Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Confirmation Class Field Trip

My Confirmation Class experience was one of endurance. My father taught the class of 40 of us on Saturday mornings. I'm sure there was good material, but there were too many of us there too unwillingly and I recall little of the content. That style of command and control was part of my confirmation teaching repertoire during my first years of ministry until we had a class that was so rude and unruly, the Martha (with whom I co-taught for many years in Minneapolis) went home in tears and would not teach confirmation again. That's when I brought in a team of teachers to divide and conquer the class, and to give the students a variety of teaching styles and perspectives. Confirmation became more and more fun for me, the teachers, and the students. By the time I left Minneapolis for California, Confirmation was the third most enjoyable thing I did, ranking after preaching and Bible teaching.
So now in California our class size is 12 student with four teachers, which breaks down to a 3 to 1 ratio. We rotate responsibilities and insert a snack break into the middle of the class. The hour-and-a-half time from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm on Tuesdays roars by. Last night we were teaching about Creation, spending the first 30 minutes in the classroom on a seven day project and then we took a "field trip" all of 10 minutes of driving to the beach where we broke up into clusters to ponder the sky, the water, the plant life and the sand and soil. We gathered into a circle to share and pray. Every student prayed a prayer of praise for God's good gifts all around us. Then, as the photo shows, they began to jump into the sun. That's my job!!


At 2:14 PM , Blogger Rick said...

The confirmation here at CTK is small-group based as well. It's every other Weds eve, large group teaching followed by small group interaction; and the small group leaders do group or service projects on one other evening during the month (= 3 evenings a month). It runs for 2 years and includes 2 fall retreats. And it made a powerful impact on our daughter and really prepared those kids to be a youth group in their High School years. I'm a little envious, as my own early teen confirmation years were closer to yours.

At 3:18 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Thanks Rick. Building relationships in Christ is so much more long-lasting than cramming data and memorizing catechisms


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