In the course of Confirm not Conform, participants will take on three different tasks: Deconstruction, Design, and Construction
Deconstruction: participants learn that it’s OK to challenge what they have always been told, to look critically at what they have always believed—or always been told to believe.
Design: participants examine their current beliefs and the beliefs of others, reflecting on why they believe what they do and determining if those beliefs should be kept or discarded.
Construction: as participants determine which beliefs hold up to examination, they are given opportunities to articulate their faith through word or action.
These tasks overlap and may not happen in a linear fashion; some sessions include two or even all three of these tasks. But the goal is not destruction of faith, but construction. It may not look exactly like the tradition as we currently know it, but it will neither be a mindless parroting of or (negative) reaction to “the way we’ve always done it.”
Secondly, participants are encouraged to reflect, not pressured to perform. We cannot stress enough how important it is that participants choose for themselves whether or not to be confirmed at the end of this program—but that all participants are thanked and celebrated for their honest and deep reflection on their faith and life throughout the program and especially in the iConfirm service.
Finally, youth participants are empowered for service. This does not rest solely on the youth, but on the church leadership as well. Confirm not Conform provides materials to help church councils understand that youth are just as much active members of the church as they are and should be welcomed to take their place in its mission and ministry. Empowerment is for everyone. That includes you. We don’t ask you to conform to our curriculum. We offer it for your use but encourage you to adapt it, add to it and enrich it, adding your own church’s voice to the process. Asking questions and generating dialogue are at the heart of CnC. We hope you’ll become part of this ongoing dialogue.