One of the greatest and gravest responsibilities I have is the confirmation class of 11 and 12 year olds. We choose that age because they are just entering that early formal operational stage, where asking questions and challenging the status quo is becoming pro forma.
We spend the first several months learning about the details of faith and religion. Once we turn the corner into the New Year, we focus on what it means to me. We learn who God is, who we are to God, who Jesus is, who the Holy Spirit is, and ultimately what does this mean to me. And in all this there are the questions that they generate. Deep, Rich, Theological questions. They push me. They challenge me. And they remind me constantly of the words of my Doctrine and Polity professor – “if you can’t explain your faith to a 6th grader, chances are you don’t understand it yourself.”
We are about three weeks away from me asking them the big questions; do you believe that you can be a disciple of Jesus? Do you believe you can live that out in the United Methodist Church? And do you believe that you can live that out as a member of this congregation?
It will be a very, thin place.