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Mar 15, 2022

How the worn-out carpet in your dining room can improve your Confirmation prep program

The Ascension Confirmation Team

Have you ever looked at your old, worn-out carpet and discovered how to finally break through to the candidates in your Confirmation prep program?

What? No?

In this post, we’re going to show you exactly how that beat-up old rug can guide you toward a more effective program while also helping you stress less about it all.

If that sounds good, keep reading.

But before we jump right into carpets, rugs (checks thesaurus), mats, and floorcloths, we need to talk about how you’re currently handling your program.

What we hear from a lot of DREs and folks organizing parish Confirmation prep programs is that you are all simply trying to do too much. Here is some of what is on your plate:

  • planning out the program 
  • finding the volunteers
  • scheduling the meeting rooms 
  • coordinating with the parents 
  • gathering the permission slips
  • coordinating with the bishop
  • teaching the catechists how to lead the sessions 
  • offering guidance to the candidates
  • and more than likely leading a group yourself

That is a lot.


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And we get it! Resources are always tight. Recruiting and retaining a great team of volunteers is always a need at almost every parish.

Even though we wish we could just wave a magic wand and triple your budget and team, we can’t.

Instead there is this. It’s a powerful concept called the Pareto principle (sometimes known as the 80/20 rule).

The Pareto principle says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your effort.

This principle shows up all over the place.

  • 80% of a town’s traffic is on 20% of its roads
  • 80% of news coverage is based on 20% of world events
  • 20% of cities have 80% of the population
  • 20% of farmers produce 80% of the world’s agricultural products
  • 20% of your wardrobe is worn 80% of the time.

And our favorite – 20% of your rug has 80% of the wear-and-tear.

But what does this have to do with your Confirmation prep program?

That list of your responsibilities we laid out above obeys the Pareto principle as well. Among all those activities, there will be 20% that actually make an impact on your candidates.

Want to guess what those 20% are? 

Spending time with them. Caring about them. Caring about their lives and their relationships. Interacting with them and modeling for them what a lived Christian life looks like.

It’s been said that people won’t care about you until they know that you care about them. Your candidates are no different.

Deepen your investment in that 20% with your time and energy and you’ll see your program yield even better results.

You’ll see better engagement in your lessons. You’ll see deeper discussions taking place. And you’ll see the seed of faith bearing more fruit in the lives of your candidates and their families.

And when you go home at the end of the day and see the old worn-out carpet in your dining room, you’ll thank it. 


Looking for an easy and effective way to excite your Confirmation candidates about the faith?

Chosen: Your Journey to Confirmation offers a proven approach that we’ve just refreshed and updated.

Sign up for a free preview!


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  • Perhaps you can help me. Our parish has used Chosen, but we do not have catholic school, and I think Chosen is geared to be used in a school. We meet with our students once a week, with exception to holidays. What I am looking for is a good teaching book on the Creed and a book on the Seven Sacrament. Can you help me with this? Look forward to hearing from you. Thank, Theresa

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