Spirituality: The Less-Traveled Path


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Intersection for Younger Youth is a complete resource for teaching younger youth. This guide includes teaching procedures and reproducible resource pages. Intersection combines active, creative learning approaches with quality Bible study.

“Spirituality: The Less-Traveled Path”

The majority of parents take great pains to be sure that their children are getting everything they need to keep their bodies in tip-top shape. They pump their youngsters full of vitamins each day, make sure they are riding their bikes just as much as they are playing video games, and take them regularly to the doctor for annual check-ups. Unfortunately, however, many of these same well-intended parents don’t realize that just as much effort must be made in order to ensure that their children are getting all the spiritual “nutrients” they need, those factors which will move youth toward a more developed and authentic relationship with God. This unit on spirituality is focused on four components that are crucial to becoming genuine disciples.

Because many of them constantly feel as if something is missing from their lives, teenagers especially can identify with the theme in Session One: achieving personal wholeness. Left fragmented by the pressures of daily living, young people may start to wonder if something is wrong with them. This session illustrates that just as an individual would not allow a broken arm to go untreated, even though it may be attached to an otherwise healthy body, neither should they allow certain aspects of their spiritual lives to go unchecked.

Session Two helps teens realize the importance of having other believers look at them every now and then to say, “What’s been going on with you lately? More importantly, would God be proud of your life the way it stands right now?” Granted, no one likes their privacy to be intruded upon by the town busybody. Yet, the message in this session is quite a far cry from having someone nose around in our personal relationships with God. Lead your young people to understand how vital it is to our spiritual growth to have caring people “watching our backs,” steering us away from those things that would only hinder our development as children of God.

Session Three focuses on the endless pursuit of wisdom–spiritual wisdom, that is. Anyone can put forth the effort of learning the stuff of the secular world. It takes something else entirely to be blessed with the wisdom and insight of God. This breed of wisdom is not anything a person can hope to “gain,” but comes only as a gift–a generous, precious gift from God. Use this session to help your youth consider the importance of spiritual disciplines such as prayer, study, and reflection, avenues by which we can receive the blessed gift of wisdom.

Session Four challenges the popular misconception that while individuals can know God in a corporate sense, God is just too big to relate to each of us on an individual basis. This notion makes God seem not only very distant to your teenagers, but also very inaccessible, a fatal combination to your young people’s spiritual development. Help your group see that just as God spoke to Moses, God will also speak to them face to face, as one speaks to a friend (Ex 33:11). Point out that the last three sessions of this unit all point back to the main purpose of this material as outlined in Session One: that each of these essentials to spiritual growth contributes to the “grand scheme of things,” the pursuit of wholeness—that is, becoming the people God intended for us to be.

by Susan Ballenger

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