High school is a critical time when youth begin to reflect on the narrative of their own lives and decide how they want that story to be told. Competing influences sway young people between wanting to be themselves and avoiding any group or individual who might compromise their social status. In the end, the characters in the hit TV musical-comedy Glee find that being able to tell one's story with integrity from within a community of acceptance is far preferable to forsaking friendships and dignity for popularity. These issues raise great questions for Christian youth today, such as: How do they see themselves and others around them as outcasts? Where do they find acceptance from others? What do stories of outcasts throughout Scripture teach us about welcoming one another into a community of radical acceptance?
The series showcases both the competitive, public side of high school as well as the private struggles each character faces within his or her family. Whether the student has lost a parent at a young age or is dealing with body image issues or choices surrounding premarital sex, each character struggles to find his or her own place in the world. Throughout these personal struggles, the glee club acts as a source of comfort and courage to each of its members.
In this study, youth will use clips from the series and scriptural texts to reflect on times when they have felt excluded and will discuss the communities of radical acceptance in their own lives.