Summer Workshop: Professor Nafzger in Lubbock, TX
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 confirmation ministry. They should be. Barna recently reported that that 59% of 18-29 year-olds with a Christian background have dropped out of church (David Kinnaman, You Lost Me). This confirms 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 would be to take a close (and critical) look at how we conduct confirmation ministry. This will involve asking some tough questions about how well we are preparing young people for life in a post-church culture. It will also require creative reflection about how we could do better. This workshop will do both. It will begin with a close and in-depth look at the history of confirmation; it will consider insights from contemporary studies of youth culture; and it will offer a potential future for a confirmation process that is better equipped to handle changes we can’t yet see coming. The workshop will conclude with discussion about how pastors and church workers might go about making significant changes to confirmation together with their congregations.
Nafzger is an assistant professor of Practical Theology. He is a bright theologian and a gifted speaker who manifests what is best about the LCMS. He joined the Seminary faculty in 2017 after serving as a pastor for nine years in Minnesota, where he served as a leader (and continues to do so) in the planning of LCMS National Youth Gatherings. His dissertation centers on a Lutheran approach and use of Scripture over and against the fundamentalist approaches that often dominate American Christianity.
Registration deadline: May 16, 2019
Contact: Eric Hiner