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HOPE 365 Toolbox - Weekly Devotion - Journey 2023

Weekly Devotion - Journey 2023

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Last Sunday was Confirmation at Hope. We celebrated a special service in which six 8th grade students confirmed their faith in Jesus in front of the congregation! If you see Dominic C., Alex C., Lily D., Max D., Lyla F. and Josh H., please congratulate them on this next step in their faith. 

At Hope, Confirmation is part of a 7-step adventure called “Journey” for students to pursue a lifelong faith in Jesus. Since Journey may be a new concept to some people in our community, I’d like to take a moment to tell you a little bit about this process. 

Journey ONE happens at baptism. In our church denomination we baptize as infants because we believe that when water is tied to God’s Word there is power in baptism that we can hold onto even as children. We realize that not everyone follows this practice, however we hope that if you are interested in pursuing Journey, then you will consider learning more about baptism and why Jesus asks us to be baptized. 

Journey TWO is when your child receives their first Bible and a blessing from their parents in a Bible Blessing ceremony. It is a formal part of our worship gathering that is very special and helps encourage parents to pass on their faith. If you have not participated in the Bible Blessing, it’s okay, you may still participate in Journey. 

Journey THREE (also known as Confirmation) starts in 7th grade. We also call this class “First Years” because Confirmation is a two year process. First Years are joined in class with their mentor who can be a parent or guardian. 

Journey FOUR continues the Confirmation commitment into 8th grade. We also call this class “Second Years” because it’s the second and concluding year of Confirmation. In a student’s 8th grade year we introduce a second mentor, usually the other parent or a supportive guardian. 

The three remaining Journeys are voluntary and self-directed with my guided support. Journey FIVE happens in the youth’s sophomore year, where we connect them with another mentor and they go through a book together. Journey SIX happens when the youth is in their senior year of high school and we introduce another mentor to help them in their faith journey. This is also guided by a book and questions to help encourage and enhance their faith. Journey SEVEN is post high school. We commission them to pursue their own mentor to help walk with them though their college years. 

If a youth completes all the Journey steps, they are equipped with five strong mentors who know them through a number of different development and life stages. In fact, this is also how I became a Christian in high school. I had five solid mentors who poured love and Jesus into my life and this is what I want for all youth. I am convinced that this will encourage all children as they learn how to become lifelong followers of Jesus. 

Congratulations again to our Journey students! Keep praying for Dominic, Alex, Lily, Max, Lyla and Josh, that this good work in them continues to draw them closer to Jesus. Pray that this is a beginning and not a graduation. 

If you’d like your student to be a part of the next steps in Journey, let’s talk!