Confirmation Training in the Uniting Church in Australia
By way of introduction…
"Get into the Action!" Is that how the average Church member would regard the challenge of confirmation? It ought to be, and the picture of the runner at the blocks is suggested by a good New Testament symbol of the Christian life.
And yet... too many Church members are unaware (or unwilling to be made aware?) that they are part of the Body of Christ and that the Body will be unable to do the work that the Head has given it to do if some members are failing to use their own unique spiritual gifts. Too many Church members see themselves as spectators - hopefully willing and enthusiastic cheerers! - rather than as athletes down on the race track pressing themselves hard to reach the tape!
Or perhaps there are Church members who don't belong in the race at all, who come along to Church but aren't really part of the Body of Christ! They think of themselves as Christians - after all, we live good, decent lives - but have never responded to the Christ! They have never been converted!
Get into the Action! had its beginnings in the Balmoral Parish in Brisbane. I was involved in training people in the use of the Evangelism Explosion process of outreach. I was convinced that there needed to be a more effective tool for building on the faith commitment that people were making through EE. This led me to write the three-week follow-up Bible study booklet, It's a Great Life!
Subsequently, I began writing Get into the Action! for a specific confirmation class, using an EE approach for the first two sessions with It's a Great Life! for home study for the first three weeks. A simpler list of readings was added to the later leaflets in order to continue the principle of home study.
That was about eight years ago and I have "trialled" them ever since then. 1 have received several requests for copies of the material, but have hesitated since I had no leader's notes to fill them out for others using them. These notes now fill that gap.
In addition to these notes, you will need copies of the class leaflets (available in PDF format). It's a Great Life! is available in PDF format with permission to copy. (Note: Portable Document Files [PDF] can be read with an Adobe Acrobat Reader available FREE from Adobe).
The notes for each session are provided for your own selective use. Not all of it will be appropriate to every class, and you will go overtime if you give it all! Much of it is there as background information. Often, however, I have highlighted some words in bold to indicate important points that may need to be written down.
That raises the question of session time. I have taken classes that have lasted an hour. That tends to be rather tight with not much time for sharing and discussion. An hour-and-a-half is better. However, timing will depend on the needs of the actual group of people in your class.
Well, that's enough talking from me for just now! It is time for you yourself to "get into the action!" Never forget your own need to be spiritually alert and alive and well! Pray by name for your class members and dig deeply into the Word for yourself!
God bless you!
Peter J. Blackburn,
Buderim, December 1995