(The joys and sorrows of this particular educational model might be the subject of another post; but not today.)
I've been toying with an idea that is new to our congregation...and to me...but I doubt the idea is universally "new". I'm calling this work-in-progress ONE WORD. The goal of the curriculum is to focus on a one-word theme for the duration of the class time. From a pedagogy standpoint, there would be a variety of activities that appeal to the three learning styles and the eight multiple intelligences. From a curricular perspective, we would use (1) Scripture, (2) Church History, (3) Luther’s Small Catechism, and (4) Culture in each lesson to help young people explore what God is saying about a variety of topics.
For example, let’s say the ONE WORD on a given night was “Covenant”. Here’s how the lesson would unfold:
- Gathering Activity
- Definition of Covenant
- Scripture Stories
- Introduce Memory Verse
- Covenants in Church History
- Covenants in the Catechism
- Covenants in Kid's Lives
- Memory Verse Recap
- Covenant Challenge this week
Obviously, for Christians, the title ONE WORD refers not only to a thematic focus on a singular word, but on the idea that our faith is rooted in God’s living and breathing Word. Helping young Lutherans become more Biblically literate is the bedrock of every confirmation program. That said, my hope is that ONE WORD will serve a practical purpose for these teens as well. By referring to the one-word theme throughout the teaching time, I believe kids will retain more of what is taught. The hope is that the ONE WORD will function like a trigger for young minds in the weeks and months to follow. When kids hear the word “Covenant” they might be more likely to recall the activities and discussions that took place during class time than if they were on their 3rd week in an 8-week series exploring the Letters of Paul.
Of course, that’s all pretty idealistic. That's why we're still in the "idea phase" of planning.
As an additional disclaimer, this is a highly-contextualized tweak of a unique confirmation ministry that already exists where I work. I’m looking forward to fleshing it out and exploring new wrinkles with the pastors later this week. Of course, like all ideas, it’s possible that this one won’t come to fruition. I post this in the hopes that someone might find this helpful for their context…or for people to offer their own Confirmation Ministry thoughts on koinonia.
(I think if we end up running with this idea, our ONE WORD on the first night should be...are you listening? PLASTICS!)