Teaching the Faith: Confirmation

Do your students enter your con­firmation room with the same look they have entering the dentist’s of­fice? Do you ever feel like your lessons are like last week’s leftovers … a little stale? Do you ever wonder how much is really sinking in their little heads?

If so, I do not have all the answers. However, here are few which I have found to work.

Consider offering confirmation in­struction during a week in the summer or as a series of retreats.
We have found students are much more engaged in the summer and enjoy getting to see their friends again. We offer our “Basics Camp” on Sunday from 3-5 p.m. and then from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This gives us a large chunk of uninterrupted time to teach. As an added bonus, we have found children with atten­tion disorders have an easier time engag­ing during the daytime hours.

Work to build relationships.
We begin each morning by getting youth moving and interacting through games like “Minute to Win It”. We have found this is a fun way to get youth comfort­able with one another and fired up for another awesome day. This also seems to help youth focus and engage in the morning lessons.

Try using objects to teach.
Jesus did this throughout His ministry. We use objects for each of the six chief parts. For example, in teaching the need for the Holy Spirit and the work of the Holy Spirit we give each student an unlit candle and turn off the lights. Sitting in a circle, we discuss why we all need the Holy Spirit because we are all spiritually in the dark. Then we bring in a lit candle along with the Bible and the baptismal bowl filled with water. We talk about how the Holy Spirits brings us the light through the Word and Sacrament to shine in our hearts through faith. After lighting each student’s candle, we continue this light/darkness metaphor of the Gospel throughout the lesson.
Other ideas include guest speakers, video clips, skits, sign language and small group discussion.

Look at your overall structure.
Our structure includes: First Communion (7th grade), Confession Sunday (8th Grade), Confirmation (10th Grade) and Commissioning Sunday (12th grade). With each of these steps we provide oppor­tunities for youth and parents to learn the basics of the Christian faith.

Make review fun.
This summer we are going to use a fun online learning resource called Kahoot! (getkahoot.com). It is a great tool that we will use to reinforce the basic teachings of the Christian faith.

If you want more information, I invite you to join the free RSTM webinar March 9th at 1 p.m. as I present on teaching the faith to junior high youth. You may also email me at mtcalpastor@gmail.com or give me a call at 308-995-2208. I would love to assist you in any way I can.

 

Rural & Small Town Mission supports and encourages rural and small town congregations in engaging their communities and growing together in Christ through Word and Sacrament. If you have a good idea for outreach or a story you’d like to share so that we can share it with others, please email Amy Gerdts atamy.gerdts@lcms.org.

Learn more about us at www.lcms.org/rstm , by calling our office at 888-463-5127, by email at rstm@lcms.org or “like” us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lcmsrstm.

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