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Music Discussions

A Quick Music Discussion Guide

Dynamic ImageMain Point of Discussion: This discussion is a great reminder that as Christians we still have our sin nature, and we need God’s power and grace to defeat it and serve Jesus.

The Song: “Demons”

Las Vegas rockers “Imagine Dragons” have topped the charts again with their latest effort entitled “Demons.” The song is essentially about a protagonist who is warning others about his dark side, which obviously ties in well with the Biblical view of humanity. Interestingly, half the band members are from a Mormon background, and the other half are agnostic - which probably plays into the content of this song.

You can present the song and its lyrics any number of ways, from downloading the track and playing it while your students read from lyric sheets you’ve passed around or projecting a YouTube video with the lyrics on a wall.

Introducing the Song —SAY THIS:
We’re going to discuss the theme of the big pop song “Demons” by Imagine Dragons, which is a huge hit for the band. Let’s check it out. (Play the song or run the video.)

The Music Video:
The video can be found at the following link:

Song Lyrics: "Demons”

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

At the curtain’s call
It's the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you've made

Don't wanna let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don't wanna hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it's what you make
I say it's up to fate
It's woven in my soul
I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I wanna save that light
I can't escape this now
Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

Transitional Statement:
Besides being a well-written and catchy tune, “Demons” taps into a truth about humanity that has been present since the beginning of time. Although in recent years people have theorized that people are basically born good, this song exposes a reality about us that is hard to deny.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:
  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we dive in, everybody tell us your name and something that few people or perhaps nobody knows about you.

  2. ASK A FEW: Do you think most people have things about them that absolutely nobody knows? Why or why not?

  3. ASK A FEW: Why do you think the person in the song is warning his significant other about his ‘demons’?

  4. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Do you think all people are ‘made of greed’? Why or why not?

  5. ASK A FEW: What do you think they mean by this line: “When the lights fade out…all the sinners crawl”?

  6. ASK A FEW: Did you pick up any religious themes in this song? (i.e. he feels he is bound for hell, and he refers to his ‘kingdom come’.) Why do you think they are in the song?

  7. Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Galatians 2:20 (NLT)

      My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me

  8. ASK A FEW: What is Paul talking about when he refers to his ‘old self’?

  9. ASK A FEW: What possible parallels are there between the ‘demons’ that Imagine Dragons refers to and the ‘old self’?

  10. ASK A FEW: How was our ‘old self’ crucified with Christ?

  11. ASK SOMEONE: What does it mean to trust in the Son of God as we live in this earthly body?

  12. ASK A FEW: If our old self was crucified with Christ on the cross, does that mean that our ‘demons’ no longer have power over us? Why or why not?

  13. ASK A FEW: How does this verse bring a positive outlook to the ‘Demons’ song?

  14. ASK A FEW: With the light of Jesus inside us, is it o.k. to let people ‘get too close’? Why or why not?

  15. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What is one takeaway you have from this discussion as it relates to how you deal with your ‘demons’?

Wrap Up:

Pass out 3x5 cards and pencils, then say:

One of the ways we can really get a handle on dealing with our ‘old self’ or ‘demons’ is to realize the spiritual freedom that comes with having the power and presence of Jesus in our lives. When Jesus was crucified, He proclaimed that “it is finished”- which literally means that the debt for our sin was paid in full. When that debt was paid, the power of sin was broken in our lives, which means we never have to give in to the darkness or fear where the demons hide. Because of that, we can truly focus on ‘His’ Kingdom come- so on your card, make two columns- one that is labeled “My Kingdom Come” and the other “His Kingdom Come.” Under the “My Kingdom” section, write down some things that your are focusing on right now that are really just reflective of your ‘old self’. Then under the “His Kingdom come,” write down what those areas would look like if you surrendered them to Jesus.
    For example:

    My Kingdom Come
    - focused on success in athletics for my glory

    His Kingdom Come
    - focused on letting Jesus use me to reach my teammates
Close in Prayer

Written by Lane Palmer

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Comments on this post

   James Grindstaff          3/20/2016 9:30:46 PM

This song has all the classic rythemns associated with songs not of God. We all know that lucufers job in Heaven was music. He uses music as away to capture our youth. And any youth group that uses this song at be to attempt to reach youth where there are needs self examination. I believe your heart is in the right place but you are falling into the trap set b th Satan. He has been deceiving humans for centuries how do we think we can overcome him in his own playground.

   Jonathan McKee         12/4/2015 4:02:03 PM

Jennifer... I totally agree with everything you say about using this song to bridge the conversation from the world to the Gospel. I think this song resonates with people about their vices or "demons"... and I think the Gospel is the answer. As for whether Lane's discussion above is NOT already doing that... that might be a debate on semantics. I think that's what Lane is doing. Some might just want to use different wording. Thanks for your thoughts. Great feedback.

   Jennifer         12/3/2015 8:09:14 AM

This song is one of the "Mars Hill" speech topics for STOA speech tournaments. I stumbled across your page while helping my daughter prepare her speech. I agree that using such songs as this to say that it is teaching the gospel, is dangerous. It would be a better approach to do as we do in "Mars Hill" and use it to point out what our world teaches/feels and follow it up with the good news of the gospel. In this instance, using the song to relate to the unchurched/non-christian by saying we all feel this demon inside, we all feel that we can't fight it because it is true. The truth is (this is where the Bible is necessary) we are all sinners, we can't change that, we can't make ourselves good. But, we don't have to...then follow up with the good news! Songs like these do not speak the gospel directly...only the Bible does that. But, it can be used as a bridge to a conversation about the Truth and our savior. While songs/movies/etc. like this one can be used for talking with non-Christians, it saddens me when we use these worldly things as the focal points to teach our churched and "Christian" children. They should be steeped in the Bible, so they can defend it and relay it to others. They do not need to be steeped in the world in order to know the Bible.

   Muzza         8/25/2015 5:19:07 AM

I am a youth leader of a group of kids that I am happy to say are 90% unchurched... The group that I run was started as a place where kids in the community could come and find a safe place to have fun and see God's love in practice through the practical love and acceptance of the leaders; not by shoving God down their throats. These kinds of studies of popular songs not only brings a common ground to open communication with the kids, but also gives them the opportunity to explore what God's Word has to say, in a very real, non-threatening way. Well Done to all who contribute!!!

   Tim         8/11/2015 11:37:52 AM

Lane, I think you did a very decent job at taking pop culture/media and using it to point our youth to the only true answer for their lives and the truth and peace that they may be seeking. Paul himself used references to pagan altars and temples to point the Athenians to their inner hunger for truth and enlightenment as a means to introduce the person of Truth himself, Christ. I also believe that the small group guidelines at every level are seriously top notch- if someone had never led a group before he or she could follow your template and have a reasonably good chance at success. Keep swinging for the fence in Jesus name!

   Wallygator         7/10/2015 10:36:05 PM

Unfortunately this song has no place as a Biblical exploration or in any form to be used as a parallel discussion with youth. We can try to conform the world as use it as an object lesson. But the lesson here is clear, stay away from Satanic music that lures. The origins of this song is demonic and he's telling you even in the song. His intent is to hide the truth, he can't help but socialize you with his music since he's already Hell bound. In other words he sold his soul to the devil. Friends do not be deceived this music is laced with a demonic influence, the melody alone will capture you. Its meant to be that way even if you try not to. DO NOT introduce this to your youth, its an extremely negative song. Looking at the cover itself is a warning to stay away. The Bible speaks of the dragon and the bands name "Imagine Dragons" alone tells you they are in the business of being his minions who are instituted to instill his influence over your mind. I am a musician and believe me I know the power of music. Read Gods Word and study it but you don't need the devils tools to illustrate Gods scripture or get close to God. James 4:7-Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

   Jonathan D Fenton         7/9/2015 7:37:02 AM

Im not saying this song glorifies demons but it's obviously not gospel oriented. It merely states that he has something evil inside so you should stay away from him. The fact that he is Mormon shows he is apart of something spiritually false.

   Paul         5/20/2015 12:10:59 PM

I had my own reservations about the song. Definitely this post clarifies many of my concerns. thanks

   Michelle Staton         5/19/2015 5:58:41 PM

Thank you for your balanced biblical approach to the discussion of this song. My daughter recently played this song at her piano recital. There were some remarks made that she shouldn't have played it. Your work on this guide will help me address those remarks. Thank you!!