Intersection Summary

January–April 2023

Unit 1: Old Testament Basics

This unit offers an important conclusion to this volume about changing and moving forward in our walks with Christ. Each of the four sessions focuses on introducing a broad collection of Old Testament books: Law, History, Writings, and Prophets. By exploring truths found in the main books of the Law, specifically, this unit will lead youth to consider how they can take their Christian history with them as they grow.

Unit 2: 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 3: Missions—Risk Yourself for God

Studying Scripture doesn’t usually sound like a risky activity, but each Scripture text in this unit asks youth to take some pretty serious chances. Youth face unique challenges at home, at school, and even in their church activities. These lessons will serve as a companion guide to young people who want to face their challenges bravely and prepared.

Unit 4: Easter—Luke’s Account

For many youth, the Easter story is as ingrained as the plot of a fairytale or classic movie. Accordingly, as teenagers approach Holy Week they frequently find themselves underwhelmed by or dismissive of the pastel plastic eggs, white lilies, and images of crosses. However, their lack of enthusiasm has little to do with their devotion. Teens keenly feel adults’ expectations that Easter “mean something new,” but young people often find they can’t meet these expectations. This series of lessons uses the metaphor of a play and provides a broad scope in the book of Luke to give a new angle on this well-known story.

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.