Success and Failure

n02012_success

Please note: This product is a digital file. You will need to download the file to your computer and print it from your printer.

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.

“Success and Failure”

Championship games of various sports declare the winners and losers, successful and failing teams. Our world usually defines success and failure in terms of trophies, money, possessions, power, prestige, status, physical beauty, talent, awards, recognition, and other celebrated symbols of success. This unit explores biblical views on success and failure.

Session One deals with the opportunities for change and growth that occur with the beginning of a new year. The ending of one year and the beginning of another is an opportune time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. In Matthew 2:1-12, we note that because God has come to humankind as Christ, every day can be an opportunity for growth and change.

Session Two helps young people see that being a Christian involves looking at life in a unique way, a way often very different from the world. In order to be truly successful, Paul gave his life to Christ and experienced what many in the world might deem as failure–arrest, imprisonment, persecution, and beatings. To the world he was a failure, but to God he was an outstanding success.

Session Three examines Matthew 4:1-11 and reveals that failure does not always mean we have sinned and disobeyed God. Was Jesus a failure because he chose God’s way instead of the tempter’s way? Of course not! He was obedient, yet the world deemed him a failure. When youth follow Christ along the difficult path despite the incentive to take the easy way, are they failing? Failure by the world’s standards may actually mean we are successful at being obedient and faithful to God.

Session Four guides youth to see that Jesus loves them despite their failures, betrayals, and denials, Peter’s story in Luke 22 is a reminder that failure does not negate God’s plan for our lives. Jesus extended his love and forgiveness, which allowed Peter to move beyond his failure. Later in life, he was chosen by God to lead the church during its difficult early days. Help your teens see that, despite their failures, Jesus has a plan for their lives, too.

Session Five deals with the role that God’s grace plays in our lives. In the context of failure, Paul’s teachings in Ephesians 2:1-10 can help young people see that in certain a way, everyone is failing at life until they come to terms with their own sinfulness. None of us can save ourselves, and in this respect we all fail. The good news, however, is that despite our failures, God has given us the opportunity to become a success. As a gracious and unmerited act, God freely offers love and forgiveness through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

by Eric Bjork and Jay Ragsdale

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.

Print Friendly