The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Change confirmation

Yep, I pointed out the elephant in the youth room. I understand the theology behind baptism and confirmation. But let’s face it: Confirmation as done in nearly every ELCA congregation doesn’t work. We’re doing what we’ve always done.

Did you just say it works? Maybe you didn’t, but someone reading this did. Then answer this question: How many of your active students stay active after confirmation? After high school? College? Do you even know? The answer is the same as to why the ELCA lost 600,000 members in 21 years.

The problem? Confirmation focuses on knowing about God instead of knowing God. We teach about the church instead of helping people become part of it. We think we need to know about a religion or a denomination before we can submit to it. Did Jesus give an autobiography to his disciples before commanding them to follow?

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