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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or give me a call at 308-995-2208. I would love to assist you in any way I can.