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Believer
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
05/23/2017

Dynamic ImageThe Song: Believer

Main Point of Discussion: As we face painful things in our lives, God can produce good things through these experiences. No matter what we encounter, there is hope through Jesus.

Vital Info. Before You Get Started: The following info should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Youth Ministry believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce teens to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most teens, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos like this one. Thanks to YouTube, MTV.com, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away. If you decide to use this, do so by catering it to fit your family’s needs.

  • Imagine Dragons came on the scene as Billboard’s Breakthrough band of 2013. Hailing from Las Vegas, they will release their third studio album entitled Evolve in June of 2017.

  • Believer is one of two released singles from their newest album, and has already topped the Billboard charts in the Alternative and Hot Rock categories.

  • The song has gained mainstream exposure, finding its way into a Nintendo commercial, onto Dancing with the Stars, and on the season finale of the teen drama Riverdale. The song is upbeat with a vocal reverberation that brings a certain power to it.

  • The lyrics speak of lead singer Dan Reynolds journey with pain in his own life. The depth of the song has potential to speak into your kids’ lives and spark meaningful discussion.

Song Lyrics: “Believer”

First things first
I'm a say all the words inside my head
I'm fired up and tired of the way that things have been, oh ooh
The way that things have been, oh ooh
Second thing
Second, don't you tell me what you think that I can be
I'm the one at the sail, I'm the master of my sea, oh ooh
The master of my sea, oh ooh

I was broken from a young age
Taking my soul into the masses
Write down my poems for the few
That looked at me took to me, shook to me, feeling me
Singing from heart ache from the pain
Take up my message from the veins
Speaking my lesson from the brain
Seeing the beauty through the (Pain)

You made me a, you made me a believer, believer
(Pain, pain)
You break me down, you build me up, believer, believer
(Pain)
I let the bullets fly, oh let them rain
My luck, my love, my God, they came from
(Pain)
You made me a, you made me a believer, believer

Third things third
Send a prayer to the ones up above
All the hate that you've heard has turned your spirit to a dove, oh ooh
Your spirit up above, oh ooh

I was choking in the crowd
Living my brain up in the cloud
Falling like ashes to the ground
Hoping my feelings, they would drown
But they never did, ever lived, ebbing and flowing
Inhibited, limited
Till it broke up and it rained down
It rained down, like (Pain)

You made me a, you made me a believer, believer
(Pain, pain)
You break me down, you built me up, believer, believer
(Pain)
I let the bullets fly, oh let them rain
My luck, my love, my God, they came from
(Pain)
You made me a, you made me a believer, believer
Last things last
By the grace of the fire and the flames
You're the face of the future, the blood in my veins, oh ooh
The blood in my veins, oh ooh
But they never did, ever lived, ebbing and flowing
Inhibited, limited
Till it broke up and it rained down
It rained down, like (Pain)

You made me a, you made me a believer, believer
(Pain, pain)
You break me down, you built me up, believer, believer
(Pain)
I let the bullets fly, oh let them rain
My luck, my love, my God, they came from
(Pain)
You made me a, you made me a believer, believer

The Music Video: The music video can be viewed for free at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wtfhZwyrcc



Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
    Q: How would you sum up the message in the song?
    A: The author of the song is pouring out his heart about pain and how it’s affected him in his life, how he worked through it. It seems he gets to the point that he realizes the pain in our lives makes us stronger and changes us into the person we are today.

    Q: Looking back at the song, what do you think it means when he says pain has made him a believer?
    A: It seems that at first he resisted pain and didn’t understand why it was there and even tried to drown it out and ignore it. But he eventually learns that as he just experiences it and works through it in his life, he is able to see all that the pain accomplished, the lessons it taught him and how it made him a stronger person.

    Q: ASK A FEW: How can understanding who God is help us choose joy in the most painful situations?
    A: The Bible tells us about God and helps us get to know Him. He loves us so much and will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) Knowing this, and knowing Him, will help us not to panic or fear during times of struggle and pain. In the book of James (1:2-4), we are told that “when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” This can also help us see the purpose of trials and that even though there is much pain, good still can come from them.

Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.

For Deeper Discussion:
(If your kids seem into diving in deeper and looking at what the Bible has to say on the subject, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)


Want help getting your teenager engaged in conversation? CLICK HERE for a helpful article from our "Parenting Help" page providing you with 3 Essentials to Talking with Today's Teens.

Transitional Statement:
In an interview about this song, the lead singer and song writer said,
“I was really depressed and now I’m in this great headspace and colorful space.” He also said the song reflected on “specific things in my life that were painful, whether it was anxiety and dealing with crowds, feeling overwhelmed by that or the success of the band, disease, going through depression—anything that was a source of pain in my life.”

He continues about the meaning behind the song, “And just rising above that, finding a place of perspective where I could be appreciative of the pain in my life and make it my greatest strength.”

It seems the songwriter has experienced some significant pain in his life, but he is seeing beauty through the pain. Could it be possible to see good things develop in our lives through our most painful circumstances?

More Discussion Questions:
  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Before we get started, who would you say is your favorite musician or band right now?

  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: At the start of the song, we hear, don't you tell me what you think that I can be. I'm the one at the sail, I'm the master of my sea. Do you think it’s common for people to resist others telling them what to do? Why do you think that is?

  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think he means when he says I was broken at a young age? What are some ways that people your age experience pain at a young age?

  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: The song says, hoping my feelings, they would drown, but they never did. What are some ways that people try to drown pain in their lives?

  5. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      James 1:2-4

      Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are some ways our faith gets tested?

  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What is the endurance he is talking about?

  8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why does endurance grow when our faith is tested?

  9. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are some similarities between what he is saying in the song about pain and what James is saying about facing trials?

  10. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you suppose it means when James writes endurance can make us perfect, complete, and needing nothing?

  11. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: What are some ways our family can help each other as we go through painful things in our lives?

Wrap Up:
Imagine Dragons hit a chord with the vulnerability of this song. It’s hard to expose others to the pain we feel, yet we are drawn to those who can project hope during the most difficult times. When he says that pain has broken him down and built him up, some of us might see the hope that this pain we face will not be the end of us.

There’s a reason God’s Word tells us we can consider it all joy when we face the most difficult times. We can find joy because of our confidence that God is good. We can know that God is always working for the good of those who love Him, even in the most difficult circumstances (Romans 8:28). God is using these painful situations to get things into our lives that we desperately need.

It’s important to know that in most situations God does not cause this pain. Jesus said in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world (John 16:33). The world we live in is broken and messy because of the reality of sin. However, Jesus has overcome this world, and wants to walk with us through the darkest times.

As you consider these things from today, I want to leave you with two things you can do as you move forward. First, don’t keep your pain to yourself. We are so glad to be together and talking about these important issues in our lives and God has no doubt brought you this information/discussion so you can know that you are not alone. Let us walk with you through your pain. If you are going through something, do not leave our time together today without asking for prayer, or without making plans for us to connect and talk later this week. Second, decide that before you go to bed tonight, you will take time with God to pray through the pain you’ve experienced, asking Him to show you the good that has come. If you are still in the place of pain, ask God to build your faith so that you can consider it joy. Remind yourself as you pray that your story has not ended. Because of Jesus, the best is yet to come.

Close in Prayer

Written by Rob Chagdes

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