Intersection Summary

May–August 2018

Unit 1: The Future Was Then

Apocalyptic stories are about a lot more than gloom and doom. In this unit, youth will study excerpts of biblical apocalyptic writings in search of messages of hope, comfort, and God’s loving power. Sessions will lead young learners through passages in Isaiah, Zechariah, Daniel, Matthew, and Revelation. Accompanying session activities and discussion questions will guide youth to see beyond chaos and doubt in the texts as well as in their own lives.

Unit 2: Finding My Way

Not quite children and not yet adults—teenagers in your youth group often find themselves in a confusing transition period. They are learning to navigate their adolescent period and rarely have clear instructions. This unit explores stories of Jesus as an adolescent, Paul as a mentor, and the four young men in Daniel as examples of faithful followers of God. Through them, your teenagers will come to recognize their own capabilities and identities as believers.

Unit 3: The Sermon on the Mount

In this unit, teens can encounter Jesus through his own words. The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew contains themes central to the gospel and urges youth to examine their relationships with God as they seek an authentic life of faith. Each session in this unit allows youth to see their religious life as much more than simply following a list of “do’s and don’ts.”

Unit 4: Ephesians

Paul’s brief, yet powerful letter to the Ephesians is written to a group of somewhat new believers. In studying the book, you and your youth won’t discover long-winded or heavy theological treatises. Instead, youth will find messages of comfort, a call to examine their gifts, and tools for finding the resources to handle any problem they face in life. Each session in this unit will encourage teens to ask difficult questions and empower them to find the answers.

September–December 2018

Unit 1: First Peter

During adolescence, youth grow in so many ways, including spiritually. This unit finds in 1 Peter five elements of Christian life to help youth travel through through these changes—hope, holiness, love, suffering, and humility. Peter advised churches in the first century to abide in these attitudes and actions during times of uncertainty and opposition. Through time with Peter’s teachings, youth can explore their own experiences of uncertainty and suffering, learning to engage difficult people and circumstances with a spirit of love, hope, and holiness.

Unit 2: Jonah—The Reluctant Servant

When God calls the prophet Jonah to bring a word of condemnation and redemption to Nineveh, he packs his bags and heads in the other direction before God and a fish turn him around. These four lessons ask youth to consider their own stories in light of Jonah’s. In the process, they will consider the tensions inherent in God’s commandment to love all people. Reflecting on their lives as God’s people will invite participants to remember gratitude and regret in their own discipleship, ultimately challenging youth to look at their communities with the same eyes of restoration.

Unit 3: Micah Speaks

Youth often seem particularly hardwired for fairness, so the prophets’ commitment to justice may resonate deeply with them. This four-lesson unit brings youth to see the prophet Micah up close as an example for following God in the world. As youth reflect on the role of justice, peace, law, and forgiveness in Micah’s preaching, they may even grow to recognize their own place as leaders who challenge their communities and church to practice peace, love, and kindness for all people.

Unit 4: Immanuel—God with Us

This five-lesson unit welcomes youth to join the Church in waiting for and celebrating Jesus’ birth. During Advent, youth will spend time with Isaiah considering the kingdom of God—the path that leads to it, the peace that characterizes it, God’s strength that establishes it, and the Messiah who inaugurates it. In the weeks before and after Christmas, readings from Matthew and John will challenge youth to confront the great mysteries of God’s presence in the world.