Good question! At one time (like when I was confirmed), confirmation was a rite of passage. It was the time when a young person not only made a personal statement of faith, but it was also the time when we first received Holy Communion. Confirmation was when we officially became contributing, voting members of the congregation. Fortunately about 40 years ago we Lutherans took a closer look at confirmation and realized how upside down that right of passage was to our Church's theological principles and values. Now, all the baptized are welcome to Holy Communion, and children are valued for the contribution simply as children, not adults in waiting.
Confirmation is now reframed as an Affirmation of Baptism. It is a very important time in the development of faith in a young person. It has been said that puberty is God's way of encouraging children to reach beyond themselves, embrace their true identities, and explore independence--all God's gifts. While their bodies, minds and worlds are rapidly changing, it is a formative time for the maturation of faith. Catechism students learn from the bible and Lutheran theology how to think think critically about principles and values of faith. At the end, with a rite of Confirmation, they get to publicly claim for themselves that they will live out the promises made for them by their parents and sponsors in their baptism. The time spent in confirmation classes are intended to continue, more intentionally, the exploration of faith, faith and life, and faith and the church so that students can make that affirmation of baptism statement of faith in the hope and trust that God will continue to lead and guide them in all the aspects of their lives now and in the future.