Intersection Summary

September–December 2023

Unit 1: Music and Faith

This unit pairs modern church music, hymns, and biblical hymns and lyrics with music today’s youth enjoy in order to help them think about their relationships with God and others. The sessions are also aimed at helping teens consider the way music affects their lives—how to reflect on what they hear and sing, how music helps them through tough times, and how it tells stories with which they can identify. The Christian church has long used music to teach the faith and share stories, so this unit is an opportunity for your group to do the same.

Unit 2: Champions of Faith

Three sessions devoted to Christian icons. Three powerful questions. Three approaches to finding and developing a stronger, more active faith. This unit touches on common struggles youth may experience with their faith journeys. The stories of Francis and Clare of Assisi, Jude and Job, and Teresa of Avila prompt youth to seek love, hope, and peace in times of isolation and hopelessness.

Unit 3: Joseph—Role Model for Christian Living

Each session in this unit explores a stage of Joseph’s tumultuous life. Throughout each unpredictable event, however, Joseph developed a strong faith in God that allowed him to rise above his situation. Youth learners will be able to explore Joseph’s decisions as they consider the paths their own lives are taking and how they will overcome adversity while developing their faith.

Unit 4: New Testament Basics

Youth will close out their study with two sessions covering major categories of New Testament works: the Acts of the Apostles and the Letters. Just as these pieces provided guidance and sustenance to young churches in their time, these words can give hope to young Christians today with their timeless and persistent instruction.

Unit 5: Advent—Waiting for Christmas

Although the season of Advent is one of anticipation and hope, it can often be filled with frantic activity and back-to-back social obligations that can leave Christians feeling stressed and tired. This unit explores this season with five sessions to help youth celebrate Advent with patience and focus. Learners will discuss and explore ways that Advent can be a time for us to relish in the promise of Christ’s return.

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.