Intersection Summary

January–April 2024

Unit 1: The Sermon on the Mount

In this five-lesson unit, teens will encounter Jesus through his own words. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, Jesus speaks for himself and gives us a window into both who he is and what it means to follow God. These chapters also contain themes central to the gospel. In studying them, youth will be encouraged 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 2: Pressure to Succeed

Even within the Church, there are many different ways to define success and failure. This makes the path to victory even more complicated for youth, who are learning to navigate their Christian identity in the world. This unit will ask youth to explore Biblical definitions of success, allowing them to find ways to apply these truths to their own lives. Over 4 weeks, youth will learn to define failure and success and how to evaluate whether failure equals sin. They will also learning how to fail successfully and about the role of grace in both failure and success.

Unit 3: Paul—From Persecutor to Apostle
Rob O’Neal 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.

Unit 4: Learning to Share Grace—Giving Away Your Faith

Leading youth to consider sharing their faith can be difficult. Meanwhile, many adults have concerns of their own. Over 4 weeks, youth will study 4 familiar Gospel passages, each one giving them the opportunity to find themselves in the story. After exploring their own faith through these examples, youth can use this unit to discover endless ways to share that faith with others. Each session asks youth a new question about their relationship with Christ and others—What am I saying? What do I hear? What am I learning? What am I doing?—while Gospel texts provide powerful examples of Christ’s love and guidance.

May–August 2024

Unit 1: Qualities of Christian Leadership

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 2: Parables—Teaching What Jesus Taught

Understanding Jesus’s parables is one thing. Teaching them to others is a whole new challenge. In this four lesson unit, youth will look to some of the most well-known parables and explore their role in sharing the gospel with the people around them. They will begin with a treasure hidden in a field, move to seeds growing in secret, cover houses build on solid rock, then end by focusing on a woman who was excluded. Young learners will use this unit as a starting point to discover and develop their potential as Christian leaders.

Unit 3: 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 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 4: Different Beliefs

Believers, especially teens, are prone to wonder why there are so many 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.