Saturday, May 18, 2013

Perspectives from the Field: Confirmation and Graduation .... a Beginning or an End?

Around this time of year, many churches are welcoming new members into the church through confirmation and, at the same time, many are also celebrating as their members graduate from high school and college.  But are you celebrating the end of a journey or the beginning of one?

While it's important to celebrate all they've accomplished, we far too often stop there.  When someone joins the church, we need to make sure they see it as the BEGINNING of their faith journey.  And when they graduate from high school, these young people are often ill prepared for how to fit into a church if they're not in a youth group.  It is our responsibility to help prepare them for the NEXT step in their path.  And that is true if you are a pastor, a staff person, a Sunday School teacher, a parent, a youth sponsor or even a member of the congregation that has NO interaction with children or youth.

Wait a minute ... if I don't interact with the youth, why is it MY responsibility?  Remember the oaths that you take when someone is baptized or joins the church?  Well, you made a promise to raise them in the church and you're expected to live up to those promises.

by Mark Whitaker

Youth & Communications Director and Boy Scout Coordinator @ Avondale UMC / http:/ / AvondaleUMCkcmo
 Advisory Board Chairman for youTheology @ Saint Paul School of Theology
Loving God, Loving Neighbor
Developing Faithful Leaders for a Diverse Church and World Now and in the Future

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