50 Things Every Confirmand Should Know Before Confirmation, by Pastor H Doug Minton

I came across this posting here and thought it might be a nice listing for parents to review to help them in their home training of their pre-confirmation children. It was posted on facebook by Pastor H Doug Minton of Trinity Lutheran Church in Slayton, MN.

It might of course be great for Sunday School teachers or administrators to review to make sure they are covering this material.

 


 

Having begun my fourth year of teaching Confirmation here, I have seen a lack of understanding among many of the students of some of the most basic things of the Bible. Things that should be covered regularly in Sunday School. Without this understanding, Confirmation class must take a slower pace than it ought.

Following is a list of fifty things that every confirmand should know BEFORE starting Confirmation class:

  1. Ten Commandments
  2. Apostles’ Creed
  3. Lord’s Prayer
  4. Books of the Bible
  5. At least one setting of the Divine Service
  6. Creation (Genesis 1-2)
  7. Fall into Sin (Genesis 3)
  8. Cain & Abel (Genesis 4:1-15)
  9. Noah’s Flood (Genesis 6-9)
  10. Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)
  11. Abraham Offers Isaac (Genesis 22)
  12. The Exodus & First Passover (Exodus 12-15)
  13. Golden Calf (Exodus 32)
  14. Spies Sent into Canaan (Numbers 13)
  15. Fall of Jericho (Joshua 2 & 6)
  16. Ruth
  17. David & Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
  18. Elijah on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18)
  19. Elijah Ascends into Heaven (2 Kings 2)
  20. Psalm 23
  21. Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3)
  22. Daniel in the Lions’ Den (Daniel 6)
  23. Jonah
  24. Annunciation of Jesus’ Birth (Luke 1:26-38)
  25. Christmas (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-20)
  26. Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3)
  27. Temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4)
  28. Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11)
  29. Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)
  30. Feeding of the 5000 (Matthew 14:13-21)
  31. Nicodemus (John 3)
  32. Jesus Walks on the Water (Matthew 14:22-33)
  33. Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37)
  34. Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7)
  35. Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
  36. Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead (John 11)
  37. Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8)
  38. Parable of the Rich Man & Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)
  39. Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-30)
  40. Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-10)
  41. Jesus’ Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21:1-11)
  42. Parable of the Wise & Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)
  43. Parable of the Sheep & Goats (Matthew 25:31-46)
  44. Crucifixion
  45. Resurrection
  46. Doubting Thomas (John 20:19-31)
  47. Pentecost (Acts 2)
  48. Saul’s Conversion (Acts 9)
  49. Peter & Cornelius (Acts 10)
  50. 1 Corinthians 13

Pastor H Doug Minton
Trinity Lutheran Church
Slayton, MN

 

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

50 Things Every Confirmand Should Know Before Confirmation, by Pastor H Doug Minton — 32 Comments

  1. That would be great. I hope pastors are making copies of your list for distribution with the bulletin on Sunday. Most of the parents don’t know these things–it would be a wonderful project for families to begin together.
    If you have a good writer in your congregation, he or she could provide a short article on one point each week.

  2. Growing up, almost all of these were provided by CPH as books for children. I got at least one every VBS – it was one of the highlights for me. Between me and my sister we got David and Goliath, the Fiery Furnace, the Good Samaritan, the Annunciation and Christmas (along with the Three Wisemen as a bonus), Zacchaeus, Joshua and Jericho, and Noah and the Flood.

    I would also hope and expect that every child who’s parents bring them to Church every Sunday would be exposed to all of these stories and should be reading them in their children’s story bibles on a regular basis. All of Sunday School education should be geared toward the preparation and familiarization of children with the basics of the Christian faith in advance of confirmation classes.

  3. I would encourage all congregations to add a learning by heart program to your Sunday School curriculum. (I am sure many already do). We have the small catechism, books of the Bible and select verses broken out by age group and the kids are expected to memorize their assigned materials during the year. We send a letter to the parents at the start of the year telling them what the child is expected to learn. We also tell them that we only have 5 or 10 minutes of class time to devote to this and that they are expected to work on it at home. We started this a few years back and have had no complaints.

  4. I knew 49 of the 50 on instant sight-I couldn’t immediately recognize 1 Corinthians 13 as the “Love Chapter”, but I had memorized it in total years ago without the “1 Corinthians 13” label. A little “touch up” memory work 30 plus years later and I will have it. Almost like the show “Are you smarter than a Fifth Grader’…….

  5. @Michael #7
    How many adults in our churches know all of this?

    Anyone who grew up in Lutheran circles and was confirmed before SS became crafts hour and somebody got the notion that “children couldn’t memorize”.
    (Never mind all the intricate sports rules, etc. they seem to absorb by osmosis. Not to mention complicated video games in the present generation!)

    We had memorization for SS and our parents heard us on Saturday night.
    Through the SC every year, followed by Psalms and hymns if you were quick.
    Some took longer to get through the SC… but they retained more.

    My children’s Baptist friends were no slouches at Bible verses though they might not have Pr. Minton’s list down cold.

  6. I have seen a lack of understanding among many of the students of some of the most basic things of the Bible

    I am blessed to live in an area with many choices available to obtain a Lutheran education beyond Sunday school. There are 6 preschool and/or kindergartens, 5 elementary schools, and a high school within 20 miles. (4/4/1 within 10 miles)
    I was taught all 50 of Pr. Minton’s list by the time I was confirmed. My 2nd grade daughter is quite far on this list already. (Her teacher is the Indiana Lutheran Teacher of the Year. Congratulations Mrs. VonDielingen!)
    The local churches of this area consider Lutheran education one of the most important missions to support.

  7. @Joe Olson #3

    When I once was a DCE student (never completed program) I was working towards a philosophy of education that was like this. Start “confirmation” in 1st grade in Sunday school. With the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed, it gives children a chance to participate in service. (provided you use liturgy and not that CW stuff) Absolutely awesome idea.

    @Helen #8

    Too sad that SS has become fun and games. WHen they did that at my congregation, it was the event that helped my wife realize we should probably transfer. We both knew nobody was learning in confirmation here for a while. Now with a child, we need to bring her up in the ways of the Lord, and this congregation can’t help us with that. Hopefully our congregations can come back to valuable instruction.

    @Rev. Paul T. McCain #11

    Rev. McCain, thanks for the help to quickly find quality materail. :)

  8. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #11
    Also hint: Northwestern Publishing House also has Sunday School Series that covers all these stories for OT and NT. Very good. Although they have the memory gem suggestions you can do your own plans. It is also not date specific so lessons are not wasted if a Sunday is used for a specific class work other then the regular lesson.

  9. Surely you don’t really expect parents to teach all that to their kids before confirmation.

    I mean, that’s only about nine years to teach them all that stuff! 😉

  10. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #11
    You wrote: “Hint: Use Concordia Publishing House’s Growing in Christ Sunday School curriculum,
    and you’ll have the list covered.”
    Have you thought of seeing if the folks at “Issues Etc.” might compile the weekly “Teaching A Sunday School Lesson” into a CD compendium set? Having that alongside the Growing In Christ curriculum could be a great aid for , especially new and experienced Sunday school teachers. Just an idea.

  11. As a former SS teacher, one of the problems in dealing with this is attendance . . . because some of these kids spend week-ends with parents that do not go to church and it makes it so difficult.
    I’m thankful that I had two wonderful parents that sent me every week to SS but they never went to Bible Class. Never understood that. When my kids went, I either taught or went to a
    Bible Class.

    If you want the kids to follow you have to lead and it’s up to the parents to do a lot of the leading.

  12. @tinlizzy #18
    Tinlizzy, you are right on. Luther’s Small Catechism begins each section addressing the head of the household. Yet, a strange frame of reference hit me when I first taught Sunday school off and on. I, too, was nurtured in the liturgy–often learning it verbally from my folks between Sundays. I also had a lot of encouragement to make use of and learn from Holy Scripture. So, when I began teaching, I found the transition to speaking with people unfamiliar with this familial catechesis difficult. I found myself asking a lot of questions to gain a perspective on the kids’ world and then often reminding them of the events and people recorded in Scripture before moving into discussion of true and false teaching.

    That’s one reason I’m so thankful we have groups like Higher Things that help kids remain both grunded in and interested in our Lutheran doctrine from Confirmation into college.

  13. Cradle: GROUP’s materials are shallow, gimmicky, very shallow and simply they do not deliver the Law/Gospel application of God’s Word that is essential for any SS used in Lutheran congregations. They do not put Christ and the atonement and resurrection at the center of the materials. They are very poor. We have had several congregations recently abandon GROUP’s materials and come back to CPH when they realized they had traded their birthright for a bowl of porridge.

  14. @ Rev. McCain #20:

    Thanks for the response. You confirmed what I thought as well. I taught in KQ class for a year-and-a-half and found the same things you mentioned. Shallow and seem more focused on making the kids happy than teaching them the Law and Gospel. When I asked about the content because I was noticing the kids not retaining what they learned, I was met with the comment “You would only be happy if the kids just sat in class and listened to a lecture on the Bible stories …” I couldn’t disagree considering what they were (are) learning with KQ. Unfortunately, I resigned shortly thereafter from teaching SS … Also, during that time, I noticed our attendance declining at a staggering rate. Of course, the excuse being used is it isn’t the cirricullum (sp?) but the parents fault for not bringing the kids … Now, we are lucky to have six to eight kids per week on average in a communicate membership of 250-300.

  15. I ordered “My First Catechism” for my great grandson who will be baptized Oct. 24th. Putting a note in it, “Have Mommy and Daddy read this to you.
    He was born July 8. But they can learn as they read to him too. He was born 2 mos early and was baptized in the hospital. It will be an acknowledgment of his baptism service.

  16. @tinlizzy #18
    You are asking a tough question that I’ve found difficult to answer unless the parents who are involved buy in to supporting the children who have parents who aren’t engaged.

    I guess its really a question of how to best be church together: is the best church put together for intact 2 parent families or is the best church the one that works together expecting and preparing for kids from families that aren’t that intact.

    In our church we have a dad who will take on the knuckleheads and really be strong male roll model in Sunday School and confirmation. He loves ’em and isn’t afraid to hold them accountable for requirements as a teacher. The best part is to watch at as they seek him out years later.

    pax
    John

  17. Okay, we got the industry and pastoral view on Kingdom Quest, and I thank you for that Rev. McCain … anyone out there in the laity that reads here that has actually seen it or been a part of it in a Sunday School program?

  18. No, “industry” view, not sure what you mean by that. You have received a Lutheran view, and a pastor’s view.

    And, yes, I’ve “actually seen” all of Group Publishing’s resources. I’m not even sure you have the title or publisher right with these materials. You might want to double check on that.

  19. Here is another VERY important point. The problem with a SS program is rarely the curriculum, unless it is a bad one, like Group Publishing materials. The problem is usually the quality of the teaching, the teachers, their lack of training, motivation, knowledge, ability, etc.

    People love to think that by “switching up” the curriculum, this will result in a “new day” for the Sunday School.

    The better place to focus is on working hard to train, encourage and motivate the teachers.

  20. we had a pastor who taught the sunday’s lesson to the teachers during the week.
    in another life … it may have followed the pericope; i don’t remember

    you could do worse than listen to monday’s issues etc for the lesson.

  21. @ Rev. McCain … Didn’t mean any offense by the industry comment … What I meant by that was your work with CPH and being in the publishing industry! Sorry if any offense taken. It was definitely not intended at all!

    And, you are right about the publisher of Kingdom Quest. It is not Group and that was my bad!! It is actually Kids Kount. Group is the publisher we use for our VBS! Sorry for the confusion!

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that the teachers need to be trained but the problem with that is, at least at my church, the training consists of “Here’s your lesson for this week, you figure it out.” Sometimes it took me several hours per week to figure out a lesson with KQ and get it right in my mind and heart before I could relate it to the class (I was teaching 3rd and 4th graders). I don’t think the children should have to work that hard to figure it out. I did a lot of paring down as far as trying to strip away the intellect in order to get it to their level. I don’t know … maybe it was just me making it harder than it had to be …

    Okay, I am going to go back into my “make sure of my posts before you hit submit” research cocoon before I get myself into another hole.

  22. Cradle Lutheran :@ Rev. McCain #20:
    Thanks for the response. You confirmed what I thought as well. I taught in KQ class for a year-and-a-half and found the same things you mentioned. Shallow and seem more focused on making the kids happy than teaching them the Law and Gospel. When I asked about the content because I was noticing the kids not retaining what they learned, I was met with the comment “You would only be happy if the kids just sat in class and listened to a lecture on the Bible stories …” I couldn’t disagree considering what they were (are) learning with KQ. Unfortunately, I resigned shortly thereafter from teaching SS … Also, during that time, I noticed our attendance declining at a staggering rate. Of course, the excuse being used is it isn’t the cirricullum (sp?) but the parents fault for not bringing the kids … Now, we are lucky to have six to eight kids per week on average in a communicate membership of 250-300.

    Cradle Lutheran :Okay, we got the industry and pastoral view on Kingdom Quest, and I thank you for that Rev. McCain … anyone out there in the laity that reads here that has actually seen it or been a part of it in a Sunday School program?

    Rev. Paul T. McCain :Here is another VERY important point. The problem with a SS program is rarely the curriculum, unless it is a bad one, like Group Publishing materials. The problem is usually the quality of the teaching, the teachers, their lack of training, motivation, knowledge, ability, etc.
    People love to think that by “switching up” the curriculum, this will result in a “new day” for the Sunday School.
    The better place to focus is on working hard to train, encourage and motivate the teachers.

    Absolutely on Rev. McCain’s comment!!

    While not familiar with KQ, I have in my various congregations been up and down the food chain (teacher/helper, super/director, Parich Ed. Comm. chair in SS, VBS, confirmation, Bible study) I have encounterd Group. Works better for fun at VBS, but thin for a more robust Sunday School. Right now SS started using Spark! from Augsburg/Fortress. Wow, VBS for Sunday school: lesson, science project, craft, music, snack… What? A whole station on making snakcs in their rotation? Dung….. But hey, it’s what leaders wanted, fun and excitement, no boring allowed. Knowing I was never going to be heard as overall Parish Ed. leader, I resigned form council.

    Years back we used to have around 100 kids (before I became a member). Recently we had 75 for Rally Day that would level off to about 55 for the year. Of course, we have a middle contemporary service to compete for the attention of the older kids. Or have kids whose parents dumped them off, did their church and went home, without children ever seeing a worshpi service. After a full year of Spark! and people knew what is was, Rally day had 50 kids, which fell down to 35 for the year.

    And here is our VBS Director who also replaced me as overall Education chair. “I want the kids to have a safe environment (think public school zero telerance policies). Then I want them to have fun. They’ll get the God stuff (what, by virtue of entering our doors?).” I think it is obvious where the emphasis lies, and where it does not.

    Don’t buy Spark! If a station last a full day, it will take 8 weeks to do everything with a Bible story. That get you to 4 stories per year. You may know those stories inside and out (or maybe not, especially if you get bored with the same topic every week), but you will only know a few stories.

    Find better teachers who have that spiritual gift and TRAIN them.

  23. If they are the 10 Commandments; the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed,
    Luther did those first, I think. Later he included Baptism, the Lord’s Supper and confession/absolution [which last is sometimes treated as an appendage to the Supper.]
    Sometimes it comes between the other two in the book.

    [Not having a book handy, anyone who does may correct this.]

  24. @Matt Jamison #30

    The first three chief parts are mentioned because they are used quite often throughout the training of children. The Lord’s Prayer is in every liturgy we have in the hymnal. The Apostles’ Creed is an option in many of them. One of the great things I have found in my congregation is how well the kids pick up the Ten Commandments as we go through the Service of Prayer & Preaching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.