Most of the students who do Confirmation at my church become Active Members by profession of faith at the end of the process. Good for them. And good for us; if Confirmation is meant to prepare young people to profess faith, then any 8th grader who does is a feather in our cap.
And yet . . .
None of us are satisfied with a youth ministry that checks a membership box in the 8th or 9th grade and leaves it at that. Confirmation is not an achievement for youth ministry. It is merely one marker among many of growth in faith and belonging to the covenant community.
In addition to the number of 8th graders who say “yes” at the end of Confirmation, we need to care about how many 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders are saying “yes” in ways that aren’t met with a brunch and smiling families.