100 Things - the Blog

For the next several months, I am taking on the challenge of blogging through this list of 100 things that a young person should COME to their Confirmation class already knowing. You can read here my first blog entry in this series, which gives some more background on why something like this is helpful and necessary.

There are two things to keep in mind when looking at this list.

First, it is overwhelming. Each time I added more I kept asking myself, "Should I really expect a student to know this?" My litmus test for what belongs on this list was a common exchange that I have had with many students over the years. It goes something like this...

me: You know the story of the woman at the well...right?
student: um...no.
me: WHAT!?

Everything on this list is something that would elicit that shocked reaction from me.

Second, this list is not exhaustive. I have tried to wrap my head around different categories of the biblical story and topics that are generally covered in a Confirmation Class. This should not be the limit of what a student brings, just the minimum.

In each post I will explain what I mean more specifically by each item and what I am able to teach in the class because they come with the knowledge below already. For example, if they come already knowing some of the most iconic parables of the Gospels, I can spend time teaching them some more difficult parables or spend time digging deeper into the ones they already know.

The headings throughout this list provide links to each corresponding post.

Bible Basics
1. The Bible is composed of many different books with different authors written at different times.
2. Much of the Bible comes from ancient oral tradition.
3. The Old Testament is the story of the Israelite people.
4. The New Testament is the story of the life of Jesus and the early Christians.
5. There are many different modern translations of the Bible.

6. Creation and other primeval stories
7. Noah's Ark
8. Abraham and Sarah
9. Isaac and Rebecca
10. Jacob and his sons

11. The birth of Moses
12. The call of Moses
13. The plagues
14. The Exodus
15. The wilderness experience

16. You shall worship God alone
17. You shall not make any idols of God
18. You shall not abuse the name of God
19. You shall keep the Sabbath holy
20. Honor your father and mother
21. You shall not murder
22. You shall not commit adultery
23. You shall not steal
24. You shall not lie
25. You shall not covet what your neighbor owns

26. The basics
27. The stories of David
28. The temple
29. The exile
30. The historical books

31. Psalm 23
32. Proverbs
33. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (A Time for Every Season)
34. Isaiah 9:9-7 & 11:1-9 (The coming of the Messiah and the Peaceable Kingdom)
35. Jeremiah 18:1-11 (The Potter and the Clay)

36. Jonah
37. Daniel
38. Ruth
39 Esther
40. Samson

41. Matthew
42. Mark
43. Luke
44. John
45. The Acts of the Apostles

46. Good Samaritan (Luke 10:2-37)
47. The Lost Sheep and Coin (Luke 15: 1-10)
48. Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 11-32)
49. The Sower (Matthew 13:1-9)
50. The Mustard Seed (Matthew 13: 31-32)

51. Feeding of the 5,000 (Mark 6:30-44)
52. Walking on Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
53. Raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45)
54. Water into Wine (John 2:1-11)
55. Healing of the Paralytic (Luke 15:17-26)

Sayings of Jesus
56. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-11)
57. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44)
58. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7: 12)
59. “Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
60. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only beloved son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

61.  The stories of Jesus’ birth
62. Jesus lost in the temple
63. Jesus’ baptism
64. The temptation in the wilderness
65. The Transfiguration

Iconic Stories of the Gospels
66. Jesus turns over the tables in the temple
67. The woman at the well
68. Call of the disciples
69. Zacchaeus the tax collector
70. The Sermon on the Mount

The Stories of Holy Week (and beyond)
71. Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)
72. The Last Supper (Maundy Thursday)
73. Passion/Crucifixion (Good Friday)
74. Resurrection (Easter)
75. Ascension

The Life of the Early Church
76. The Gift of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost)
77. The Conversion of Paul
78. Journeys and Letters of Paul
79. Differences between Jews and Gentiles
80. The Book of Revelation

The Liturgical Year
81. Advent
82. Lent
83. Easter
84. Pentecost
85. Ordinary Time

Life of the Church and Your Family
86. Basic worship practices
87. Baptismal practices
88. Communion practices
89. Your family’s religious background
90. How parents (grandparents) volunteer or are involved in the church

91. Roman Catholic
92. Episcopal
93. Methodist
94. Lutheran
95. Presbyterian

World Religions
96. Christianity
97. Islam
98. Judaism
99. Buddhism
100. Hinduism


  1. I think the denominations need broader strokes--perhaps Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Mainline?

    1. I agree, this is a hard one, because I have some students who come to Confirmation not even understanding that there are different types of Christians. In my list above, I would not expect that a student could articulate the difference among these mainline denominations, but they are coming having heard of them before. In class we always walk through the developement of the variety of denominations and how they fit into different catagories. My goal is that as we walk through that history and I mention, Lutherans or Mennonites, or Roman Catholics that they will be able to say things like "oh yeah, there is a Lutheran Church in my neighborhood," or "My grandparents are Roman Catholic." Thanks for your input!

    2. Perhaps one could personalize this section. What denomination are the churches in the neighborhood? From what denominations did the confirmands or their parents come? I do think it's important that kids be able to differentiate between(in Marcus Borg's terms) the "earlier paradigm" and the "emerging paradigm" of Christianity.

  2. Reading this list gave me such an appreciation for my American Baptist Sunday school. I knew virtually all of the material! Yea for dedicated, volunteer Christians who taught Sunday school in the 70's and 80's. My son is starting Confirmation at our Presbyterian USA church this week. I'm fairly certain he's got a lot to learn. Thanks

  3. I am teaching confirmation class for the first time, at our very small Episcopal church, right now, and even I don't think I know all 100 of these things! I think this will be a good guide for us as we go through the process.

  4. We are getting kids in "Confirmation" who neither come and worship nor have ever been in Sunday School. They know nothing let alone 100 things. Your list is great.

  5. There is so much to appreciate about this. Thank you. One of the most important for me is the understanding of the interconnectedness of passing on the faith. It has been left up the the professionals (like me) for far too long. It takes the entire community. It begins at home. Can't wait to read more.
    Thanks again!