I Was Here
Main Point: God has placed us in specific ways so that we can leave our mark on life. It’s up to us to make a difference.
Discussion Starter: I Was Here
On World Humanitarian Day, August 19, 2012, Beyoncé gave a live performance of this song at The United Nations in New York City. The theme of the event was simple: to inspire people all over the world to do something good, no matter how big or small, for someone else.
I Was Here is certainly congruent with that noble cause. It’s a pretty cool song that has a powerful message. In essence, she’s saying that she wants to leave her mark in life. The inherit challenge is for her listeners to do the same.
The Online Video:
The video can be played from YouTube for free: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i41qWJ6QjPI
(OPTIONAL) If you want to pass out the song’s lyrics, they can be accessed here: http://www.metrolyrics.com/i-was-here-lyrics-beyonce-knowles.html
It’s rare that a song comes out from such a well-known celebrity that has nothing controversial about it. But I Was Here by Beyoncé is just that song. Not only is it a really pretty song that’s about making a positive change in the lives of others, but it encourages everyone that hears it to do the same. The truth is, God has placed us in very specific ways so that we can leave our mark on life. It’s up to us to make a difference. Let’s spend the next few minutes looking at God’s Word so we can figure out how to do just that!
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.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and if we’ve ever been to other parts of the world.
- ASK A FEW: If you were to describe the world, would you describe it as “mostly good” or “mostly bad”? Why?
- ASK A FEW: What are some of the biggest challenges facing humans right now? (Leaders – The answers can range from hunger, to war, to disease, to unemployment, to racism, to terrorism, and many other things.)
- ASK A FEW: Do you think everyone – in some way – wants to leave their mark on the world? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Beyoncé says that when she leaves this world she’ll “leave no regrets.” What’s the best way to do that?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think so many of the images behind Beyoncé were of people helping others?
- ASK A FEW: What effect does it have on others when we try to leave our mark on the world in a positive way?
Read the following passage:
Romans 12:1-21 (NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
In our time together, we had the opportunity to watch a powerful music video, one in which a well-known musician sang about her desire to leave a mark on the planet, and more importantly, on the lives of others. That’s a really encouraging message in today’s time, because it’s so desperately needed.
But the really good news is that the Bible gives us a step-by-step plan for actually accomplishing that mission. In the passage we read, we were told to live at peace with each other, to not think too highly of ourselves, to avoid pride and revenge, and to rejoice with others when they rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.
There is no doubt in my mind that if we do exactly what the Apostle Paul tells us to do here, that we will make a difference. But that’s exactly what God’s plan is! He wants us to make a difference! His Son made a difference. Jesus’ disciples made a difference. We’re up! It’s our turn!
You and I each know several ways that we can impact the lives of others. The only thing that’s left to do is to simply do it!
If we do try to leave our mark for God on earth, there will be lots of people who will not only say that “Cameron was here” or “Emma was here,” they will say, “Cameron and Emma were here, and I’m different because of it.”
However, if we never try to leave the mark on this planet that God wants us to, the world will keep spinning in space, people will go on hurting others, people will continue to look the other way, and misery will reign supreme.
You get to choose. You get to “write the ending” so to speak. It’s totally up to you. Which will it be?
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
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.