Wednesday, May 28, 2014

100 Things Your Child Should Know Before Confirmation - The Book

I am delighted to announce officially today that I am working with SPCK Publishing on a new resource based on two years of writing about the basic information students should grasp about the Bible and the church BEFORE they start their time of preparation to be Confirmed as adult members of the church. 

Confirmation is a rite of passage in which students take the identity and knowledge that has been shaped in them for (in most cases) thirteen years of their life and do intentional work to transform that into a growing adult faith and an identity as an adult member of the faith community. 

In many cases, Confirmation has instead become a chance to teach all of the foundational biblical and theological material that students have not previously been exposed to or intentionally taught. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Life of the Early Church: The Final 5 Things (out of 100) That Your Child Should Know Before Confirmation Class

After two years of blogging through this list of the 100 Things That Your Child Should Know BEFORE Confirmation Class, I find myself here at the end with the topics that I always cover at the very beginning of this year of preparation for students choosing to become adult members of the church.

While an important part of being Confirmed is making a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ, just as important is making a choice to live out that faith in the context of a particular Christian community. 

Two weeks ago, I shared some of the questions that students are asked to answer in my Presbyterian tradition related to their declaration of faith. Here is the final question they are asked:

Will you be a faithful member of this congregation, share in its worship and ministry through your prayers and gifts, your study and service and so fulfill your calling to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?

While it may sound heretical, this question is just as important to me as all of the others. 

The Christian experience is rooted in community from its very start. To be a Christian outside of community means losing an essential part of how the Bible models faith expression and the practices of faith. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Parable of the Sower Explained: helping children recover from a bad Bible study experience

Last weekend our son attended a family church retreat with friends, and he had a great time. Leading up to it, I had mentioned to him that the children’s Bible study sessions were going to focus on the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9). His response: “Great! I like that parable.” I am not sure when he first learned it or made it a favorite, but it was a good sign that he was going to have a positive attitude about the experience.

When he came home, we spent so much time listening to stories about swimming, playing, talent shows, and exploring on the beach that I almost forgot to ask how the Bible study went. His response: “Actually, it made me feel really bad. I didn’t like it.”