Intersection Summary

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.

January–April 2021

Epiphany

Focusing on Matthew 2:1-12, this single session deals with the opportunities for change and growth that occur with the beginning of a new year.

Unit 1: Champions of Faith

The pages of Christian history are filled with numerous believers through whom God has accomplished extraordinary deeds in ordinary ways and some ordinary deeds in extraordinary ways. The three champions of faith that young people will meet in these sessions are anything but boring historical figures. Francis and Clare of Assisi inspired people all over Europe to unite in turning upside-down the thirteenth-century world. Teresa of Avila, a woman in a male-dominated sixteenth-century society, wrote books about Christian thought and prayer, and reformed a four-hundred-year-old religious order. These highly honored heroes were basically ordinary people who simply gave their best to God, and ones worthy of immolation.

Unit 2: Spirituality—The Less Traveled Path

No matter how large your church congregation, spirituality is hardly a frequently traveled path. In this unit, we’ll explore aspects of this journey, as well as its lonely nature. Session one will focus on achieving personal wholeness. Session two helps teens realize the importance of having other believers check in with them and seek accountability. Session three focuses on the endless pursuit of spiritual wisdom and the insight of God. Session four challenges the popular misconception that while individuals can know God in a corporate sense, God is too big to relate to each of us on an individual basis. Finally, we will dwell on God’s message to us through Moses, that spirituality is a relationship in which God will also speak to us face to face, as one speaks to a friend (Ex 33:11).

Unit 3: Role Models of Faith

From slaves to monarchs, seamstresses to saints, mothers to military leaders, history is filled with amazing women of faith. These women were strong and knew how to speak up for the truth, loved God and served others, taught and fought and risked their very lives. In this four-lesson unit, youth will learn about female biblical figures alongside women regarded as saints in the years since the New Testament was written. These women include: Tabitha and Olympias, Deborah and Hildegard of Bingen, Priscilla and Mother Ann Lee, Queen Esther and Sojourner Truth. In such women, youth can find role models worthy of their admiration and emulation.

Unit 4: Being Changed by Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

For believers, Easter is the most important event in the entire history of humankind—and not for any reason involving chocolate candy or colored eggs. In short, Christmas brings God to the people, but Easter brings the people to God. This five-lesson unit begins by lifting up Jesus as the prime example of facing responsibility regardless of the consequences. Session two guides teens to consider how they resemble the crowd that greeted Jesus during his triumphal entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem. The next lesson shifts from personal examination to ways we practice our faith by examining. Session four discusses how Christian community is accomplished through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Finally, we’ll explore how the evidence of resurrection overhauls one’s lifestyle, moving a person beyond mere acceptance to relationship.