Music Discussions


Main Point of Discussion: Our lives are like skyscrapers – they cannot be built on sand, only rock. If we choose to build our lives on sand, when storms rage, we will fall to our final ruin.

The Song: “Skyscraper”
At one time, Demi Lovato was Disney’s next meal ticket. She was the lead character on Sonny With a Chance, the show that Disney execs hoped would replace Miley Cyrus’ world-famous Hannah Montana which came to an end in January of 2011. Further, Lovato was, without a doubt, a singing sensation. In fact, many young teenagers and music critics (including myself) often praised her talent over and above that of Cyrus’. Lovato was featured on specials such as American Idol and has been involved in a number of philanthropic efforts such as anti-bullying campaigns and environmental-friendly initiatives.

But in October of 2010, Lovato entered a treatment center for various issues including bulimia, bi-polar disorder, self-injury, and misuse of drugs. Her parents, agents, and friends supported her during the tumultuous experience, and in April of 2011, she announced she would not return to Sonny so she could focus on her music career, instead.

Now, after completing her treatment regiment, she has released her first single entitled Skyscraper. This song is completely unlike anything she’s ever done before. Whereas her earlier stuff might be categorized as pop rock, mainly focusing on the lighter side of teen life, Skyscraper digs much, much deeper into the pain that she’s recently gone through. In this song, Lovato trades texting for turmoil and friends for failures. The whole song speaks of rising up from the ashes in spite of the destruction she’s undergone.

There is no doubt this song will strike a nerve with many teenagers who’ve secretly battled inner pain who want to move beyond it.

The Music Video:
YouTube features the music video for Skyscraper online, which you can play for free. It can be found at the following link:

Song Lyrics:
Here are the song’s set of full lyrics. You can reference them for yourself, or better yet, pass them out to your students as you play the music video linked above.

    Skies are crying, I am watching
    Catching teardrops in my hands
    Only silence, as it’s ending, like we never had a chance.
    Do you have to make me feel like there’s nothing left of me?

    You can take everything I have
    You can break everything I am
    Like I’m made of glass
    Like I’m made of paper
    Go on and try to tear me down
    I will be rising from the ground
    Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper

    As the smoke clears
    I awaken and untangle you from me
    Would it make you feel better to watch me while I bleed
    All my windows still are broken but I’m standing on my feet

    You can take everything I have
    You can break everything I am
    Like I’m made of glass
    Like I’m made of paper
    Go on and try to tear me down
    I will be rising from the ground
    Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper

    Go run run run I’m gonna stay right here
    Watch you disappear yeah
    Go run run run yeah it’s a long way down
    But I’m closer to the clouds up here

    You can take everything I have
    You can break everything I am
    Like I’m made of glass
    Like I’m made of paper
    Go on and try to tear me down
    I will be rising from the ground
    Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper
    Like a skyscraper, like a skyscraper
    Like a skyscraper

Transitional Statement:
I think there are a number of connections between the message of this song and Demi’s recent struggles in her personal life. The major one is this: our lives are like skyscrapers – they must be built on rock or they will crumble in the midst of storms. Demi seems to understand that glass breaks and paper tears, so she’s looking for something more durable in life. You and I need to know that the only sure foundation in life is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Let’s spend the next few moments dissecting Demi’s lyrics and Jesus’ teaching so we can make sure our lives are secure in Him.

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 begin, let’s all take a second and share our names and our favorite musical group/artist.

  2. ASK A FEW: Do you think this song has anything to do with Demi’s recent struggles in her personal life? If so, what is/are the connection(s)?

  3. ASK A FEW: What do you think Demi meant when she said she was “made of glass and made of paper”?

  4. ASK A FEW: Why do you think Demi chose the symbol of a skyscraper in her song?

  5. ASK A FEW: Have you ever been in a position of hurt and pain – like Demi sang about? Did you feel like a skyscraper? Why or why not?

  6. ASK A FEW: Do you think it’s possible for Christians to weather these kinds of storms in life? If so, how?

  7. Read the following passage:

      Matthew 7:24-29 (NIV)
      “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

      When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

  8. ASK SOMEONE: These are the last words Jesus shares in His world-famous Sermon on the Mount. What were the two options Jesus listed for people to build their lives on? (Leaders – The only options Jesus gives us is rock or sand.)

  9. ASK SOMEONE: What does Jesus compare “building our house on the rock” to? (Leaders – He says building on the rock only happens when people hear His words and put them into practice. Doing that in our lives is just as sure as building on solid rock.)

  10. ASK A FEW: Does it surprise you that Jesus seems to be saying that storms are going to blow into everyone’s life…not just those who build on sand or just those who build on the rock? Why or why not?

  11. ASK A FEW: Skyscrapers can’t be built on sand. Why not? (Leaders – These multi-billion dollar structures weigh millions of tons. They require an incredibly strong base that’s made of the most technologically advanced steel and cement. If skyscrapers were built on sand, they would literally only stand for several days – if that – before collapsing in on themselves.)

  12. ASK A FEW: Be honest: when you go through truly difficult times, what/who do you lean on the most? Is that a good thing or not?

  13. ASK A FEW: Since Jesus only gave us two options, I will, as well. What is your life built on: sand or rock – His words?

  14. ASK A FEW: Why would Jesus call those who build their lives on the sand “foolish”?

  15. AROUND THE CIRCLE: (If the group can handle it…) What’s one area of your life that’s NOT built on the words of Jesus?

  16. AROUND THE CIRCLE: If you knew what it took to build your life on the rock, would you do so…no matter what? Why or why not?

Wrap Up:
Tonight we listened and watched Demi Lovato’s newest music video. For those of us familiar with Lovato’s career thus far, we definitely saw a girl who’s growing up. She’s faced some really dark moments in the past year, but she claims to have risen up from the ashes like a skyscraper because of the habits and practices she’s developed in the midst of her pain.

In a similar fashion, we face storms in our lives, as well. Regardless of what those storms look like, how strong they are, and how long they last, Jesus tells us that if our lives are built on His words, it’s as strong as a house built on the rock.

It ain’t going anywhere.

Conversely, Jesus also says that if we do not put His words into practice, we are foolishly basing our lives on the most unstable of all soils: sand. And when storms come – and they will – we fall to our ruin. If we’re building our lives on sand, we are the exact opposite of a skyscraper.

We closed our small group discussion time tonight by asking you one simple question: If you knew what it took to build your life on the rock, would you do so…no matter what?

For a moment, reflect on your answer to that question. Maybe my asking you a few similar questions might help you.

  1. Do we truly trust that Jesus’ words can anchor our lives?
  2. Do we genuinely seek to be wise instead of foolish?
  3. Are we willing to leave a mansion built on sand for a shack built on the rock?

Jesus’ words have rung true for 2,000 years! Those who put His words into practice are wise, and those who do not are foolish. Those who build their lives on Him are secure; those who do not are flirting with disaster.

Jesus offers us abundant life and eternal life ONLY in Him. He can do that because He’s given His life for us. That’s what His death on the cross was all about. He died so that we might live. BUT! We have to accept His offer and build our lives on Him and His words.

If you’ve never done that, I plead with you now to do so. If you’ve only based your life on your talents, your money, your status, or anything else besides Jesus, you will one day come to ruin. I can say that with confidence because I know one thing is true: storms rage into everybody’s life.

So, if you’d like to place your trust in Jesus now, we can do so together. Before you leave, please approach one of our adult leaders and talk about this. It’s by far the most important decision you’ll ever make in your life.

Close in Prayer

Written by David R Smith


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; 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 Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.


  1. Ashley
    August 8, 2011 at 12:00 am

    This discussion is so relevant for young girls! Thank you David!!!

  2. isaiah
    August 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

    soo good

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