We all remember being a teenager. Every day is a new encounter, a new concern, a new worry. Youth today are no different and they have questions and concerns that can't be answered in a sentence. Included in this Editor's Pick study pack are some of our best youth studies across all categories that explore the ever-changing and sometimes life-altering decisions our youth are faced with each day. Below is an outline of the studies that will give youth insight into their beliefs, their relationships, and their futures.
What It Takes to Be a BFF. What role can friendships play in the development of our lives and our faith? Through studying the biblical story of Daniel in the Old Testament and reflecting on friendships, participants will be encouraged to form life-affirming friendships beginning with the very group studying this lesson together.
Talking about My Faith. This study seeks to help young people explore the issue of expressing their faith with others. The first session helps participants explore what expressing one's faith looks like and sounds like. The second session encourages participants to begin to think about their particular beliefs.
Movin' Out. This two-session study both reflects on where God has already been involved in participants' lives when they have left home on trips or moves and invites them to consider the near future, when most will leave their current home for work or school. Participants will walk in the shoes of several biblical characters who left home, in the hope that as they look toward their own future, they are confident that God will continue to be with them.
Juno. This film explores a number of themes: teenage pregnancy, family systems, teenage romance, marriage, birth, and self-identity. For this study the theme of transformation will be emphasized. We see characters transformed as a bad situation yields a good outcome. There is a deeper beauty to the decision and journey that Juno makes throughout this film--one where goodness, family support, and friendship can, as Juno's stepmother claims, turn a "garbage dump of a situation into a precious blessing from Jesus."
What If I Really Don't Believe That? This one-session youth study invites youth to share what they believe, what they aren't sure about, and what they don't believe. They identify some core Christian beliefs and discuss how they see these lived out or not by other Christians. They also look at their worship bulletins to identify things they question or affirm. Finally, they write a note to a chosen religious leader asking some of their top questions about beliefs.
Thinking about Military Service. Using statistics about national service, thought-provoking quotes, case studies, biblical references, and personal reflections, this one-session study presents an in-depth exploration of youth military service, invites high school students to talk about all kinds of service opportunities after high school including the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, and encourages them to name for themselves the pros and cons of joining the military.
Imagining Heaven. In this study participants will begin by designing what they believe heaven to be like. This Bible study on parables of heaven in the Gospel of Matthew will allow teens to describe in their own words characteristics of heaven. They will find metaphors of a modern day heaven and make a collage attempting to describe it in meaningful images.