Because of the busyness, schedules and distances involved, I’ve got my weekly confirmation classes on Facebook live each week. The technology makes it very easy to do, and those who miss class for one reason or another can watch the feed later.
It is, however, a bit surreal watching myself teach. It’s interesting watching my mannerisms, listening to the interactions, and observing the dynamics of the room. I don’t often listen to or watch myself. But when I do, I hear and see much that reminds me of my brother and my son. I’m always surprised at the timbre of my voice. I know I’m a tenor, but my voice doesn’t sound as high in my head as it does on the video. I love the energy in the room. From where do I summon ninety minutes late on a Monday afternoon? And I love the laughter. My own and theirs. Obviously, I’m still having fun doing this. That’s right, in a room full of middle school students!
I also observe what I’ve always known. The biggest benefit is the relationship I build with the students. Two years of weekly interaction at that level builds a bond I don’t have with many in the congregation. We pray, we eat, we wrestle with hard questions, we laugh, we create, we grow and we change. Few get to enjoy that dynamic with young people. In that room, the rubber meets the road, and the Holy Spirit works through God’s Word to make a powerful impact.
Before you know it, in the blink of an eye, they’ll be in high school. Everything changes when that day comes. Youth in high school have all the answers. Middle school students have all the questions. I think that’s what makes it so rewarding.
Since it’s on my Facebook page, I’ve gotten over 100 people tuning in to watch at least part of the class the past two weeks. People from all over the country, people I haven’t heard of for years, and people I forgot I was even friends with. I don’t know how long they stay. How much zaniness can any one viewer stand?
This year’s class is live on my Facebook page every Monday (except holidays) from 5:30 – 7:00 pm.