“Commissioned to Change the World is revolutionary in its approach, recasting confirmation from the classic modality of preparing youth for church membership… Instead, it presupposes that confirmands are already church members by virtue of their baptism, and it seeks to prepare them not for institutional membership but for missional engagement with the world.” — General Minister to Pittsburgh Presbytery Sheldon Sorge
“Commissioned to Change the World is as bold and exciting as its title. Confirmation is one of my favorite rites of passage and church celebrations — there are so many possibilities and it can be a time for deep learning and amazing work of the Spirit. This curriculum reads fresh, rich, and creative with wonder-full philosophy, theological perspectives and pedagogy. I love the tangibility and all the different kinds of learning available to all involved. Matthew 25 churches will resonate with Commissioned to Change the World, and I hope and pray non-Matthew 25 churches will use it too!” — Director for Programs at Montreat Conference Center Lynn A. Turnage
“I have been blown away by [Commissioned to Change the World]; it fosters relationships and connections, is relevant to today’s youth in today’s context, and provides the groundwork for faith formation to continue beyond confirmation. I cannot wait to use it with my next crew of youth.” — Christian educator Elizabeth Christie for Practical Resources for Churches’ Cultivate newsletter
In the spirit of Matthew 25:31-46, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seeks to act boldly and compassionately to serve people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned and poor, showing God’s love, justice and mercy. In so doing, congregations will enliven their shared faith, shared worship and shared outreach in a biblical response to the compassionate justice of God.
Commissioned to Change the World: Confirmation for the Matthew 25 Congregation, written by Mark D. Hinds, marries adolescent confirmation with the theological focus of “serving the least of these.” The curriculum affirms teenagers as God’s beloved children, anointed for ministry in the context of a covenant community of mutual encouragement and accountability.
What are the goals for confirmation in a Matthew 25 congregation?
- Attend a weekend retreat and a worship service that affirm them as God’s beloved children and members of the church by baptism, who are created in the image of God and commissioned to reflect God’s character in the world.
- Experience confirmation as a “personal Pentecost,” the Spirit’s promise to strengthen them for living as God’s people.
- Commit to a six-month covenantal relationship with their mentors to practice serving Christ in the spirit of Matthew 25.
What is included in the curriculum?
- An introduction and rationale for the connection between the PC(USA)’s Matthew 25 theological focus and the ritual of confirmation
- An outline for a two-day retreat with confirmands, mentors, and volunteers
- This outline includes a schedule, multi-media resources, ice breakers, questions, scripts, prayers, and activities for the following four sessions: Confirmation for Matthew 25 congregations, Laying on of Hands, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and Anointing with oil. If a two-day retreat is not possible, alternative plans are suggested.
- A pre–confirmation weekend to-do list
- A guide for mentors
- A liturgy for a confirmation service
- A post–confirmation weekend to-do list
- A guide for eight follow-up meetings with confirmands and their mentors covering: wisdom and discernment, justice, hospitality, compassion, unity, humility, grace, and gratitude.
- Each lesson includes Scripture, multi-media resources, a prompt to ponder, questions to discuss, an action item, and prayer focuses.
Want a sample?
- View the introduction here: Sample.
What am I purchasing?
- After you purchase the curriculum, you will receive an email from Presbyterian Outlook with a zip file attachment. When you open the zip file, you will find two versions of the curriculum: one that is better suited for printing and one that is better suited for the screen.
If cost is an issue, we invite you to pay what you can.
Presbyteries: Call Renee Westry at 1-804-494-8034 Ext.752 for pricing.
Mark D. Hinds, Ed.D., is a retired writer, editor and publisher for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) curriculum development. He has degrees from Trinity University, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now Union Presbyterian Seminary). His 1994 dissertation was titled The Book of Proverbs: Toward Alternative Pedagogical Principles for Confirmation in the PC(USA). He was the primary writer and project leader for the Big God Big Questions confirmation curriculum. In retirement, he enjoys writing for the church. Mark lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his partner and spouse, Rev. Dr. Peggy C. Hinds. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.