This 4-part video-driven Bible study series examines the struggles teens face in their search for happiness. In a previous post, I described an in-depth, seven-month study into young people and happiness conducted by the Associated Press and MTV. The study, not surprisingly, showed a significant correlation between “spirituality” (loosely-defined, of course) and a general sense of self-described “happiness” in adolescents. This curriculum examines the adolescent search for happiness in relationships (session one), accomplishments (session two), appearances (session three), and despite circumstances (session four). Each session is comprised of a 15-20 minute video clip consisting of interviews with real students describing real struggles in each area, with sound biblical commentary from McDowell. The video is designed to engage students in a discussion that is detailed in the accompanying Leader’s Guide. The Leader’s Guide includes an icebreaker, large and small group discussion opportunities, and a detailed Bible study for each session that will help students work through their honest struggles see what God says about each area.
Students are struggling to “be happy”, and they are often looking for it in places that we know will not ultimately satisfy. This study will help them understand the true joy that is found only in Christ. Of particular value in pointing to the source of true joy are the interviews with Donald Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz), Israel Houghton (Grammy award winning artist and worship leader) and recording artist Stephanie Smith that are included in three of the four sessions. I knew Donald Miller’s story previously. Youth workers and youth pastors, as well as students, will be both encouraged and challenged by all three testimonies.