Music Discussions

Craig

craig

Walker Hayes – Craig

The Song: Craig

Main Point: Following Jesus means loving others…because that’s what He did. Loving others means meeting their needs…because that’s also what Jesus did.

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.
  • Across his decade-long career, Walker Hayes has released a couple of albums to mild fanfare, but his latest single Craig (off the album entitled boom) is getting a lot of attention because of the story it tells. The song is all about how a man named Craig helped the Hayes family by providing them with a vehicle when Walker and his wife and their six kids were down to a single car that didn’t even have enough seat belts to secure everyone in place.

“I’m not a churchgoer,” Hayes said. “I had a lot of wrong preconceived notions about church-y folks, and I’m bad at judging the messenger not the message. But my wife dragged me to church. And I met this guy, Craig. He was so genuine, even though I was messed up at the time. I think I even showed up that night a little drunk after watching football all day. But this guy, and I hit it off.”

  • A guy named Craig did a wildly sacrificial thing for a guy who doesn’t even believe the same things about God that he does…and he did it because that’s what he thought Jesus would want him to do. That’s what every Christian is called to do: love others the way they’ve been loved.
  • 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.

Introducing the Song:  I want you to check out this song by Walker Hayes entitled “Craig.” Why would a guy named Walker write a song about the name of another guy? Well, when you hear their story, you’ll know. Just don’t miss what Craig did…and why he did it!

The Music Video:  Click the following link for the online video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIFqTl22XNU

That video shows the song’s lyrics, but if you’d like to distribute copies of them, here they are:

I met Craig at a church called Redeeming Grace
It’s like he understood my “I don’t want to be here” face
I felt out of place and I smelled like beer
But he just shook my hand, said “I’m glad you’re here”
He says “we’ll all be judged”
But he was never judgmental
And even though my songs don’t belong in no hymnal
He’d quote me my lyrics, slap me on the back
Said “Man you’ve got a gift! How you write like that?”

Yeah I know, he sounds cool right?
Not your typical kid from Sunday School, right?
I still ain’t figured out church yet
But Craig, I get
Nah he can’t walk on water, turn the Napa Valley red
But he just might be tight with a man that did
Now he’s not the light of the world
But I wish that mine was bright as his
Yeah he just might be tight with a man that is

When you lose a record deal, yeah all the perks fade fast
Dealership said, “We’re going to need to get that mini-van back”
So we were down to one car
And broke as I felt
My wife and six kids and only five seat belts
I needed help but couldn’t admit I was struggling
Said, “Craig, it’s all good”
But he knew it all wasn’t
A “Hey man I’m praying for you” would’ve been sufficient but nah
He took roadside assistance to a whole other level
To sacrificial heights

Showed up at the ballpark after my son’s game one night
In two cars, with his wife Laura watching from the other
I said “What in the world are y’all doing here, brother?”
He just laughed inside that old Chrysler Town and Country van
With the keys, and a title, and a pen in his hand
Said “Man, all you got to do is sign and it’s yours”
I said “No, no way”
But he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer
He said “Please do
Somebody did this for me once, just let me do this for you”
We argued about it for a little while
Then I teared up, and Craig smiled

Yeah I know, he sounds cool right?
Not your typical kid from Sunday school, right?
Nah he can’t walk on water, or turn the Napa Valley red
But he just might be tight with a man that did
Now he’s not the light of the world
But I wish that mine was bright as his
Yeah he just might be tight with a man that is

My pride was way too ashamed to be adequately grateful at the moment
But I signed the dotted line, and I drove the kids home
And when the cop pulled up beside us
At the light, they didn’t have to duck
Because thanks to Craig
They were all buckled up

Three Questions to Ask in the Car (with thoughts to dive deeper with your kids): 

Q: What was the main message in Walker’s song?

A: Essentially, a Christian named Craig found out that a guy named Walker could use a car. So, because he knew how big of a sacrifice Jesus had made for him, he and his wife decided to make a sacrifice for Walker and his family.

Q: How did that generous gift impact Walker?

A: According to the song’s lyrics, the gift of the minivan meant that all of Walker’s kids could be kept safe under a seat belt. It also meant that Walker and his wife could go in different directions at the same time, if needed.

Q: If we call ourselves Christians, how must we treat others?

A: If we are Christians, we only have one option for how to treat others, and that’s with love. If we say we love Jesus, we must love others. If we love others, we must be willing to show them our love in practical and tangible ways.

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:  Not only is that a killer story, but Walker did a great job putting it to tune. I like how Craig acted sacrificially because he believed that’s what Jesus was telling him to do. I really like how Craig’s generosity made Walker re-think Jesus, church, and faith. The bottom line is simple: following Jesus means loving others…because that’s what He did. Loving others means meeting their needs…because that’s also what Jesus did. I firmly believe that if we show the same amount of love and kindness that Craig did for Walker, the lives of our friends and family will be changed, too. That would be really cool!

More Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: As we get started, let’s all take a second to describe what our family might look like if we only had one vehicle.
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Look back over the lyrics. Why did Craig say he wanted to give Walker the minivan and help his family? (Parents – Craig said he was going to help them because somebody had done the same thing for him earlier in life.)
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Walker readily admits that he’s not a Christian. He hadn’t really gone to church. In fact, he once said in an interview that he was drunk when he first met Craig. So…why should Craig, a guy who follows Jesus, help a guy like Walker who doesn’t follow Jesus?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Agree or disagree…loving someone means making sacrifices for them. Explain.

Read the following passage:

1 John 3:16-19 (NLT)

We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.  17 But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help– how can God’s love be in that person?  18 Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.  19 It is by our actions that we know we are living in the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before the Lord…

  1. ASK A FEWFAMILY MEMBERS: How does John describe “real love” and what is he referring to? (Parents – John is speaking of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for all of us. Choosing to offer His life for ours is the greatest and highest example of love in history.)
  1. ASK A FEWFAMILY MEMBERS: In the song, Walker sang, “A ‘Hey man I’m praying for you’ would’ve been sufficient but nah, He took roadside assistance to a whole other level, to sacrificial heights.” Why is it that so many people just say, “I’m praying for you” when their family, friends, or loved ones are hurting and in need?
  1. ASK A FEWFAMILY MEMBERS: In verse 17, John basically says, “If you see a person in need and don’t help, the love of God isn’t you.” Is he being too tough…or is he right? How do you know?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: This passage says that we show our love by our actions. Why isn’t just saying “I love you” enough?
  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Is there a person in your life that you know needs something or some help right now? What do you believe God is telling you to do?
  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: What are you going to do for them, right away?

Wrap Up:  Jesus’ love for Craig changed Craig’s life when He died on the cross for him 2,000 years ago. Craig’s love for Walker changed Walker’s life when he gave him and his family a car. We might try to dance around the issue. We might try to justify our laziness or selfishness. But the truth is simple: we must be willing to make sacrifices for the ones we love! 

If we say we are Christians – Christ followers – we must be willing to do the exact same thing that Christ did…make sacrifices for others. 

According to John’s passage we read in our groups, Jesus has led us by an incredible example. He gave His life on a cross to offer us forgiveness of our sins. Why would He do something so radically generous? The Bible says over and over again it’s because He loves us. 

I’m pretty sure that each of us has someone in our lives that needs something. Someone in your life that needs someone. Someone that you know is hurting. If we claim to be Christians then we only have one option: we must make a sacrifice for them…because that’s what Jesus did for us! 

Who knows? Maybe we can make a big impact in their lives together! Don’t believe the lie that says “saying ‘I love you’ is enough.” Step up to the plate and make the sacrifice. We just might change somebody’s life!

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David R. Smith

David R. Smith

David R. Smith is the author of several books including Christianity... It's Like This and speaks to parents and leaders across the U.S. David is a 15-year youth ministry veteran, now a senior pastor, who specializes in sharing the gospel, and equipping others do the same. David provides free resources to anyone who works with teenagers on his website, DavidRSmith.org David resides with his wife and son in Tampa, Florida.

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