Confirmation

Dear Parents and Confirmation-age Students,

Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it. (Proverbs 22:6 NLT)

Fathers, bring up your children in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 NIV)

If you’re like us, the greatest desire of your heart is to help your children know Jesus and to follow Him their entire lives and for all eternity.

Trinity’s Confirmation process is open to anyone ages 10+.

As pastors, we’d like to partner with you in this process and provide you with tools and encouragement.

Please email us at church@trinitypaso.org if you’re interested.

Below is the Parent Guide and Videos.

Your partners in Christ’s work,
Pastor Willweber

Trinity Lutheran Church
Junior Confirmation Class
Parent Guide

THE JUNIOR CONFIRMATION PROGRAM

Martin Luther created the Small Catechism as a tool to be used by the parents of children, especially fathers, to instruct them in the Christian faith, on the basis of the Scriptures alone. The church was to be a partner with the parents, providing the expertise of the pastor (mainly by instructing the parents) and encouragement through preaching and teaching.

Over time, the partnership gradually shifted away from a parent-dominated emphasis to a church-dominated emphasis. By the end of the 20th Century, few children in the Lutheran Church were being instructed in the faith by their parents, so the church took on the responsibility.

The results have been catastrophic for the young people. Often, they have not heard their parents speak the truths of Scripture to them during some of the most traumatic years of their lives. The lack of influence of their parents upon their faith formation has led many of them to see the Christian faith as something to be learned, as in school, but not necessarily to be believed.

A RETURN TO LUTHER’S APPROACH

The Junior Confirmation Program of Trinity Lutheran Church is designed to return to the much more effective model proposed and implemented by Martin Luther and the other reformers. This model has produced generations of faithful Christians who have passed on their faith in Jesus in winsome ways.

The Junior Confirmation Program consists of three interdependent emphases:

  1. A monthly teaching time with the pastor, where both the children and the parents attend and take notes. These sessions will cover most of the major doctrines of the church.
  2. A weekly Bible study time at home where the family will explore the Gospel of Mark, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. This will give the children a strong Biblical basis of the central truth of Scripture, that Jesus is Savior and Lord. A key component in this Bible study time is ‘In the Car” time, where one aspect of the Bible study is discussed while the children are being transported to one of their activities.
  3. A weekly catechism time where the children meet with their parent(s) to view a video and answer questions of doctrine based on the video and parts of the catechism.

WHAT A TYPICAL MONTH LOOKS LIKE

Knowing that the modern parent is under constant pressure due to time constraints, the Junior Confirmation Program of Trinity Lutheran Church strives to accomplish much in very short periods of time each week. The table below illustrates what a typical month in this program looks like, along with the amounts of time that should be expended.

Week Sunday Early Week Middle Week Late Week
1 Worship (1½ hr) Mark Bible Study (15-20 min) Time in Car Weekly Lesson with Video (15-20 min)
2 Worship (1½ hr) Mark Bible Study (15-20 min) Time in Car Weekly Lesson with Video (15-20 min)
3 Worship (1½ hr) Mark Bible Study (15-20 min) Time in Car Weekly Lesson with Video (15-20 min)
4 Worship (1½ hr)

Pastor’s Class (2 hr)

Mark Bible Study (15-20 min) Time in Car Weekly Lesson with Video (15-20 min)

Children are eligible to be confirmed in the Christian faith after they have completed every weekly lesson in the Junior Confirmation Workbook (that is, answer fill in every box), have attended all the class meetings, and have met with the Senior Pastor.

LEADING THE BIBLE STUDY AND WEEKLY LESSON

The schedule for lessons, readings in the Catechism, readings in Lutheranism 101, and the Home Study videos can be found in the document, “Schedule of Topics, Readings, and Home Study Assignments.” This is distributed with the materials, with both the children and the parents receiving a copy.

The Home Bible Study of Mark

You will need a Bible for each member of the family participating in the Bible study. If you do not have a Bible, contact the church office for a copy. Try to do this lesson early in the week, at the same time and day each week, and thus set a pattern. By having the Bible study early, you give your child time to process some of what you discuss so that the car time can be more productive.

Start each lesson with a short prayer that asks the Holy Spirit to help you grow in Christ as you study His Word. Then read the indicated material in the Gospel of Mark. Point out the information shared under the section, “Look.” Then go to the “Discuss” section. Ask the question and then wait for an answer. If everyone is stuck, answers for all the discussion questions are given in italics.

Then choose one of two options for introducing the question for “In the Car.” You could read the question at the end of the session and let your child know you will be talking about it later, one of the days you will be driving in the car with them. Or you could just skip the question and wait to introduce it while in the car. Finish with a short prayer thanking the Holy Spirit for His guidance.

In the Car

Most families with children in Junior and Senior High School find themselves with many events go to. Toward the middle of the week, while driving to one of these events, ask the question in this section of the Mark Bible study. Don’t worry about asking it exactly the way it is printed, but try to get the essence of the questions.

You might find that it helps start the conversation if you answer it, in part, first. You can share some of your experiences, some triumphs of the faith, some doubts, even some great disappointments. All are part of the Christian walk and help your child see what a Christian is really like, instead of the gross misrepresentations they see on television and in movies.

Then try to get your child to answer in some way. At first your child might feel uncomfortable, wondering what the “right” answer is. Try to assure your child that for most of these questions there is no “right” answer. They just explore what you learned in Mark a little further.

Video Home Study

There is one video home study for most of the 39 weeks.

You will find the lessons in the Junior Confirmation Workbook and the with the videos trinitypaso.org website. Follow the instructions for each lesson. Make sure that your child writes in the answers in the boxes provided. These all must be filled out in order for your child to be confirmed.

Your approach as leader of the Video Home Study has many different aspects. Sometimes, you might find it best simply to answer the question for your child. You could think of this as teaching your child, much as a teacher does in lecture style. You may decide to let your child answer the question him/herself, without any help from you. Or you might decide to take a middle road, giving some hint or direction for the answer, but letting your child finish the answer.

The Main Reason for the Home Study Times

As you lead the discussions, remember the main reason for this time together is for you to share your faith. Try to do so as often as possible!

Videos for the Home Study

Most of the videos are here:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B6HpTegdjOkLd3c3OERfWkR3eUE?usp=sharing

You will need to sign into google to access them.

The Road to Emmaus video is here:

or here: http://roadtoemmausmovie.com/