Stand By Me
Main Point: At some point in life, all of us will need someone to stand by us. Let’s make sure we’ve stood by others so that they will do the same for us.
Discussion Starter: Stand by Me
A group of producers known as Playing for Change have launched several music videos on YouTube that have garnered the attention of millions around the world. Basically, this group scouts unknown street acts and asks them to record a well-known song…alongside several other artists. In the end, what you have is a song being played and sung by a couple dozen folks on multiple continents. Yep, it’s a cool idea.
This discussion starter uses that famous tune Stand By Me. The song was toe-tapping enough on its own, but this rendition is not only catchy, but really moving, given all the groups that play a role in its performance.
The YouTube Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM
Pretty cool idea for a song, isn’t it? I love the fact that you don’t see it coming, and then, BAM, they hit you with the other sounds, people, and talents all at once. But this song isn’t just “cool,” it’s also reassuring. It is essentially a request for others to stand by us in the dark times of life that we all face. At some point in life, all of us will need someone to stand by us. Let’s make sure we’ve stood by others so that they will do the same for us.
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 what song you’d have this awesome group record next.
- ASK A FEW: What was your favorite part of the song/video?
- ASK A FEW: At the beginning of the song, Roger Ridley claims, “This song says, ‘No matter who you are. No matter where you go in your life. At some point you’re gonna need somebody to stand by you.’” Do you think that’s true? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Since it debuted on YouTube, the song has been viewed and listened to almost 50 million times. Do you think the song’s message is connecting with people?
- ASK A FEW: It looked like the production guys intentionally chose artists we’ve never heard of, common street performers, and rather poor people to star in the video. Do you think that was by coincidence or design? Why?
- ASK A FEW: In general, when do people most often need others to stand by them? Give some examples.
- ASK A FEW: Specifically, when do you most often need someone to stand by you?
Read the following passage:
2 Corinthians 1:1-11 (NIV)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
In our time together, we had the opportunity to listen to one heck of a cool song. I really dig the song to begin with, but then, the way it was performed just put it over the top. But more important is the message behind the song. The guy who opened the song spoke the truth: no matter who you are, or where you go, or how rich you are, you will need somebody to stand by you at some point.
What I’ve realized from life and from Scripture, is that it’s always best to stand by others before you need them to stand by you.
That was Paul’s testimony, wasn’t it? The passage that we read was kind of a grim one. Paul talked about all the suffering and darkness and trouble he and his team had faced. Of course, God had stood by them, sometimes in miraculous ways, and that prompted Paul to stand by others. That’s why he said, “God has comforted us so that we may comfort you.”
I’ve often said this, and this occasion provides us with a great opportunity to be reminded of a powerful truth: our fellowship with one another isn’t just a perk. The love and commitment that we have with and offer to one another isn’t just a “bonus” in Christianity…it’s a foundational requirement. In other words, we absolutely need each other. As believers in Jesus, we need all the help we can get from Him and from one another. So our fellowship with each other isn’t just “fun” it’s foundational. Without it, we are lost.
So our lives need to show this truth. We need to be ever-searching for people who need help, and we need to be ever-ready to stand by them in those times. By doing this, we bring glory to God, but we also bring help to a hurting soul. But what we might not realize is that standing by someone else is the greatest way to find someone who will stand by you in YOUR tough times.
As I close us in prayer, I’m going to ask God to open our eyes to those around us who need us to stand by them. I’m also going to ask Him to give us the insight, wisdom, and courage to actually go and stand by them. But if you are in the midst of suffering right now, and need someone to stand by you, come and talk with us after we’re done. You’ll be glad you did.
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.