By about age 12, the most important developmental task for youth is to discover one’s own identity. There’s tremendous power in this struggle. Youth can be some of the most amazing revolutionaries, in the best sense of the world: idealistic and inspired to change the world and transform the church.
But historically, most kids don’t seek confirmation on their own – they attend the classes because their parents demand it. And in most confirmation classes, attending generally means you are going to get confirmed. "Confirmation" is about "doing what you're told," rather than completing a rigorous journey of exploration. It’s about conformity from day one. It’s pretty much a guarantee of disengagement and duty.
Where in this approach is the celebration of a teen’s ability to choose? Where is their need – and right - to forge a personal identity? As a result of this approach, kids experience God coming from the outside in, not from the inside out. Talking about God is only lip service and the relationship with God and the church is inauthentic. For healthy and mature people, a relationship built on this kind of falsehood cannot endure.
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