Confirmation Review – Decision Point

11th February 2017

A new way of preparing young people for the Sacrament of Confirmation...

Using programmes for Confirmation

In parishes all across the diocese there are hundreds of teenagers every year that are prepared for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Collectively catechists generously donate hundreds of hours every year voluntary to serve the young people of Brentwood diocese. If you are a reading this you are probably such a catechist and sometimes may feel that it is a thankless task. The first thing to say say is thank you for the time that you sacrifice (or will sacrifice) for your young people.

The planning and execution of a Confirmation course can often seem like a daunting task and there are no quick fixes or a one size fits all programme because of the vastly different cultures and situations faced by our young people. Therefore, in trying to recommend programmes there is a realisation that there will be elements in every style and programme that has its strengths and weaknesses. Of course something merely functional like changing the programme we use is not a magic wand able to engage our candidates for Confirmation.

One programme we want to look at here that might help inspire your pastoral practice is from an Australian organisation called ‘Dynamic Catholic’ called Decision Point:

Decision Point

It began with a dream—to give catechists, youth ministers, sponsors, parents, pastors, and Directors of Religious Education (DREs) the tools they need to engage young Catholics in a meaningful conversation about the genius of Catholicism in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation."
Matthew Kelly, CEO of Dynamic Catholic

What is Decision Point?

Decision Point is a Confirmation programme with workbooks and a video series containing 72 short-films on various topics that seek to help not only prepare candidates for the sacrament of Confirmation, but to be evangelised. Evangelisation precedes catechesis, otherwise what we give them is abstract knowledge that will not be applied because it is purely notional. Evangelisation is all about relationship with Christ and becoming aware of what Christ’s death and resurrection means for the human race and us as individuals.

What are the advantages of Decision Point?

  • Good Content: The delivery and consistently high quality of content makes for compelling watching, for candidates and catechists alike.
  • It is free! all the videos can be accessed online for free here, in addition to this the candidate workbook and leader guide can be downloaded as a PDF for free as well.
  • It has a free app: Young people that miss a session or parents that want to see the content their children are seeing so they can journey with them are able to do so by downloading the free ‘Decision Point’ app which has all the videos on them and various prayers (Search Decision Point in the app store)

What are the disadvantages of Decision Point?

  • Longer course: Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but each session need to be 2 hours to fit the videos and various activities and the amount of sessions are catered to an American audience that normally have longer Confirmation programmes. It may be a case of having to be selective with the sessions you use.
  • Difficult and expenses to source hard materials: Having everything available online and on an app is all well and good, but it is normally beneficial to have a physical record of work and progress made on the programme for posterity if nothing else. The workbook they provide has the script from all the videos in it and a vast array of extra activities on top of  watching the videos. However, these works books and the leader guides, although free to download, are difficult to source if you want hard copies and need to be sent from abroad which is not impossible but costly.

The best way to decide whether decision point is right for your parish is to watch the videos:

God's Dream for You