thing behind. Also, think about the treasures at your school and in your home. Now choose one thing that you probably should treasure that you haven’t really treasured. Let’s decide right now to take an action this week to treasure that.”
Large Group Wrap Up:
If you have a ticket from when you first came in tonight, I will trade it now. (Trade tickets for KING SIZE candy bars.)
Sometimes we treasure stuff because it’s right in front of us—like the mini candies when you first walked in. God asks us to treasure the things that HE treasures. Sometimes we don’t know what those things are just like you all didn’t know what the tickets would be good for. The thing is, GOD ALWAYS HAS BETTER TREASURES for us than we can imagine for ourselves. God’s love for us is the greatest treasure. If we can understand that intense love and then let it live inside of us, it will overflow and we will naturally love and treasure other people.
Did anyone identify something or someone they are going to try to treasure this week? Will anyone share?
Jesus closely connects storing up treasures with worry. After telling people not to store up things on earth, but rather store up treasures that God values; He goes on to say “Don’t worry about your clothes, or your food. If God takes the time to give the birds shelter and food, don’t you think He’ll take care of your needs?”
Verse 26 is the KEY. YOU are more valuable to God than all of creation. Jesus says that the people have such little faith because they get caught up in their daily needs instead of trusting God who deeply loves them. When we don’t take the time to concentrate on how much Jesus loves us, we start to stress about all the things we think we need. God loves you, DEEPLY. Everything else in life is “Gone-Going” but God’s love for you remains. God’s love for you reaches through all those worries; “Am I cool enough? Will people laugh at my shoes? Do my clothes look good enough? Will I have enough money to survive?” When we let God’s love reach through all those worries we can lay down the stuff we treasure on earth and allow Him to show us what HE treasures.
Written by Teddi Pettee
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.