I Love Confirmation !
It's that time of year when we have our Bishop's Confirmation Retreats, and I have had many discussions around how different groups approach Confirmation. The new curriculum Credo, has received positive feedback about the many tools and guides available to use with the series and the division into themes of Know Your Story, Confirm Your Faith, and Live Your Commitment. These themes are the perfect spring board for discussion, but discussion can be awkward and even worse silent as our young people have many questions around their faith, but feel they are alone in their questions, or don't have enough faith because they have their questions. My approach to this situation was always... HAVE FUN!
- Don't jump into curriculum and heavy discussions when you haven't bonded as a group. Team building, fun and fellowship is essential before you dive into the process of Confirmation.
- Create a safe anonymous environment for young people to ask the questions. When I taught elementary school and had to teach sex education I would have the students write their questions on paper without names and place them in the box. I would face the wall and read the question and answer it, without eye contact but honestly and directly. I later applied this approach to Confirmation class by collecting the questions anonymously but used both the discussion forum and social network to then continue a discussion. When I started the discussion based upon their question, it takes the pressure off, and gets the ball rolling. Youth also feel a lot more free to express feelings over social network than face to face so it worked well to continue the discussion after class. Allow for the full spectrum of emotions from fear to humor...
- After your Confirmation event be sure to continue to encourage your youth in their faith journey. Don't just jump into your next Bible study, check in, ask how's it going with their soul, revisit some of the themes you explored and help them realize that Confirmation isn't a moment of faith it is momentum which by definition is "an impelling force or strength ' for their life.