Not too long ago I posted about a change in the way we allow our youth to express themselves when it comes to their faith and their “final assignment” for our Confirmation/Mentor Ministry. Well we have presented the idea and have kicked off the new change!
We are calling them Faith Projects. We are tying them into the Multiple Intelligences or Learning Styles. We are asking our parents/guardians, mentors and mentees to explore exactly where God has given them gifts to share with others in a way that connects to what they are passionate about!
So instead of every youth expressing their faith in written form with a “faith paper” (basically a statement of faith, where they are at right now), we are busting open the possibilities of what form it takes. A song, a dance, an interview, a drawing, painting, poem, or paper, the list is endless. This is extremely exciting to me! The freedom of choosing how to express your faith, hopefully in such a way that it connects you more to the faith life of the church, who knows what could come out of this!?!?!
There is a process which we are asking our youth to follow, as a way to help curate these projects. At our introduction meeting we asked them to fill out a simple MI/Learning Style survey, in which they can identify which way they learn best. This could lead to finding where God has gifted them and how they can better express their faith! Along with the survey we gave them some options of where they may have already done or seen this MI/Learning Style in their life, through school, or other activities. Then we gave them some questions to choose from to help guide their thinking, and have asked them to focus on a few, but not to answer them all.
We are asking that they fill out a short form identifying the question they will focus on, along with their idea surrounding their faith project. We have asked our mentors and parents/guardians to help support the process as a way to continue faith conversations within the family. Then in September the youth will present their projects to a pastor or youth staff person as their “final interview” and at our Confirmation Worship we may ask some of them to present their projects to the congregation as an express of their faith.
Now, I’m not oblivious to the fact that a majority of those in this ministry will opt to go with what they know and do the faith paper option. I respect that and understand many people’s desires to complete the process with what they know best.
On the other hand, I am beyond excited to see those who choose to step outside of that box and explore the talents and gifts God has given them to explore what faith looks like connected with what they are most passionate about. This is an opportunity for our congregation to help develop and mold a generation who is far more creative and interconnected that we could even imagine! Just thinking about the opportunities gives me the chills!
In what ways are you helping youth connect with their gifts of faith?
(To see more of what we are doing you can click here to be directed to our webpage with all of the information! I also need to give credit where credit is due, so thanks to Karen G. at our Synod Office for sharing her resources, both of the attachments found at the page and much of the content came from Karen and her work with these in different locations. You can find Karen at the Synod Facebook page and contact her for more information! I claim no ownership to the items and hope I didn’t break any laws.)