OK, here goes. I had been fielding complaints about Confirmation class -- it's not fun enough, it's not engaging enough, etc. etc. etc. and a lot of the complaints stemmed around differing expectations relating to Confirmation. Who should be involved? What is the end result? What are my expectations?
One of my expectations is that Confirmation is the next step, not the first step. The first step should be involvement. The first step should include attendance. Confirmation isn't entertainment. It's about a deeper relationship with God.
But anyway, to appease some (as well as making an attempt to make the lessons a little more appealing to the average 8th grader), I changed the structure of the class to include small group time. There's also a group bonding time, which I think works better in youth group time; after all, we only have one hour for Confirmation. So anyhoo, today I get a complaint from one of the regulars, one of the kids who actually is involved. One of the few who actually come to church services, who actually participate in youth group, who actually show up for Sunday School. He's complaining because "who are they to make Brian change the class? It's only an hour! They should be able to pay attention for one hour."
His mom told me, "You're going to have to put your foot down and stop them from changing your program." But the thing is; it's not my program. I don't have a personal stake in this, other than the fact that I want to use my gifts for the Lord and to win kids for Him. I don't care personally if a certain kid decides he's not ready for a commitment; what I do care about is that some of them are being forced to do it and they'll never, ever be back. That chaps my hide. And I don't even care so much if they do that, but what I do care about is that they are forcing some of the kids who do give a rat's @$$ about the commitment they're making -- they are making them suffer. That irks me to no end.
Ahh, aren't Mondays wonderful?