In a few weeks the church will gather on a Sunday for worship to see the most recent results from an experiment we started three years ago with our first group of confirmands.
Traditional models of confirmation expose students to all the theology and Bible we think they need to make a momentous, public profession of faith. With enough facts, dates, and the application of good reason, we're destined to get there.
But we're not convinced we actually grow in our propensity to follow Jesus based on our exposure to facts.
A more pressing concern, we believe, is that we help our students learn how to ask the questions that matter, the ones that will inform the most basic conclusions they have concerning how they choose to live in a world that is filled with contradictions, beauty, and a multitude of voices competing for their time, passion, money, and love.
Does this mean we don't have earnest discussions about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the resurrection, and creation, and discipleship? No. We do, but not in a manner that emphasizes a purportedly "right" answer that short-circuits the kind of self-reflection that leads to change.
That's what we've been doing in confirmation after church for the last five weeks. There are three more meetings and then we'll all see what happens.