Music Discussions

Sunday Best

sunday-best

Sunday Best – Surfaces

Main Point: Life is going to bring challenges, but God can bring joy in the toughest times.

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, Spotify, and Apple Music, 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.
  • Since they broke through with their 2017 album Surf, Surfaces has been building momentum and gaining traction in the music world. That same year singer/songwriter/producers Forrest Frank and Colin Padalecki began recording together after Frank had heard Padalecki and his cousin Alexa’s music online.
  • The song “Be Alright” off their debut album gained fans online and helped build buzz for the duo, who eventually found themselves touring in support of the album.
  • In 2019, they issued their sophomore LP, Where the Light Is. Surfaces returned with their third album, Horizons in 2020.

Introducing the Song – Say Something Like This: Texas based friends Colin Padalecki and Forrest Frank wrote Sunday Best to reflect their spiritual beliefs. The duo says that this project was fueled with joy and compassion. “It’s just something we believe in,” says Forrest, who like Colin grew up surrounded by music, singing in the church choir. “These are things I’ve picked up through my faith, which is very real to me, but I don’t want to preach. The lyrics are an expression of my heart.” Padalecki added, “I’ve had experiences with anxiety and depression in my own life. Every time I write a song and reminisce, it makes me feel better about myself. We want to communicate that so the listener can channel those same emotions.”

The Music Video: The music video can be viewed for free at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_83KqwEEGw4

Song Lyrics: Sunday Best

Feeling good, like I should
Went and took a walk around the neighborhood
Feeling blessed, never stressed
Got that sunshine on my Sunday best

Everyday can be a better day despite the challenge
All you gotta do is leave it better than you found it
It’s gonna get difficult to stand but hold your balance
I just say whatever cause there is no way around it cause

Everyone falls down sometimes
But you just gotta know it’ll all be fine
It’s ok, uh-huh
It’s ok, it’s ok

Feeling good, like I should
Went and took a walk around the neighborhood
Feeling blessed, never stressed
Got that sunshine on my Sunday best

Somedays you wake up and nothing works you feel surrounded
Gotta give your feet some gravity to get you grounded
Keep good things inside your ears just like the waves and sound did
And just say whatever cause there is no way around it

Everyone falls down sometimes
But you just gotta know it’ll all be fine
It’s ok, uh-huh
It’s ok, it’s ok

Feeling good, like I should
Went and took a walk around the neighborhood
Feeling blessed, never stressed
Got that sunshine on my Sunday best

Feeling good, like I should
Went and took a walk around the neighborhood
Feeling blessed, never stressed
Got that sunshine on my Sunday best light

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

Q: What do you think about the line “feeling blessed, never stressed?”
A: Opens the door to get their thoughts on a cliché statement, a follow up could be if they relate to never being stressed. It hopefully gets them to start to think about the lyrics.

Q: Do you think a song can be motivational and inspiring and not be true?
A: Starts a conversation about how we can be motivated by statements without ever considering if they are based on truth.

Q: What do you do when you wake up and feel like nothing works, like they say in the song?
A: Gets to the heart of how they respond when they are feeling down or in a funk, and dives a bit deeper into the lyrics.

Where to Take It from Here: Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful!  (There is 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.

Transition Statement – Say Something Like This: The duo behind this song did not want to create a music video, saying, “we never want our music to be about ourselves. But after seeing the impact the song was making we felt like going further and bringing this feeling to life. The way the office/employees transition from bleak to saturated is a perfect example of the message we want to share. Every day can be a better day despite the challenge. We are all going to have bad things happen to us… but we don’t have to be victims to our situations. Wear joy like armor. Be the color in this grey world.” Let’s take time to talk through this song and explore the idea of joy and what it might look like for a follower of Jesus.

Discussion Questions:

  1. ASK YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY: What comes to mind when you hear someone say “Sunday best?” Be as specific as possible.
  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think the song means when it says, feeling good, like I should? Do you agree with that lyric? Explain why you think the way you do.
  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: React to the line feeling blessed, never stressed. What do you think it means? Do you relate to it?
  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When the song says, everyone falls down sometimes, but you just gotta know it’ll all be fine, do you find yourself agreeing with this idea? Explain why you think the way you do.
  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How would you summarize the message of this song?
  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you think a message that is uplifting and inspiring can also be untrue? Explain why you think the way you do.
  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Why do you think we can sometimes find encouragement in words that are not based on truth? Can you give an example of something people say that is encouraging or inspiring, but isn’t always necessarily true?

Read the following passage:

James 1:12
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.

  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Read James 1:2-4. What are some things you observe about what James is writing?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What do you think James means when he writes trials of many kinds?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: If God’s desire was for us to live life never stressed why do you suppose He would have to tell us to find joy in trials? Or is it possible that never stressed is not the reality of this life?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How does knowing God and walking with Jesus help us choose joy in difficult times?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What is the difference between saying “it’ll all be fine” and truly choosing joy?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How have you seen God’s presence in challenging times in your own life?
  1. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When is a time when you were able to choose joy in a challenging time in your own life? Share what it looked like and how you made that choice.

Wrap Up – Say Something Like This: This is a fun song performed by two people who wanted to reflect their faith. As we enjoy their music, it’s always a good practice to consider the lyrics and whether or not they are based on truth. While it might not be filled with blatant lies like “do whatever makes you happy in this life and there will be no consequences,” there are some subtle things that are worth questioning. The reality is that as we follow Jesus, we never have to pretend things are okay. There is no truth to the idea that when you surrender your life to Christ, everything starts to work out perfectly for you. In fact, Jesus said in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” What are some challenges you are facing right now that maybe you have a hard time talking about or admitting to God? Take a moment and by faith, boldly share these things with God in prayer.

(Pause and give them a quiet moment to mediate and pray silently.)

When you look at this song, the line “never stressed” might be hard to relate to. In fact, choosing joy does not mean we are never stressed. As we mentioned, Jesus promised this world would be filled with hardships because sin has broken this world. This is why we need Jesus so much! When hardships come, we can turn to the truth of 1 Peter 5:6 which says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” When we are under the pressure, when the challenging times come, we may want to escape the pressure – but God has given us all we need to walk through that season. Instead of trying to get out, let’s be people who turn to Him and trust Him as we walk through it. Bible commentator David Guzik writes about this idea by saying, “God allows this grief into our lives as a path, not as a destination.” As we walk this path with Jesus, we can choose joy because we know He is with us, and this is a path, not a destination. Take a few moments with Jesus and talk through what you are walking through right now, asking Him to help you lean on Him to choose joy in the midst of your circumstances.

(Pause and give them a few moments to pray silently.)

At the end of 1 Peter 5:6, the Bible says that in due time, God will lift us up. It may not happen quickly, but He promises He will do what only He can do. We can choose joy as He walks with us because we know He is good, and He is the destination for those who follow Him. Our challenging seasons are temporary, but we can live with confidence that through Jesus we can find joy even in the toughest times.

CLOSE IN PRAYER

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Rob Chagdes

Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at chagdeswrites@gmail.com

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