Saturday, April 25, 2009

Confirmation Nuggets

Confirmation classes are officially over for the year at MCC. Last week I gave the final exam to the 12 confirmation students. the fastest finished in an hour and most were done by the 1.5 hour mark. It was a comprehensive survey of the Old Testament. As I read confirmation exams year after year, I am increasingly moved by the students' fresh insights into theology with word combinations I have not thought of using. These are not "cute" answers, but fresh and deep grapplings with theology. Some years ago someone gave me the concept of "reverse mentoring." It means to intentionally gather younger people around me to tutor me in technology, music, culture, media, and communication. Teaching confirmation is a form of reverse mentoring for me. Of course I teach history and theology unapologetically. But I listen also to the way these young minds take in biblical concepts and process them in their own creative ways. Below are some illustrations that i particularly like:
On Creation: "If God thinks humans are 'very, very good' we must be pretty darn awesome!"
On Worship: "I just want to worship God inside my head"
On Sin: "It's because we have a corrupt curiosity"
Why the Passover: "Because Egypt worshiped false gods and enslaved the real God's people"
Role of Prophets: "To deliver news from God (mostly bad)."
Judges: "short-time rulers"
Covenant: "a strong promise"
One on-going conversation I have had in churches over the years is about my role in teaching 7th and 8th graders. Shouldn't it be part of Student Ministries? Shouldn't I bow out and let the Youth Pastor(s) enfold it and just show up once in a while? Sometimes that is very attractive logic during particularly busy times in the church year. 4:30-6:00 pm every Tuesday does take a chunk of time. But when I get the chance to interview the students and read their papers, I realize I cannot afford not to do this. What a gift!


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