Conversation Starters and Faith Tips

Questions and Faith Tips for Parents and Sponsors to Use with Confirmation Candidates

7 Ways to Be a Better Listener

  1. Stop whatever you’re doing.
  2. Look each other in the eye.
  3. Pay attention not only to what each person is saying, but to the nonverbal messages.
  4. Don’t prepare your response while someone else is still speaking.
  5. Don’t interrupt.
  6. Ask questions to encourage more conversation.
  7. Check that you understood the speaker correctly.

Conversation 1 Who Is Jesus?

1. As best as you can remember, what has been the most exciting moment in your life to this point?

Your child will go through many exciting and challenging moments in life. You won’t be there for all of them—but God will. Remind your child of Jesus’ words to his disciples: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of time.”
2. If you could safely witness any special effect being filmed for a movie, which one would you want to see above all others?

Sometimes we expect God to appear in our lives like a special effect in a blockbuster movie. But it’s more likely that we’ll recognize God in the ripple rather than in the wave, or hear God in the silent aftermath rather than the raging storm—if only we take time to look and to listen.
3. If you could permanently eliminate any one part of your daily routine, what would it be?

True enlightenment comes in discovering that even our mundane moments are charged with the grandeur of God’s presence and love. Pay attention and you will see the ways that God is present in both the high points and low points of each and every day.

Conversation 2 What Do I Believe?

1. If you had to wear an object around your neck at all times, something that would be attached to a thin chain or string, what would it be? (Don’t choose something too heavy—you have to wear it all the time!)

One of the most powerful ways to nurture a living faith in your child is to adorn your home with objects that represent your faith—a crucifix, a family bible, a statue, a prayer. These objects speak to your child around the clock of the faith that sustains us in this lifetime.
2. If you could travel back in time to live through any one year or event in American history, which year or event would you want to experience?

Quickly make a spiritual timeline that lists the moments and events in your life that had the most impact on your spiritual beliefs. Review the highs and the lows, and list the top three most influential events. Reflect on what God was trying to tell you in these moments.
3. If you could carve four new faces into the side of Mt. Rushmore, whose faces would they be? Why do you believe your choices deserve such a place of honor?

Tell your child about your favorite saint, apostle, or hero from the Bible. Let your child know what traits you admire in that person.

Conversation 3 How Should I Live?

1. What is one seemingly impossible goal that you would like to see the world achieve during your lifetime?

Encourage your child to act according to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That will foster an awareness of their solidarity as one big, human family. Jesus longs for the time when we recognize that we are all one, just as Jesus and the Father are one.
2. Young People: In your opinion, what is the most important thing your parents have taught you to this point? Parents/Sponsors: In your opinion, what is the most important thing your kids have taught you to this point?

Think of how you learned about right and wrong. Odds are you learned those lessons through life experience rather than lectures. Seek out experiential opportunities that convey your values to your child—by helping others together, by watching how you talk about those who are less fortunate, by treating all people you encounter with respect.
3. Suppose you were told that you could have one wish come true—but the wish you make would have to be for someone else, not for yourself. What would you wish for, and for whom would you wish it?

Empathy is a fundamental building block for all moral growth. Make it a family value to frequently consider how your behavior and choices affect others. When your child talks about other children’s experiences, gently ask, “And how do you think he/she felt about that?” This will nurture your child’s capacity for compassion.

Conversation 4 Where Do I Belong?

1. Suppose that, whenever you talked, it wouldn’t be your voice that people heard—it would be the sound of a particular animal. Which animal’s sound would you choose for your voice?

Eating meals together regularly as a family has many benefits. When children are heard and responded to during mealtime conversations, they discover their own voice. They gain the confidence and security that assures them they belong.
2. If you had to rearrange the letters in your first name to come up with a brand-new first name for yourself, what would be your new name? (Note: You must use all the letters from your current first name and no additional letters.)

Children crave a sense that they are special in their parent’s eyes. Tell your child how you chose his or her name, why it’s special to you, and how it means even more now that it belongs to your child.
3. If you asked five people who know you to write down the one word that they think best describes you, what do you think would be the most common answer? (Consider the answer carefully from their viewpoint, not yours.)

Children need our feedback. But be sure to tell the whole story. While it’s important that we help our children gain self-discipline by correcting them when they’ve slipped, we also should commend them when they act virtuously and remind them of their truest identity—as beloved sons and daughters of God.

Conversation 5 How Do I Pray?

1. If you could change the ending to any movie you’ve ever seen, what movie would it be and how would you change the ending?

Prayer changes things. It may not automatically change the circumstances I am struggling with, but it does change me. It makes me more willing to seek the will of God and pursue it in my life. When that happens, I find that what really needed to change were not my circumstances, but myself.
2. If you could be the tallest tree for many miles around, where in the world would you want to be planted so you could have an awesome view of everything below you?

God has planted a seed of faith in each child. You have a major influential role in how well that seed of faith is nurtured. Pray that you can respond to the opportunities to nurture tender faith each day.
3. If you could build a private bridge or tunnel that would take you directly from your home to any place at all, what would it connect you to?

Prayer is one of the surest ways we connect with God. At any time, in any circumstance, you can talk to God heart-to-heart. Make prayer a daily habit in your home.

Conversation 6 What Is My Destiny?

1. If you could stand before the U.S. Congress and try to persuade them to pass a brand-new law, what new law would you want them to consider? What reasons would you give to support the need for this new law?

The Kingdom of God happens not only in the future, but also in the present. Those who follow Jesus are called to do what we can, as we can; to establish justice; to reduce oppression; to protect the defenseless; and to promote the common good. Talk with your child about current events that illustrate how people are bringing about positive change.
2. If you could release a helium balloon with a message card attached to the end of the string, what message would you write for the unknown recipient to read?

Try this for fun. Have each family member pull from a hat the name of a family member. Include extended family members, if possible. For a whole week, ask each person to pray for the family member whose name he or she picked. At the end of the week, reveal everyone’s “Secret Pal.”
3. If an ice-cream company asked you to come up with a brand-new flavor of ice cream, what flavor would it be and what creative name would you give it?

We each have great gifts to give a troubled world. Discovering our likes and preferences can help us discover the true nature and flavor of our most valuable gifts. Help your child taste a wide array of experiences to help him or her discover those favorites that might point the way to a life of fulfillment.