The LCA’s Grow Ministries has launched a ‘practical, accessible’ and ‘refreshing’ new resource which offers a new way of looking at confirmation.
Released last week after five years of research and testing, Grow Disciples – A guide for cultivating lifelong faith is designed to assist congregations, pastors, families and young people in their approach to and participation in confirmation ministry.
The guide’s focus is on learning and discipleship through intergenerational relationships, conversation and practical applications of faith.
Grow Ministries Director Jodi Brook said through Grow Disciples, congregations, leaders, families and young people would ‘experience a refreshing shift from providing a confirmation class to building community’.
‘Grow Disciples is designed to assist congregations and pastors build authentic relationships and equip confirmation students for a lifelong journey of faith. It takes us beyond curriculums and resources to the heart of faith formation’, she said.
The resource has two parts: the book and the curriculum. The book offers three key considerations when planning a confirmation program: to implement a long-range mindset, to be relational and to create a compelling session. These three considerations are embedded into the five curriculum modules, which cover 38 sessions in all: God’s Big Story, The Old Testament, The Story of Jesus, The New Testament and Being Lutheran.
LCA/NZ Bishop John Henderson described Grow Disciples as ‘an exciting and important shift in our focus on congregational ministry with children and young people’.
‘The renewed emphasis on lifelong intergenerational discipleship will serve us well in nurturing community and personal faith in meaningful, practical and Christ-centred ways’, he said.
LCA Executive Officer – Local Mission Dr Tania Nelson said Grow Disciples showed an understanding of the needs of 21st century young people in New Zealand and Australia.
‘Based on extensive research, both within the LCA and beyond, Grow Ministries has once again created a practical, accessible resource in Grow Disciples’, Tania says.
‘A key principle of the resource is the appeal for a relational approach, which is authentic and invitational and positions the leader as a coach or facilitator as opposed to an expert that fills young heads with knowledge.
‘And I loved the encouragement that, with each confirmation session, “you are holding your hand out and inviting [young people] to come and see (again) that the Lord is good”.’
For more information and to purchase the guide and curriculum, click here.