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Savin' Me
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
03/22/2011

The Song: “Savin’ Me” by Nickelback

Main Point of Discussion: Christians are left on earth so they can share the saving message of the gospel with others.

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

  • Although they had a small-time start in Canada, they are now huge in the US. Nickelback smashed onto the Billboard charts in 2001 with “How You Remind Me” and has convinced us to buy more than 14 million albums since then. Nickelback’s presence has been felt in the pop, hard rock, alternative, and metal crowds. In other words, your teenagers know who Nickelback is!

  • But just because Nickelback is big doesn’t mean they play nice. From “Fight for All the Wrong Reasons” to “Animals” to “Side of a Bullet,” the band issues its fair share of dangerous messages. Their lyrics are often laced with sex, jealousy, sex, violence, and sex. As much as you may want to turn Nickelback “off,” remember that many kids choose to turn them “up.”

  • It is possible to teach students about God and His love by using Nickelback’s music without endorsing their music to your teenagers. (The practice of using secular material for sacred purposes goes all the way back to the Apostle Paul. See Acts 17.) You can easily download the video from iTunes for a measly $1.99 or get it from YouTube.

  • Above all, don’t appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide, primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.

    • Lyrics:

      Prison gates won't open up for me
      On these hands and knees I'm crawlin'
      Oh, I reach for you
      Well I'm terrified of these four walls
      These iron bars can't hold my soul and
      All I need is you
      Come please I'm callin'
      And oh I scream for you
      Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

      [chorus]
      Show me what it's like
      To be the last one standing
      And teach me wrong from right
      And I'll show you what I can be
      Say it for me
      Say it to me
      And I'll leave this life behind me
      Say it if it's worth saving me

      Heaven's gates won't open up for me
      With these broken wings I'm fallin'
      And all I see is you
      These city walls ain't got no love for me
      I'm on the ledge of the eighteenth story
      And oh I scream for you
      Come please I'm callin'
      And all I need from you
      Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

      [chorus]

      And all I need is you
      Come please I'm callin'
      And oh I scream for you
      Hurry I'm fallin', I'm fallin', I'm fallin'

      [chorus]

      Say it for me
      Say it to me
      And I'll leave this life behind me
      Say it if it's worth saving me


    Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

    Q: What’s the message of this song?

    A: The singer is desperate to be saved from whatever it is he’s going through—but he also wants someone to tell him he’s worth the effort! And he promises that if he’s rescued, he’ll turn his life around.

    Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this song?
    A: We should be excited because while the song doesn’t specifically mention Christ or spirituality, its lyrics about being saved and leaving behind an old life can open doors to spiritual conversations about Jesus—the One who truly saves us.

    Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this song to actually living out those opinions?
    A: We should look for opportunities to discuss the song, especially with Nickelback fans we know…and music fans in general. The song and the video are wonderful vehicles for spiritual discussions. We don’t have to push the issue—just talk about the intensity of the video and ask friends about what they think of the symbolism…and see where the conversation goes.

    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, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)

    CLICK HERE if you want to look at a quick training article on small groups and drawing questions out of young people—you may find much of the information applicable as you go through this subject with your family members.

    Transitional Statement:

    Maybe you’ve wondered why God doesn’t just take people straight to heaven when they trust Christ. Wouldn’t it be great if He did? But He doesn’t because when we are given the free gift of salvation, we have a responsibility to ‘pay it forward’. We don’t know how long people have to live like the guy in the video, but we do have a message that can reset everyone’s eternal ‘clock’ to eternity!


    More Discussion Questions:

    1. ASK ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS: What would it feel like to have the ‘sight’ that the guy in the video had, and how would it change you?

    2. Read the following passage from the Bible:

        Jude 1:23
        Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment.

      Explain to your family members that Jude is calling all Christians to play a part in rescuing others from the flames of judgment by telling them about the only One who can rescue them—Jesus.

    3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What feelings come up when you hear this verse from Jude? (e.g., excitement, fear, confusion, etc.)

    4. Read the following passage from the Bible:

        1 Corinthians 9:16
        Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

    5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why don’t more Christians feel ‘compelled’ to share the gospel with others?

    6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: The word woe here actually means to curse yourself. Would you feel like cursing yourself if you blew an opportunity to ‘save’ someone? Why or why not?

    7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you think God can use you to help save others? (Parent hint: Encourage your family members with the truth that God wants to use them to save others, and He will use them if they will allow Him.)

    8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Is there someone in your life who needs to be ‘rescued from the flames of judgment’? If so, are you willing to do anything about it? (Parent hint: Share what you are personally doing about this challenge as well.)

    Transitional Statement:
    God calls us to be like the guy in the video—to save others by rescuing them from the flames. He’s given us the message of the gospel so we can share it with others!


    (Pass out small, inexpensive candles to your family members.)

    Wrap Up:
    Make sure the room is as dark as possible, stand up with your small candle lit and say, “Tonight we saw a video of a man who risked his life to save someone else. We also read about our responsibility to pay it forward and share the gospel. It’s easy to see that we live in a world filled with people who need to be saved from pain, despair, and sin. These people need someone to go to them, and share the life-saving love of Jesus with them.”

    At this point light SOME of your family members’ candles. Let me repeat that: light ONLY a FEW of your family members’ candles! When you do, whisper into the ear of each family member you choose to receive light for their candles to NOT LIGHT ANYONE ELSE’S CANDLE. Then say, “You will see that everybody has a candle, but not everyone has light. Anyone in here who has a lit candle only has a lit candle because someone chose to go to you and offer you light. However, there are some of you in here that still do not have light. It is because no one chose to offer you light. How does that make you feel?”

    Give them a moment to ponder the question. Then say, “Here is the truth: there are many people who are alive, but still need to be saved. If people who have been saved do not go to them, they may not ever be saved. Anyone who has been saved by Jesus must go with Him and save others!”

    Finally, say, “If you are not happy with how this room looks now, then take your candle and carefully light someone’s candle next to you.” Give them a moment to do this and say, “Now, if you do not like the way this world looks, go and save someone’s life by telling them about the life-saving love of Jesus.”

    Close in Prayer:
    Ask God to give everyone courage to go and save lives with Him. Then have everyone extinguish their candles.


    Written by David Smith and Lane Palmer

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