Intersection Summary

May–August 2021

Unit 1: David—After God’s Own Heart

The Bible presents us with an all-too-sinful figure in King David, while also holding him up as “a man after God’s own heart.” As we study the events of David’s later years, we may well wonder why God chose David. We may think that God surely could have found a leader with stronger moral character and greater competence. God, however, is not limited to what we see. Despite his mistakes, David accomplished great things for God and for his people. In four sessions based on scriptures from 2 Samuel and 1 Kings, we will see that if God can use David with all his faults, surely God can use young people today.

Unit 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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.”

September–December 2021

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: Letting Go and Saying Goodbye

As growing teenagers, youth deal with losses every day. Life at home might be constantly changing, their old friendships might be ending while new ones form, and they may be dealing with a breakup or a friend moving away. More permanent and tragic losses may also be a part of their lives. The sessions in this unit explore stories from Genesis and Lamentations to give youth a way to deal with loss, and they provide resources to seek God in each experience.

Unit 3: Basic Christian Beliefs

This unit studies five basic Christian doctrines. Session one focuses on what God’s name reveals about God’s identity. Session two emphasizes the nature of God’s Son. Session three focuses on the role and function of the Spirit, and four emphasizes God’s self-revelation through Scripture. Finally, session five helps youth think about God’s intention for the church and consider how their community of faith fits into God’s greater plan. Avoiding abstract terms, these lessons guide young people to reflect not only on the ways their church meets these expectations, but also on areas where their community of faith can grow and improve.

Unit 4: Jesus Is Born—What Does It Mean?

Advent is supposed to be a special season when Christians prepare to celebrate the Incarnation, God revealed in the human child Jesus. Yet, revisiting the details year after year can cause us to grow indifferent to the spectacular reality of this story. This five-lesson unit helps teens consider ways they can be prepared and vigilant for Christ’s presence in their lives. During this Advent season, the celebration of the arrival of Christ will prompt your youth to consider why any of it matters in the first place and will guide them toward meaningful answers.