Artist: Manic Drive
Writer: Kirk Moore
Ministry: Union Congregational United Church of Christ
Location: Somonauk, Illinois
Students will discuss ways to turn the emotions that grow from great music into social action.
Take Away: Ask the group to think of a well-known Sunday School song. (Jesus Loves Me works perfectly!) Once the song is selected, have the group sing the song while a member of the group plays guitar or keyboards to accompany (What? No one can play? Try to have someone there who can, but if not, adjust this warm-up activity a little to make it work.) After the group has sung it through once. Tell them to do it again, only this time without words – only humming. Third time take away the guitar or the keyboard. Fourth time: Take away the humming and have students only clap the rhythm. Finally, have them ‘sing’ the song with no sound or motion at all. They’ll just experience the song in their minds. At the end congratulate them on their extraordinary musical talents and tell them that you hope the song goes through their heads for several hours.
Say: You all knew (the song) very well – and it seems that even though we took away the words, the music, the melody and even the rhythm, the song’s message and your connection with it didn’t change. Manic Drive has a song that both expresses the power of music and challenges any listening to make the world a better place. Let’s listen now.
Play Music from Manic Drive
During the video, have students draw as many musical symbols as they can think of:
Say: “Take the words, take the music, take the melody. Take the beat, but no one takes the soul out of me.” Did you catch those recurring lyrics? How about these? “So witness as we take this nationwide!” What kind of a challenge to you think the band is making to you?
(Allow for short discussion. If students don’t bring it up, ask them if they think that it could be interpreted to be a call to make a difference across the nation – and even the world.)
There are references to music throughout the Bible. One chapter, Psalms, is devoted entirely to songs of celebration, praise, sadness and even anger. (If you want, have students randomly read parts of 7 or 8 different psalms and discover the raw emotions they contain.) These emotions – linked in some way to music – can have a powerful effect on our actions. Let’s take a look at some guidelines for how God wants us to use our energy and emotion towards action.
Have students read Micah 6:8 and Matthew 22:36-40
What does God want us to do? (Write the answers students give on a board visible to all)
Walk humbly with God
And what are the two rules that should guide us as we do that?
Love our neighbor
Say: We have the guidelines for how God wants us to use our energy and emotion towards actions. Now let’s talk about how we can use our energy and emotion to do what God calls us to do. Can you think of some ideas?
Some resources that may fit with students ideas include:
Say: Now let’s take this (these) idea (s) and decide what to do next.
Have students offer action steps. Encourage them to make a plan for what to do in this meeting and what to do in the coming weeks to put the plan(s) into action.
Wrap-up: Music reaches us deep within our souls. It inspires us and can move us to action. Let’s be a people who take the words, the music, the melody and the rhythm and let them sink deep within us – challenging us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God as we continue to love God and one another.
Closing prayer: God of passion, challenge and action. Thank you for music that reaches deep within our souls. Help us be a people who take our energy and emotions and use them towards action – to your glory. Amen.