Options in Confirmation

I recently asked two different questions on the pastors Facebook page regarding confirmation.

1. What are you doing in regards to your confirmation program?
2. If you could change anything about your confirmation program, what would you change?

I’m going to take a run at summing up what was shared and try to offer a list of resources, in the event that something you read about sounds interesting, and share with you a dropbox folder that Pastor Steve Heppner has made available for us to share our own non-purchasable work with each other.

1. What are you doing in regards to your confirmation program?

  • –  Rather than teaching the students, one pastor referred to a scenario where the pastor taught the parents who then taught the children
  • –  Jason Lang said that his dad (Pastor Paul Lang) wrote his own for the last two years. He described it as Bible-based with supplement from the Explanation of Luther’s Small Catechism. He added that one of our home groups has been using it as well. He says it works great for their context since most of their confirmation students didn’t grow up in the church.
  • –  Brent Walker uses “Lessons for Life” by Gunnar Salmonson. Published by Faith & Fellowship Press.
  • –  Nick Olson says that Ebenezer in Minneapolis uses a combination of Luther’s Small Catechism and 3DM’s Building a Discipling Culture.
  • –  Steve Heppner shared that he has created his own Biblical chronological catechism which is viewable in the dropbox named at the end of this post
  • –  Danny Bronson said that he has really enjoyed using ConfirmIT! with the PowerPoint CD (That’s the material I use for assignments too, and 15 years ago I worked with Bruce Stumbo while he wrote the material so it became a very natural handoff to me)
  • –  Brandon Pangman said the pastor who leads confirmation at his church developed a mentor program. He said that it is set up to where an adult comes alongside each confirmation student. I am adding that to our confirmation program this year and have included my draft of our plan in that dropbox folder.
  • –  One pastor said that confirmation Sunday is more about a paper that students write based off of their choice of select topics and a celebration of what they have completed as opposed to completion of the class. I would affirm that this is my aim as well.
  • –  Dave Veum said that this is what he did with his 2nd year confirmation class which focused on The Articles & the Sacraments each week in 4-fifteen minute sections.

    1) Large group activity for fun, exercise, team building.
    2) Small group devotions & snack, review of memory work, lesson sheets, etc.

3) Large group teaching where I usually taught the main point of the day’s lesson.
4) Small group reflection.

2. If you could change anything about your confirmation program what would you change?

  • –  One comment referred to the need to not change so much the program but a desire that parents would see their role in the spiritual formation of their children
  • –  One pastor shared of their desire for students to have high expectations.
  • –  One pastor shared of how they abandoned tests and quizes
  • –  One pastor shared of ways they are and want to implement changes that foster more parent involvement

    Curriculums mentioned for Purchase

  • –  Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanations
  • –  CPH has a series for purchase with year one as a walk thru of the catechism and year two as a bible overview
  • –  “Lessons for Life” by Gunnar Salmonson. Published by Faith & Fellowship Press.
  • –  3DM’s Building a Discipling Culture http://weare3dm.com/store/bdc-book/
  • –  ConfirmIT! with the PowerPoint CD (Available through the CLBA)

    We all have our varied ministry contexts and because of that and our call to those places, our responses will no doubt vary in how we teach and lead this ministry to this next generation.

    My intent was not to advocate for any one approach but to share as best I can the things that our peers are offering in their midst in the event that something mentioned strikes you as what might be needed for your ministry.

    As well, Pastor Steve Heppner offered a dropbox folder to which we can share files. If you have any of your own work that you are willing to share and let your peers have access to, I’d encourage you to copy any files that you would like to and leave any there that you would like to. Go to https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ac1ss2wm7ug5lxj/lgDqWbGbIZ

    I already am aware of one other pastor willing to add his files there so by the time this post has been out for a few weeks, there may be more available there as well.

    Thanks,
    Mark

 

Rev. Mark Johannesen is pastor at Word of Life Lutheran Brethren Church in LeSueur, Minnesota.

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