Are You Ready? Preparing young people to live their confirmation
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‘Are you about to teach your young people everything they need to know before they get confirmed? THEN STOP! Instead, why not help them to discover afresh what it means to follow Christ and to live out their confirmation? Are you Ready? is a learning resource with 19 tried-and-tested interactive sessions to help your young people explore some of the deep truths of the Christian faith. Are You Ready? also contains material to help you decide whether your young people are ready to be confirmed, a liturgy for the enrolment of confirmands and material for a pre-confirmation retreat.’
105 page book which is split into three sections:
This course is for churched young people who are considering being confirmed into the Anglican Church. It could be used with anyone aged 12-18. The course enables them to think about their own faith and to decide whether confirmation is the right next step for them in their faith journey.
The book is laid out well and is very clear to follow. There is a standard format to each session and so a leader will quickly get to grips with how the sessions are supposed to work. The background chapters are helpful in considering what confirmation is and why it is important to prepare young people before their confirmation. Whilst there are 19 session outlines, it is not recommended to run a confirmation preparation course of this length. Instead, the author suggest that the leader picks and chooses specific sessions which are most relevant to their group, and encourages that the young people themselves can choose some of the issues sessions using the book like a menu. Each session would probably last about 45 minutes in duration but could be extended by using a meal of some kind of refreshments on arrival.
It is clear that this book is to help young people come together and consider what confirmation is and how it will impact their faith and life ahead.
The leader's notes are very easy to follow and quick to pick up.
These sessions would be best led by an experienced youth leader or clergy as they are discussion based and so the leader would need to be confident in exploring issues of faith and responding to differing opinions and thoughts.
Each session will require some preparation depending on the choices of activity. Some time will need to be spent considering the Bible passages and possible questions that may arise and how best to answer these questions. There are no suggested answers or clear teaching points so time would need to be spent considering these.
The material is designed to be used with a confirmation preparation group and is discussion based.
There is a good mix of activities and options so that the leader can tailor the material to suit the personalities and learning styles of their group.
Due to the course offering a menu selection of sessions to use, it should be easy to choose the most appropriate sessions for your young people and make it straightforward to adapt to their needs.
There is a good mix between personal faith and commitment and the chance to discuss together and to shape each other's thoughts and opinions.
Each session has a Bible passage to focus on, which can be a couple of verses or a longer passage, depending on how much you think your group could manage.
Each session's Bible passage is to be read together and then there are some possible discussion questions. It would have been helpful for some suggested answers to some of the questions, but the author seems to prefer allowing the discussion to help lead people to conclusions rather than offering a specific theological opinion.
The Issues section apply specifically to everyday life and helps the participants to consider how their faith might affect different areas of their life such as their sexuality, self image and busyness.
This is an Anglican confirmation course and written for this purpose. The sessions could be used away from this purpose but probably only really work well in an Anglican setting.
The material is designed to help young people develop an ownership of their faith and to help them see how this affects the whole of their lives.
The course helps young people consider core concepts of the Christian faith and to have the opportunity to discuss them in a safe environment.
The issues sessions are designed to help participants grapple with life issues that are relevant to the group, in a non-threatening way.
There are 2 sessions offered on evangelism: ‘proclaim the good news' and ‘seek and serve Christ in all people'. It would be a good idea to include at least one of these in your course programme.
There is a chapter on ‘fellowship' and how the local church should be.
The session on suffering helps individuals to consider the source of evil and suffering in the world and to think about their response (and God's) to suffering.
This is not explicitly considered.