If you elect to participate in the Confirmation Retreat, your role in bringing younger youth to a meaningful decision will never be more important. The retreat format will provide education in an expanded, diverse community and the time apart will help the confirmands to center themselves more completely.
Prior to the Retreat
Select counselors who will be good role models. They must be senior high age or older. We will need one counselor for every five students of each gender and at least one counselor for each gender you send. (For example: if you have two boys and three girls, send a male and a female counselor. For six boys and three girls, send two male and one female counselor.)
If you prefer to assign adult mentors to your confirmands on a one to one or one to two basis, you may do so and they will be seated with their students. Mentors, however, are not necessary for the retreat. (But please meet the minimum counselor requirements set in the bullet point above)
Select and meet with your confirmands to explain the process you have chosen and to let them know that they will not be asked to make a decision at the retreat. We feel it is the pastor’s role to work with the confirmand at the point of decision making. Organize transportation for the event and be there to send them off with prayer, if you are not accompanying them on the trip.
After the Retreat
- Hold a session with your confirmands and mentors to share the story of your local church. This would be a great time to have volunteers share what life in the local church has meant to them.
- Consider scheduling one or two field trips to such places as the “Upper Room Chapel” in Nashville, the Conference Connectional Ministries Office, United Methodist Neighborhood Center, Reelfoot Rural Ministries, and/or the Campus Ministries.
- Schedule and teach the final six sessions of the Credo Confirmation Curriculum (or the curriculum of your choice) on making and living their commitment.
- Meet individually with each confirmand to discuss their experience and assist them in their decision. Consider meeting with their parents to help them with any concerns.
- Set update to receive your confirmands into membership and baptize those not previously baptized.