i’m a big fan of confirmation sunday

i’m a relatively new presbyterian – 3 years to be exact.  yesterday i experienced my second confirmation sunday – and i think it’s one of the greatest things we’ve got going in our church for the spiritual formation of kids and students.

for the entire school year – the 8th graders of our church spend their sunday mornings in confirmation class – learning about their faith, their church, and the history that surrounds their faith and church. then on a sunday morning in may, they stand up in the front of the church – before their entire faith community, their family, their friends, their pastors, and their shepherds – and commit to following jesus the very best they can, and to build his church with their skills and passions. it’s fantastic.

there is a part at the very end of the worship service that always makes me emotional. near the end, all of the confirmands stand in the front of the church in a circle as the pastors, family, friends and confirmation shepherds gather around them and pray for them. it’s a beautiful picture of the church and home working together, partnering closely for the sake of the child. last year, my husband served as a confirmation shepherd to the coolest 8th grader in the bunch. i was extremely emotional as i watched him pray over the student – i felt so much pride for my husband and the way he continues to use his gifts to invest in students. but this year – my husband and i watched from the balcony – and it was just as emotional. young 14 year old students committing themselves to following jesus and his church.

i love what confirmation communicates to both students and adults at our church – you as a 14 year old are crucial to our faith community. god leads you, and gifts you – and we need you to contribute to our community. in her book “postmodern children’s ministry” ivy beckwith quotes horace bushnell by stating:

“my argument is to establish that the child is to grow up a christian and never know himself as being otherwise.”

i love this – and i believe the ritual of confirmation affirms faith in students, as they continue to build on the foundation from childhood and move into a mature life of faith.


One response to this post.

  1. I love that mental picture I get of seeing those young people committing themselves to the Lord and the congregation committing to pray and teach them. That is awesome! This is what church is about.


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