Intersection Summary

May–August 2023

Unit 1: Family Living

This unit provides an opportunity to help youth explore the concept of family and their contributions to family, focusing on four components that contribute to a Christlike perspective on family. In the first lesson, we explore why God made us and how this influences our typical understanding of family. Through lesson 2, teens can realize that they actually have important roles in the health of their families and in the health of society. Lesson three offers practical guidelines for healthy communication, providing opportunities for young people to exercise effective communication skills. Finally, lesson 4 challenges teenagers to look at the kinds of commitments they have made and should make with their families. This concluding study is the culmination of and natural response to their exploration of family in the previous sessions.

Unit 2: Stewardship—Managing God’s Gifts

When people hear the word “stewardship,” many think of giving money to a church. But being a good steward entails much more, including caregiving and managing. We accept the responsibility of caring for something or someone knowing that what we manage is not truly ours. Session one focuses on how we manage our time. The next session explores the significance of worldly possessions. Session three examines how Jesus and his friends went through difficult times, yet still remained loyal to one another in the process. During session four, we focus on the connection between how we manage God’s creation and the future environmental dilemmas their generation will face. Whether time, possessions, relationships, or the world around us—God has entrusted us to manage wisely and care thoughtfully for gifts we do not own.

Unit 3: Ecclesiastes
The writer of Ecclesiastes sought the meaning of human existence and raised some troubling questions. Over the course of five lessons, we will explore the questions and reflections posed by the writer of Ecclesiastes, whom we’ll call the Teacher. In lesson one, we’ll focus on the Teacher’s skepticism and search for meaning. In lesson two, we’ll consider the Teacher’s emphasis on certain actions and feelings being fitting for specific seasons of life. Third, we’ll explore how the decisions and faithfulness of a single individual can make significant, positive contributions to the world. Lesson four emphasizes the importance of taking action, even when we can’t guarantee a specific outcome. Finally, lesson five affirms that the meaning of life can be found in God. Together, we will ask questions of our beliefs and avoid simplistic answers, marks of mature believers.

Unit 4: Curious Stories in the Bible

When you’re reading about talking donkeys, demon-filled pigs, strange waistcoats, and buried bones coming to life, it’s easy to confuse biblical stories with tabloid articles and sci-fi movies. However, even the strangest events in the Bible can teach youth a lot about recognizing God’s work in their lives today. Each session in this unit covers a different bizarre Bible story that illustrates God’s power, love, and compassion for young learners. These strange events are especially interesting to teens because, at times, they may feel their own lives are stranger than fiction. Their changing world of relationships, physical appearances, and self-image often seems more bizarre than anything someone else could throw their way. On the other hand, youth have grown up with elaborate special effects most of their leaders could hardly have dreamed of as children. They may be unfazed by a talking donkey, for example, but the message of the donkey will be just as surprising and poignant as when these stories were first told.

September–December 2023

Unit 1: Music and Faith

This unit pairs modern church music, hymns, and biblical hymns and lyrics with music today’s youth enjoy in order to help them think about their relationships with God and others. The sessions are also aimed at helping teens consider the way music affects their lives—how to reflect on what they hear and sing, how music helps them through tough times, and how it tells stories with which they can identify. The Christian church has long used music to teach the faith and share stories, so this unit is an opportunity for your group to do the same.

Unit 2: Champions of Faith

Three sessions devoted to Christian icons. Three powerful questions. Three approaches to finding and developing a stronger, more active faith. This unit touches on common struggles youth may experience with their faith journeys. The stories of Francis and Clare of Assisi, Jude and Job, and Teresa of Avila prompt youth to seek love, hope, and peace in times of isolation and hopelessness.

Unit 3: Joseph—Role Model for Christian Living

Each session in this unit explores a stage of Joseph’s tumultuous life. Throughout each unpredictable event, however, Joseph developed a strong faith in God that allowed him to rise above his situation. Youth learners will be able to explore Joseph’s decisions as they consider the paths their own lives are taking and how they will overcome adversity while developing their faith.

Unit 4: New Testament Basics

Youth will close out their study with two sessions covering major categories of New Testament works: the Acts of the Apostles and the Letters. Just as these pieces provided guidance and sustenance to young churches in their time, these words can give hope to young Christians today with their timeless and persistent instruction.

Unit 5: Advent—Waiting for Christmas

Although the season of Advent is one of anticipation and hope, it can often be filled with frantic activity and back-to-back social obligations that can leave Christians feeling stressed and tired. This unit explores this season with five sessions to help youth celebrate Advent with patience and focus. Learners will discuss and explore ways that Advent can be a time for us to relish in the promise of Christ’s return.