Throughout the many decades that our church, Peace Lutheran, has confirmed freshmen members of the congregation, there are a few traditions that have come about; some good and some detrimental to the workings of the younger congregation. One of these being that after confirmation, it is thought that one’s church commitment has been fulfilled, and therefore, there is no need to remain active in the church environment. When I reached this point in my faith journey, I finally saw what this was all about. It was a lack of leadership within the confirmation classes. Despite my doubts and insecurities, I decided to take a stand against this terrifying tradition.
In the fall or 2006, I started to plan and create a curriculum for a middle school youth group on Sunday mornings. On January 1, 2007, this plan became a reality. The first meeting, I was faced with six smiling faces ready to talk about their faith and what God is doing at work in them and through them. By mid-March, I was up to ten to twelve kids joining us each week. This is going to continue next year, and I am setting up a freshman group as well.
As the group’s leader, I faced some unsure parents and a few struggles with other leaders in the church. It was the first time that a youth had stood up to tradition and taken the opportunity to better the church for the next generations. Now, there are more kids than ever trying to get involved with activities and opportunities that the church is offering. My free spirit led me to a place where I get to do what I love, but it also paved the way for kids to come who do want to be active members of their congregation.