Ethical Issues

n02052_ethical

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Age Group

Youth

Brief Description

Intersection includes complete resources for teaching both younger and older youth, including learner’s materials, teaching guides, and handouts. The teaching guide is options-based, so teachers can customize sessions to match their favorite approach.

“Ethical Issues”

Ethics—once tossed around so loosely, over the past couple decades this term has actually come to near extinction. It is almost as if the debates became too much, so society resorted to merely avoiding the issue altogether. Encompassed by this grave silence, youth in particular find it especially difficult to see past the blurred lines of what borders on morality and what lies clear across the way. This unit presents young people with four vital components of the Christian lifestyle, asking them to examine their own convictions surrounding these ethical concerns.

Session One helps teenagers think about their responses to two very important ethical decisions: “Does might make right?” and “Does the majority always rule?” Youth may not have important titles, influential roles, or powerful positions, but they are in a position of power and influence in their peer groups. How can they deal with whatever power and influence they have, so that they make decisions based on what is right instead of on what the majority wants or what is in their own best interests? Even though the seduction of the majority tempts many youth to follow along with “whatever everybody else says,” teens can wield power in their peer groups to influence others in positive ways.

In Session Two, young people consider what resources God has blessed them with, along with some possible ways of getting the best use out of these resources. The term “resources” is not limited to money and material possessions, but includes time, skills, physical ability, and intellectual ability. Although they may not possess the amounts of money or finely honed skills of many adults, teenagers are not without resources. Use this session to help young people consider how they are sharing their resources with others.

A unit on ethical concerns for teenagers would not be complete without issuing a call to action. Jesus issues just such a call in Mark 10:13-16. Session Three guides youth to see that they can make a difference in the lives of children. Young people may not have the training, the experience, or the credentials, but your teens can be advocates for children—in their churches as well as their communities. Lead your group to see that working with children is an important and worthy use of one’s time, creativity, and energy.

Session Four helps teenagers see that confronting conflict head-on always proves to be a more promising route than resorting to petty insults and other low-road tactics. The controversy to which 2 Corinthians 7:2-13 refers is not nearly as important as the way the conflict is handled. This session guides teenagers to consider how they can react and respond amid opposition and controversy. Youth can learn from Paul and take the high road: respond promptly and appropriately, be honest and assertive, avoid condemning or attacking, and consider the interests of others as well as one’s own.

by Alanda Hermann

User License
The purchaser of this file has permission to print twenty copies of this Learners Study Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

The purchaser of this file has permission to print one copy of this Teaching Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold, copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

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