Over the next couple of months many churches will have confirmation Sunday. This will be the time that youth, mostly 6, 7 and 8th graders profess their faith. They will stand before the church and confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They will say they will uphold the United Methodist Church by their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.
Yet, where will they be in their faith journey a year from now, or 5 years from now? So often, Confirmation and joining the church is just a check mark off the list of the do-list. A parent has now fulfilled their promise at infant baptism. Or at least the students now have a faith and belief that will sustain them for the rest of their life.
For me, Confirmation is crucial. It is not the end of a journey, nor the beginning. It is a time where we as a church pour our lives into these students to build relationships: Relationships between parent and child, realationships between students and other adults in the church, relationships between students and God, relationships between students and their peers. All of these relationships are important as these confirmation students continue their faith journey beyond confirmation.
Our faith journey continues after confirmation. There is no way we can learn everything during a 6 or 15 week class or even a year long or 2 year long class. It is building those relationships for the journey to continue. What are we doing to help that journey continue? How are we involving parents in the process? How is the whole church involved? What are those memories that are being built within the group? Where are we providing the opportunities for God to be experienced?
Confirmation is an experience, not just a class. Confirmation is the place where we can connect youth to God, the church, and friends. Confirmation can be the future of the youth ministry in a local church.
Share your stories of how confirmation is changing lives.