Sixteen – Thomas Rhett
Main Point: Chasing pleasures out of our reach is an empty pursuit. We can find joy and satisfaction in each season of our lives.
About the Artist – Thomas Rhett
Twenty-eight-year-old Thomas Rhett hails from Valdosta, Georgia and grew up around country singers. Thanks to his father, singer and songwriter Rhett Akins, Thomas got to pal around with Tim McGraw and Brooks & Dunn as a child. At the age of twenty, Thomas dropped out of college to chase after a career in music. After co-writing a song with Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett signed a recording contract and has been making music ever since. Rhett has released three studio albums with his most recent album Life Changes being dropped in September of 2017.
Song Lyrics: Sixteen
“Take a left here, boy, take it slow
Don’t get distracted by that radio”
I just rolled my eyes and I said, “Daddy, I know
I’m fifteen, I ain’t green like some ol’ ten year old”
What I wouldn’t give to be sixteen, wild and free
Cruisin’ up and down Main in my F-150
Roll the windows down, bass too loud from this burnt CD
I’ll be right where I wanna be when I’m sixteen, sixteen, yeah
Now that I can drive, finally feel alive, but I got this curfew
Sneakin’ in late, smelling like my girlfriend’s perfume
People talkin’ ’bout college and knowledge and that’s alright
But all I’m thinkin’ ’bout is an unsupervised Saturday night
What I wouldn’t give to be eighteen, wild and free
Buzzin’ off a can of that Grizzly wintergreen
Lookin’ old enough to pull off this fake ID
I’ll be right where I wanna be when I’m eighteen, eighteen
I’m old enough to smoke, I’m old enough to vote
But they turn me away when I go to the Cotton-Eyed Joe
They say the grass is always greener, and I believe that’s right
But my friends are off to Vegas, and they’re leavin’ me behind
What I wouldn’t give to be twenty one, wild and free
Open up a cold one and drink it legally
Chase a bunch of girls, go see the world, let my wild streak run
I’ll be right where I wanna be when I’m twenty one, twenty one
Woah, when I’m twenty one
Yeah, when I’m twenty one, it’ll be alright
Yeah, it’ll all be alright when I’m twenty one
Now I’m twenty five, and I’m drinkin’ wine with my wife at home
Got a couple dogs and a couple songs on the radio
And we sit around, and we laugh about how we used to be
When all we cared about was turning sixteen
Introducing the Song – You Say This: The song Sixteen comes from the male singers perspective and looks back at being sixteen, eighteen, and twenty-one years old. The sincere sentiment of the song is seen as he realizes at age twenty-five how great sixteen really was. He captures the rush we all have to increase our responsibility before eventually getting to a point where we wish we had less of it.
The Music Video: The music video can be viewed for free on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPYRBsGMKOU
Hand out Lyrics and Play Song.
Transition Statement – You Say This: This song looks at the pursuits of a teenager and then a young adult. The recurring theme is wanting to grow up faster so he can enjoy pleasures that are currently out of reach. When he gets to twenty-five, he looks back and sees the simplicity of life when he only cared about wanting to turn sixteen. Though this song has a fun tone, it provokes some discussion about being able to find joy and satisfaction in each season of our lives.
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.
- ASK A FEW: What is something you look forward to being able to do when you are older?
- ASK A FEW: What are some things he is chasing after in this song? Do you think they represent what people typically want at each age?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think most teenagers want to be a different age than they are? Explain your answer.
- ASK A FEW: What are some things people chase after in their lives that you would say are empty pursuits?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think people struggle to find joy and satisfaction in the season of life they find themselves in?
- ASK A FEW: How do you think God views these milestone ages (16,18,21) in our lives? What do you think He wants from us at each age?
Read the following passage:
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil.Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
- ASK A FEW: First read Ecclesiastes 2:1-11. In light of the first nine verses, what do you think Solomon (the author) wants us to know in verses ten and eleven?
- ASK A FEW: Have you ever thought if you had more stuff (riches, entertainment, experiences) that you would be happier?
- ASK A FEW: What can we learn from Solomon’s experience?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think it’s easy for us to chase after temporary things in this world? How has Jesus challenged us toward something more?
- ASK A FEW: Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. What do you think the Bible means when it says there is a time for everything?
- ASK A FEW: What do you think it looks like for a person to find joy and satisfaction in the season of life they are in?
- ASK A FEW: Are you a patient or impatient person? What role does patience have in finding joy and satisfaction in each season?
- ASK A FEW: What do you think Solomon would say to teenagers today?
Wrap Up – You say this: During this time we looked at Thomas Rhett’s song Sixteen and talked about the things we chase as teenagers. We talked about empty pursuits and how easy it is to get our eyes focused on things that won’t last. When you look at your own life right now, in the season that you are walking through, what are some things you are pursuing that you know will not truly satisfy you? Are there things you need to surrender to God? Do you need to refocus your efforts toward things that will last?
(Pause and give them a quiet moment to pray silently.)
Solomon had everything anyone could ever want. He had riches, he had relationships, he had power. He found it all to be empty and meaningless. Solomon figured out the secret to being content was to recognize life is seasonal and to find joy and satisfaction in each season of life – and to find that in things that will last beyond each season. Despite spending so much of his life chasing empty things, he eventually realized what really mattered – the pursuit of God and the things God has called him toward. What do you think God has called you toward in the season of life you are in right now? What are some things you can be thankful for in your life right now? Take some time and list some of those things to God.
(Pause and give them a few moments to pray silently.)
Chasing pleasures out of our reach is an empty pursuit. We can find joy and satisfaction in each season of our lives. This starts with recognizing there are things to be thankful for in every season of our lives, and there is much to find joy and satisfaction in. Let’s be people who reject the pursuits that only bring temporary satisfaction and chase after things that will last far beyond this season and this life. Let’s be people who can find what God is doing in each season of life and allow Him to work in our lives and through us. Let’s lay aside the empty pursuits and truly find joy and satisfaction in each season of our lives.
CLOSE IN PRAYER
Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org .