Senior Youth: Joseph’s Story

Contributed by: Emily Paterson, Diocese of Auckland

Joseph’s life was full of all sorts of ups and downs. It is a powerful story for helping young people journey with God through the ups and downs of their own lives. This Bible study divides Joseph’s story into six key acts and will help your young people become familiar with his story.


We’re going to be exploring the story of a guy that came from quite a dysfunctional family! Joseph’s life was full of all sorts of ups and downs, and it all came about because he and his brothers did not get on. We’re going to be journeying through his story… it’s a long one – 12 chapters of Genesis! – so today we are going to start by getting familiar with the story.

You may like to give a brief overview of the story by watching the Joseph clip from re:form Ancestors or The Book of Genesis Overview (Part 2) by The Bible Project (watch from 2:36 to 3:48).

The six acts of Joseph’s Story

There are six ‘acts’ of Joseph’s story. Divide your group into pairs or small groups and assign each pair/group one part of Joseph’s story to read. Print out one copy of each act of  ‘Joseph’s Story’ as well as the instructions (one per group).

Act 1: Coat – Genesis 37:2-11
Act 2: Chains – Genesis 37:19-36
Act 3: Potiphar’s Wife – Genesis 39:1-20
Act 4: Prison – Genesis 39:21-40:23
Act 5: Dreams – Genesis 41:1-57
Act 6: Forgiveness – Genesis 45:1-15

Instructions for Groups

Read your passage together as a group.

Discuss the following questions, and draw or write your answers on your sheet of paper around your symbol.

  • What were the key things that happened in this part of the story?
  • What did Joseph do?/How did he respond to what happened to him?
  • What do you think Joseph would be thinking?
  • How do you think he would be feeling?
  • What questions might he be asking?

You will need to give a summary of your answers to the rest of the group when we come back together.

Report Back & Summary of the Story

Allow time for each group to report back on their ‘act’.

This is my Story

We have summarised Joseph’s story into six key acts/symbols. Now it’s your turn!

Hand out copies of the ‘My Story’ worksheet (print enough for one per person), and give the following instructions:
Choose six key events in your life that have made you who you are today. Draw a symbol that represents those events in each box. Then share your life story with your small group, using these six symbols.