Intersection Summary

May–August 2020

Unit 1: Jeremiah

In this unit, we will explore five stories in Jeremiah’s life as examples of stages in a prophet’s journey. First, we will examine Jeremiah’s calling from God. Second, we’ll consider numerous factors that might interfere with a believer’s relationship with God and their calling as a prophet. Next, we will focus on Jeremiah’s inner struggle and private pain in a time when he wondered whether what God was calling him to do was really best. Fourth, we will consider how to determine the truthfulness of opposing messages. Finally, we will explore the advantages of God’s discipline as a path to reconciliation. God has our best interests at heart, and the prophetic journey is an expression of God’s love and hope for us as well as our community.

Unit 2: Someone Dial 911!

More than just a mimicked line from TV shows and movies, “Someone call 911” is the plea of many teenagers confronted with traumatic experiences, pain, loneliness, brokenness, and a number of other stressors. In this four-lesson unit, we will explore ideas of refuge and safety, lament, loneliness, and busyness. In the midst of a crisis, many youth long to feel connected with something or someone who cares. As a community of caring Christians, we can offer the hope, care, and presence of God to our youth and build a safe place for them to care for one another.

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: Paul—From Persecutor to Apostle

In this unit, we will explore four stories in Acts featuring Paul. The first will examine the changes to Paul’s life as a result of his meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus, and those Christians who Paul met as a result. The second story tells of the Holy Spirit calling Paul and Barnabas to a special mission in Antioch, which affirmed both of their callings. Third, we’ll explore the story of Lydia’s gracious hospitality and leadership, and how in ministering to Paul, still largely considered an outsider, the church was greatly expanded and encouraged. In the fourth story, we’ll focus Paul’s uprightness as he confronts the leaders of Philippi, who unjustly imprison him after he casts a spirit out of a young woman. Throughout these weeks, teens will gain a deeper understanding of this pivotal figure of the New Testament and how their personal faith might be expressed.

September–December 2020

Unit 1: Different

Believers, especially teens, are prone to wonder there are so many different ways of viewing and expressing faith in God. In lesson one of this unit, we’ll explore the umbrella of Christianity through an examination of the multicultural early church. Lesson two will examine the tensions and conflicts between nationalism and faith in God through an instance where religious leaders tried to trick Jesus. Lesson three will focus on Peter’s proclamations about Christ to Jewish leaders. Finally, in the last lesson we will celebrate the diversity in Christianity today through the passage describing when Gentiles were first welcomed into Christ’s church. Together, the lessons will help teens grasp their place in the diverse family of faith.

Unit 2: Qualities of Christian Leaders

Christian leadership is sorely needed in every sector of modern society. Yet an overwhelming majority tend to think that only certain people can provide effective leadership. Many young people never even consider that they might be “leadership material,” and those that due may have been discouraged by older generations. The four Scriptures in this unit focus on four aspects of Christian leadership: discipline and self-control (Jer 31:18-22), truth seeking (Ps 25), sacrifice and humility (Heb 2:10-18), and integrity and honesty (Ps 26). Each lesson is designed to help guide youth as they consider how they can be effective leaders now, as well as in the future.

Unit 3: Joseph—Role Model for Christian Living

Joseph, the betrayed but beloved son of Jacob, is one of the most well-loved figures in the Bible. His story stretches from Genesis 37–50 in a series of short stories, many of them very familiar to modern churchgoers. In this five-lesson unit, youth will examine five of these short stories and the moral teachings inherent in each. We will begin with Joseph as a teenager with vision and a dream from God, and conclude with the moment he forgives his brothers and reconciles with them as adults. Through this story, teens will learn more about Joseph’s struggles as he grew into the leader and provider God intended. His example remains relevant as a model for Christian living.

Unit 4: Advent—God’s Kingdom Come

In this unit, we will celebrate the approach of God’s kingdom while preparing to celebrate Jesus’ arrival. Relying on passages from Isaiah, we will consider new ways we can anticipate and prepare for Christmas and God’s kingdom. Teens will search for peace in the passages as well as their world. Then we’ll turn to Matthew 1–2, first by asking teens to consider their heritage as Jesus’ is outlined. Next, teens will learn about the titles given to Jesus and how Christ fulfilled them. Finally, we will face the significant power of fear by studying how Jesus’ parents fled with him to Egypt to escape Herod’s fearful violence. Although our fears may not subside fully, trusting God offers a perspective on life and effective channels for dealing with our troubles.