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Prof Insights: Faculty-Led Workshop 2021 – Professor Nafzger in York, NE
Beginning with the End in Mind: A Vision for a More Effective Confirmation Process
Many pastors and congregations are dissatisfied with the current state of their confirmation ministry. They should be. Barna recently reported that 59% of those 18–29 years old with a Christian background have dropped out of church (David Kinnaman, You Lost Me). This fits what we already know from experience: Many young people — often confirmed young people — are leaving the church. And there’s no evidence they’ll be coming back. What should we do? One response is to take a close (and critical) look at how we conduct confirmation ministry in our congregations. This involves asking tough questions about how well we are preparing young people for life in an increasingly post-church culture. It also requires creative reflection about how we could do better. In this workshop we will do both. We will take a close and in-depth look at the history of confirmation; we will consider insights from contemporary studies of youth culture; and we will examine a potential future for a confirmation process that is better equipped to handle changes we can’t yet see coming. The workshop concludes with discussion about how pastors and church workers, together with their congregations, might make significant changes to confirmation.
Assistant Professor of Practical Theology and Director of Student Life, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
Dr. Peter Nafzger is a gifted theologian and speaker who manifests what is best about The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He joined the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis faculty in 2016 after serving as a pastor for nine years in Minnesota. While in Minnesota he served as a leader (and continues to do so) in the planning of LCMS Youth Gatherings. His dissertation (and hence his expertise) centers on a Lutheran approach and use of Scripture over and against the fundamentalist approaches that often dominate American Christianity.
|Day one||1-4 p.m.|
|Day two||9-11:30 a.m.|
|Day three||9 a.m.-noon|
Note: The schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the workshop presenters.