The last few months have been exciting times for the Confirmation Project! We are now at the point of our research where we are starting to really dig into the data that we have been collecting through the last couple of years. While an extremely exciting time, it is also a daunting task. We have survey data from 1,121 parents, 3,569 ministry leaders, and 2,087 confirmation and equivalent practices (CEP) students from roughly 2,000 congregations in the United States. And, if any of you took part in the survey (thank you!), you know that the surveys themselves were not small.
As we dig through our surveys and congregational portraits we are looking for similarities and differences in the way confirmation and equivalent practices are practiced.
Some questions we are asking as we look at the survey include: Do particular denominations practice confirmation in a unique way? Which denominations emphasize mentoring or include Biblical literacy as a part of their program? Are there any teaching practices that are used across all denominations?
As we look at the congregational portraits, we are asking: What factors contribute to the fertile soil in which faith “grows” within congregations that do confirmation or equivalent practices? How are various congregations addressing unique challenges (like having only one confirmand, for example) while still offering a robust confirmation program?
As we mine the depths of the data, we will also start releasing snapshots of the data that we believe will be helpful for you as denominational and congregational leaders. One of our objectives throughout the project has been to invite congregations to think in fresh ways about the nature of Christian discipleship and young people. Our hope is that you will find these snapshots and other findings will serve as a catalyst for your own thinking about confirmation and Christian discipleship.
As part of this phase of the project, we will also be releasing information in a few new places. We will continue to use our website to release these findings, but you can also follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/confirmationproject/ and on Twitter at @ConfirmProject, https://twitter.com/ConfirmProject. On Facebook and Twitter you will not only find the latest updates on the project, but we hope you will also find a place for conversations about confirmation and equivalent practices. If you have questions or thoughts about confirmation, post them on our wall or feed. If you have your own questions for the survey data, whether quantitative or qualitative, let us know!