Category Archives: Confirmation

Confirmation: Assignment #12

Confirming the Faith: Christian Living

This is what it all comes down to, a meaningful “special” life. It is your life. An important question surfaces, “what do you want out of it?”

Many years ago a group of us started a program to help young people get off the street. Drugs, alcohol, outstanding criminal charges, dysfunctional home lives, negative juvenile histories all went to create a life with tragic ups and downs.

It has been a part of my agenda in this confirmation program to share with you about Christian understandings. My hope is that this study has led you to a deeper understanding of Christianity. It is not just about calling yourself a Christian, it is about actually following Jesus Christ.

A friend once asked the question, “what if you and a group of people decided to change the world?” In essence this is what happened for Jesus. If you could hope for something so significant that it could make your life very special then what would you hope for?

1. Describe to the best of your ability what you believe needs to be done to make your world a better place to live.

2. From the previous lessons make a list of words that have taken on a special meaning to you. These words should describe in some way values and activities of those who want to be God’s people.

3. Make a list of the tools that you have discovered in your confirmation program that will add significance to the rest of your life.

4. Write a paragraph about what it means to be a Christian.

5. Write a paragraph about what you think justice is.

6. Write a paragraph about what you have learned concerning volunteerism.

7. Write a paragraph about what your partnering experiences have meant to you.

8. Write a paragraph about what it means to make a plan and carry through on your plan.

9. Write a letter to God about what you hope to accomplish in your life and what steps you will need to take to achieve this desire.

Congratulations on your completion of this work. May you know Jesus Christ and may He enrich your life as you seek to make this world a better place to be.

Click here for worksheet, carefully work on each of the questions and tasks listed: Confirming the Faith: Conclusions.

Confirmation: Assignment #11

Confirming the Faith: Salvation

Somehow in the rush of all that is called life “living” is getting lost. Somehow, in the rush of all the daily activities of life it seems what is really important gets repackaged and often fails to give true meaning.

Religion has gone in that direction. We are bombarded with religious ideas and words. Because of all this “spiritual” stimulation it becomes easier to just walk away.

This is the religious world I am a part of.  Yet the words of Jesus run through my mind… “I have come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Mt. 18:11)

In Luke 15 Jesus tells the story about a shepherd who had 100 sheep. One strayed. The shepherd left the 99 and went in search of the 1 that was lost.

He also tells the story of a lady who had 10 coins. She lost one. She searched until she found the lost coin.

As I read these stories I ask myself, “what do I have that is so important to me that I would feel a sense of urgency to go look for it?” As I continue to read these stories of Jesus I am then confronted by the story of a young man that wanted to go out on his own. He was confident he could make it without his family. He asked his father for his inheritance. He got it, then he left. In the “rush” of life he lost his direction. The story went on.

I believe it is in the remaining part of this story that one can understand the value of the first two stories. A lost sheep is compared to people who go astray. The lost coin that was found is compared to the value of a person being found. Then the picture of a young man choosing his own way and getting entangled in everything around him ties the message all together. The sheep was saved. The coin was saved. The young man was saved.

In this lesson take time to answer the following questions:

1. Tell the story of something you once lost and kept looking for until it was found.

2. Tell the story of a time when a friend or family member got lost and how that affected you.

3. Tell the story of what it means for you to value something so much that you want to save it.

4. Tell the story of when you realized that like the sheep, like the coin, like the young man you came to know that you were experiencing a sense of separation from God. You discovered that even though you were lost you came to understand that you were a person of value to God. Tell how you felt when you realized that God wants to be a part of your life. Tell how that experience is real to you.

5. Tell what it means to be saved.

Take time to look at the following study sheet and carefully work on each of the questions and tasks listed: Confirming the Faith: Salvation.

 

Confirmation: Assignment #10

Confirming the Faith: Sin

The purpose of this discussion is to talk about sin.

What is sin? What relevance does this question have since our society seems to think that sin and the discussion of sin is better left alone?

The Bible does not ignore the subject of sin. The Bible says the Lord is compassionate, gracious, and slow to anger. The Lord abounds in love and seeks to forgive sin. It also says that sin has a way of happening in one generation in such a way that it affects the next generation (Exodus 34 :6–7).

The Bible also says the person who confesses sin will know the forgiveness of sin (Psalm 32:1–5).

I have been in many conversations about sin. In this study you are being asked to look at yourself and what you believe about sin. You are then asked to write your thoughts down.

1. Read Romans 3:23 then write it down in the space provided. Out of your life experience write what you think sin is. Include in your words how a person may define sin as it concerns your brain–mind/thinking, planning process, your heart–emotions/feelings, and your hands–bodily actions/what you physically commit yourself to do, and your spirit–that part of you that seeks to know and serve God.

2. Read The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). Write each commandment and then write down an illustration of what each commandment means.

3. Read the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9–13, and Luke 11:2–4. Define what sin is in each version of this prayer.

4. Read Proverbs 6:16 to 19. Make a list of the things God hates. Write this list down.

5. Read Romans 7:21. This verse talks about a law that is inside of us. It implies we know the difference between right and wrong. Write your own definition of what is right, or what it means to do right. Write your own definition of what is wrong, or what it means to do wrong.

6. Read James 4:17. Explain to the best of your ability what this verse means.

7. Do you believe you have ever sinned? List some ways that sin has had an affect on you personally, your family, and your community?

8. Lesson 11 will look at potential remedies for the results of sin.

Take time to look at the following study sheet and carefully work on each of the questions and tasks listed: Confirming the Faith: Sin.

Confirmation: Assignment #9

Confirming the Faith: Tools for Worship and Prayer

1. Worship arose out of identifying multiple “things” that caused me to turn to God. Some of the following illustrate what I mean:
Going to a worship service at a church.
Going to a group meeting, youth group, study group, special type of gathering.
Reading the Bible and being challenged or moved in a special way to know more of God.
Listening to music that touches me in a way that causes me to understand more about God.
Sometimes going away and being alone caused me to see God in a different way.

2. Worship often caused me to wonder about myself and what life is about. When I first started to get into worship I felt like God was untouchable. As time went on I discovered that I was the one that needed to change the way I was thinking and looking at life. I began to see that God was concerned about people and the world I was a part of. I had to start making a conscious statement about life. I could no longer drift through life without paying attention.

3. Books often brought me to worship. A book I read while in college was The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. Then while in seminary I read The Idea of the Holy by Rudolph Otto. Two different authors, two different emphases, yet both powerful in their own right. Reading and prayer form a good partnership. The two create a discovery process when applied to the life situations.

4. Many years ago a speaker came to a chapel service. This speaker shared the following thoughts about prayer. I have used this outline many times:
A- Adoration
C- Confession
T- Thanksgiving
S- Supplication
It was said that when these four thoughts are used as an outline for prayer a very strong prayer is constructed. God is given praise, adoration. Confession then follows as an element of humility. Thanksgiving is the freedom to identify how God is working in our lives. Supplication becomes the opportunity to bring our needs and concerns before God.

5. Another thought on Prayer arises from a book by Rosalind Rinker entitled Conversational Prayer, a Handbook for Groups. It was a very simple concept of talking to God as if you were talking to the person next to you. The structure of prayer was to use sentences that build on the words of others around you. As you did this it was like having a group conversation with each person adding to the conversation. This concept also opened me to understand that prayer could be based on talking to God whenever and wherever I found myself.

6. Another tool is posture. Kneeling while reading with an open Bible in front of you, then asking God how the text relates to your own situation or the situation for someone you are praying for.

7. The Bible has many verses that deal specifically with worship and prayer. Here are a few of the most well known verses:

John 4:24 talks about worshipping God in spirit and truth.

James 4:8 tells us that as we draw near to God, God will draw near to us.

Matthew 4:10 speaks of worshipping and serving the Lord going hand in hand.

John 9:31 speaks of God hearing those who do God’s will.

1 Peter 3:12 speaks of the prayers the Lord hears.

Luke 18:9-14 tells the story about the proper attitude in prayer .

Matthew 6:5, 7, speaks of the words used in prayer.

James 1:6-7 says how important faith is in prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says that fervent prayer is necessary.

Ephesians 5:19 talks about using psalms, hymns and song in prayer.

Hebrews 13:15 talks of the roll of saying thank you in prayer.

James 5:13 speaks of facing healing, suffering, both an outgrowth of prayer.

One of the purposes of Confirmation is to encourage each participant to discover a set of tools that helps your relationship with God to keep on growing.

Take time to look at the following study sheet and carefully work on each of the questions and tasks listed: Worship and Prayer.

Confirmation: Assignment #8

Confirming the faith: The local church and church membership.

So much has and is changing about today’s church. What “church” is and what it “should” be is in a state of change. Each of us needs to keep our eyes open, our hearts and minds alert. The churches we participate in will have a lot of influence on our lives. The following questions are meant to encourage you to discover why church has the potential in your life.

1. Make a list of non-religious organizations and/or groups that require “membership.”

2. Make a list of requirements these groups or organizations require of their members.

3. Identify a list of churches, make a list of requirements each of these churches have for membership.

4. Make a list of people attending the same church as you attend and ask them how membership has been a benefit to them.

5. Using a concordance look up each of the uses of the word church in the Bible. Then, from the biblical references, write what you think the Biblical understanding of “Church” is.

6. If you were to start a church what activities would you require of the members?

7. If you were to start a church what activities would you require of yourself?

To complete your eighth assignment submit your answers here: Worksheet.

Confirmation: Assignment #7

Confirming the Faith: Calling and Gifts

Our society has become enamored with ways to search for building “self esteem.” The Christian Faith has for centuries recognized that personal self esteem arises out of one’s relationship with God. As each Christian lives out his or her Christian faith a discovery process begins to emerge. This process will confirm each person’s Call from God and will nurture and demonstrate what “gifts” from the Holy Spirit are prevalent in each believer’s life.

1. Close your eyes, envision a timeline. The beginning of the timeline is the day you were born.  The end of the timeline is the day you die. Highlight key moments you remember something being said or something you experienced that caused you to feel, “yes, I am going the right direction, I did right.” Make a list of as many of those moments as you can.

2. Which of these moments/experiences can be viewed as having something to do with what you understand about religious faith? Create a key word from each of these moments or experiences. Create a list of these key words.

3. What does it mean to be called by God?

4. In the Bible find the story about Jeremiah being called by God. In the Bible find the story about Matthew being called by Jesus. Where did you find these stories and how do these two stories compare?

5. From your list in question 2 identify your key words that may be similar to the call of Jeremiah and the call of Matthew.

6. Make a list of things people have said you really do well. Add to this list the things you hope people will say you were really good at while you are living.

7. Look in the Bible and make a list of what the “gifts of the Holy Spirit” are. Where did you find the list in the Bible?

8. From the list of the things you are good at, and the things you hope to be good at, make a list of the gifts of the spirit you will need to exercise to achieve what you are hoping for in your life.

9. Go to a religious leader and ask them how they discovered what they’re spiritual gifts are.

10. Sit down with a partner and explain this assignment to them. Explain what your answers are to your partner. Write down your partner’s response.

To complete your seventh assignment submit your answers here: Worksheet.

Confirmation: Assignment #6

Confirming the Faith: The Church

1. Take time to write down random thoughts about the church. Ask as many questions as you can about the church and write down your own answers.

2. Go to a concordance, there are approximately 100 times the word ‘church’ is listed. Write down what you understand the church is.

3. From memory list as many activities as you can that your church is involved in.

4. How many of your friends attend some form of church? Try to make a list of what church they attend.

5. Make a list of as many church offices or leadership roles there are in your church.

6. List as many of your relatives as you can that attend some form of church and what church they attend.

7. We often say ‘we are going to church’ when we mean we are going to worship. Describe from memory what ‘parts’ make up your worship service.

8. Interview a board member and ask them questions about what church means to them.

9. Interview a family member and ask them questions about what church means to them.

10. Sit down with a partner and explain this assignment to them. Explain what your answers are to your partner. Write down your partners response.

To complete your sixth assignment submit your answers here: Worksheet.

 

Confirmation: Assignment #5

Confirming the Faith: The Holy Spirit

1. Go on the internet, do a word or concept search. Input the words Holy Spirit. Identify as many different ideas as you can about what or who the Holy Spirit is. (minimum 200 words)

2. Go to a concordance and list as many places as you can that the Holy Spirit is found in the Bible.

3. Identify as many “tasks” or “things” the Holy Spirit is given credit for doing in the Bible.

4. List how many times the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the book of Acts.

5. Make a list of what the Bible calls “fruit of the spirit”

6. Talk to a member of your family about someone who shows you what the fruit of the spirit is and then tell about what the two of you agree was special about this person. (minimum 200 words)

7. Make a list of what the Bible calls the “gifts of the spirit”

8. When people talk about you what gift do they say you have?

9. Talk to a member of your family about someone you think is very gifted. Talk about if you think this person has a gift of the spirit. Then tell about what the two of you agree about what this gift is. (minimum 200 words)

10. Sit down with a partner and explain this assignment to them. Explain what your answers are to your partner. Write down your partners response.


To complete your fifth assignment submit your answers here: Worksheet.

 

Confirmation: Assignment #4

Confirming the Faith: Jesus  At the center of the Christian faith is the person of Jesus Christ. This lesson will help you understand who Jesus is and where in the Bible you can go to find out about Jesus.

1. The world is facing a lot of controversy. Religion is often blamed for wars and people who want to control the world. Who do you think Jesus is and what does Jesus want the world to be like? (minimum 200 words)

2. Make a list of words that reflect what you think people believe about Jesus.

3. List the books of the Bible that tell the story of Jesus life?

4. In what part of the Bible does a person find out about the stories concerning the childhood of Jesus?

5. List as many stories about the miracles that Jesus did as you can in the 4 Gospels?

6. Find the Sermon on the Mount, tell where you found it, and outline the Bible text where you find the Sermon on the Mount. (minimum 200 words)

7. List the parables of Jesus and tell what a parable is?

8. Tell what your favorite story about Jesus is and why?

9. Tell where in the Bible you learn about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Then write the story in your own words. (minimum 200 words)

10. Sit down with a partner and explain this assignment to them. Explain what your answers are to your partner. Write down your partners response.

To complete your fourth assignment submit your answers here: Worksheet.

 

Confirmation: Assignment #3

Confirming the Faith: God

1. Take time to walk around your community or neighborhood. Think hard as you look around your community, (school, work, town, friends). What can you believe about God because of what you see? (for instance: You see a church building, what comes to mind? What do you think about God? You see a park or a playground, do these cause you to reflect about God or think that God cares about more than religion? You hear some music, you see an animal running free, you see a sunrise-a sunset, what comes to mind about God? (minimum 200 words)

2. Make a list of words that reflect what you think people believe about God.

You are at the point in your life where many conflicting thoughts are being given to you. Education, media, friends all represent varying ideas and attitudes about God.  Answer the following questions (3-8). Start each answer with one of the possible starts:

  • I believe
  • I do not believe
  • I am not sure what what I believe

3. Does God exist?

4. What is monotheism?

5. What is polytheism?

6. What is pantheism?

7. What is atheism?

8. What is agnosticism?

9. Name as many world religions as possible and what they teach about who/what God is. (minimum 200 words)

10. Sit down with a partner and explain this assignment to them. Explain what your answers are to your partner. Write down your partners response.

To complete your third assignment submit your answers here: Worksheet.