First Third Conversations

What Could Change Look Like for Us?

By Dr. Nancy Going, Director of the CYF Distributed Learning Program at Luther Seminary  

If you've tracked Fuller's Sticky Faith Initiative at all, you would quickly see that the study results call the church to real changes in youth ministry practice. In fact, those changes are remarkably similar to the ones that Luther Seminary's EYM study also encouraged. The bottom line is, many people in the church are talking about how youth ministry needs to change.  And they are all calling for significant--more than superficial curricular or "what day of the week we meet" kinds of changes. Look again at FirstThird Terri's Elton's blog earlier this week. She outlines how to approach deep and adaptive change.    

And so here's a story of a Lutheran Pastor-- who decided to work toward deep and adaptive change his confirmation ministry.

His name is Peter Reuss, and here's what they did at his church. Under his leadership, they decided that instead of two years and junior high-ers as the focus for the confirmation process, anyone in his church can be confirmed at any age. 

It is that simple.  

Peter helps his people decide when they are ready to do that. And if they are under 18, they experience the confirmation process together with someone in their family.  If no one in their family wants to do it with them, they don't have to do it.  But if they want to be confirmed, someone in the church will walk with them.  

They prepare for 9 weeks.  And then they celebrate by affirmation their baptism in a way that is they beginning not the end of a life of connection with their church.  

The focus is on maturing people of faith.  It allows people of all ages to make commitments to live out that.

Nancy Going is a life-long youth minister, who loves Jesus, other people learning to love Jesus, her husband Art Going, and the two new families that are her kids and grandkids. See more >

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