How an Affirmation of Baptism Program Doesn't Have to Suck – Special Needs Confirmation Too
by Daniel D. Maurer & Dr. Kace Leetch, Clergy Stuff
1 Kid, 2 Kids, 3? Raise the Faith & Explore the Stories.
Clergy Stuff™ is extremely excited to announce a NEW PRODUCT we will be offering in 2017 and on. It's for congregations looking for the best way to "do" confirmation in congregations with only one, or just a few students.
But first, let me tell you a story . . .
We're kinda like that here—we like stories.
Small Churches, Big Hearts
Dr. Kace Leetch has noticed for some time now that churches with only a few students feel left behind. The classroom-based, "programatic" (cookie-cutter) style doesn't work in these places. She wanted a way to offer a real solution for smaller congregations (and larger ones too with one or two kids) who want to let the stories of faithful adults help shape the faith lives of kids - and let the kids' stories shape theirs, too!
So she set out to provide a resource that starts with the stories as told in the Bible, and then guides mentors and students to discover just how relevant faith formation can be.
The fact of the matter is that cross-cultural immersion, learning nonviolent communication, building authentic relationships to discover a Force More Powerful than yourself (GOD) becomes a way to model the faith through the story—God's Story.
"Faith formation of youth"—as a program—is killing the church by either:
- Ushering them out with a confOrmation/graduation approach (see: "church exit strategy"), or
- Entertaining them.
Instead, we can connect them with adult mentors who want to influence the faith lives of emerging generations.
What's more, we believe firmly at Clergy Stuff that God's story is *THE* most important story ever told.
Then . . . why don't we focus on letting God's story (and ours) shape our faith lives?
Why not build on the relationships that often develop organically in congregations with active, involved, faithful adults and kids?
In a time when congregations are struggling to navigate their way through our fast moving culture, we can lean on the community of faith to help shape the faith lives of young adults. Mentors and leaders will reap the benefits, too.
At Clergy Stuff, we try to listen to what congregations are telling us they need as a valuable asset to help pass along faith. But don't take our word for it. Here are some of the voices we hear:
Special Needs Section
Another reason why Narratology™ is completely different than the cookie cutter, programatic method to teaching faith is that Clergy Stuff knows that resources for special needs kids are severely lacking for congregations.
Another story . . .
If you haven't read the new blog we've set up, An Exceptional People, you need to check it out. Dan Maurer's son, Josh, is one of those exceptional people. From experience, we know that clergy, pastors, ministers, and volunteers of all flavors and colors need and want such resources to reach kids with special needs.
Wait . . . that's not right. It's how special needs kids can reach us.
That's why, with Narratology, we've added material for background how best to share God's story in and between kids and mentors. Our special needs writer has the background (and the degree—she has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology) to offer a flexible approach to sharing the story.
God's Story. Faithful Friends. Adaptable to YOUR Needs.
Why "Narratology?" From a dictionary definition, it means that the story is the stuff that matters.
Plus, the word is just really, really cool.
So this is where you come in.
The story is the story. How you tell it matters.
We've done the heavy lifting to making the transition to pass along the story in creatively engaging ways (cartoons, videos, activities, and more!) so that you can be free to actively empower mentors and allies to share God's BIG story among friends. We believe Affirmation of Baptism should not be a one-and-done event, but an ongoing narrative.
Here's just a brief sampling of the stuff we're doing. More to come. Promise!!