Confirmation of departure

I have continued to reflect on the whole Confirmation thang and have stumbled into an interesting think today! Churches often tell me that Young people view confirmation as a passport out of the church. A postulate based on the fact that many young people NEVER re-appear post confirmation. The way that some churches have phrased this phenomena, to me, gives the impression that young people think,
“Wooaaaa I’d love to leave this joint but OH MAN, I can’t until I’m confirmed!”
However the thought that crystalised today, or at least the question was ….. Maybe for many young people it’s the experience of confirmation preperation that convinces them it’s time to check out for good.
lovjoy1.jpgMy reasoning is based on my experience. In my time in church as a kid and a teen I experienced little of God, I didn’t understand half of what we did or why we did it and no-one was answering the questions I wanted answered BUT was afraid to articulate. Confirmation group was a big deal then as I’d be able to learn, experience more of God, ask questions and also, finally encounter Adults who’d explain how this stuff actually worked in their lives and how it might work for me. Here was the chance to encounter the real deal, faith that grabbed the heart and the mind. What actually happened was that my questions were brushed over, the Adults presented some theoretical aspects of faith and I was told lots of stuff like why we were ACTUALLY the “Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church” even though we were Anglican. Answers to the wrong questions.
I realised that Confirmation had been a disillusioning experience for me despite an earnest desire for it to change my life.
I guess I wonder how many young people have a similar experience OR was it just me? I’m pretty sure though it’s not Confirmation that’s to blame (implying the fault is with the young people), we need to look more carefully at the whole process and experience.

4 Replies to “Confirmation of departure”

  1. I only got confirmed because I wasn’t allowed to be baptised and I wanted to take communion without feeling like I was cheating.
    Now I go to a Baptist church and could get baptised as I’ve always wanted, but it kinda feels like cheating. Hmmm, confused!

  2. To encourage – I would refer to my comment on the earlier post on confirmation.
    To be relevant to this post – if adults use the confirmation process as merely a way of ‘initiating’ the youngsters so they don’t have to ‘look after’ them any more – is it any surprise that the youngsters feel that they’re being given the spiritual bum’s rush?

  3. Ok so no pressure on those of us currently preparing a session for our confirmation group tonigh then, eh?
    Seriously, I always have had a session with the BRING YOUR QUESTIONS no matter how silly you might think they are. I think that’s vital. Sometimes we expect young people to act as the adults in church do and hold back the difficult/embarrassing questions but confirmation prep really _IS_ the time for them. I think the challenge is to convey just how open we are to those questions and at the same time explore some other big questions of creed and faith.
    As I said… no pressure!

  4. Strangely, I wanted the answers to the questions you didn’t! I guess it’s different for each young person, and perhaps it’s more about taking them the next step on the journey. Confirmation for me was about becoming part of the Anglican church, but also standing up and saying this is what I believe to my family. I think my experience is quite different from those who grew up in the church.

Comments are closed.