Monday, August 11, 2008


Catechisms are something that have been used by Christians for centuries, but they have fallen on hard times in recent generations. Catechisms, if you are not familiar with them, are basically a series of questions and answers that are used to help children or new believers learn the basic teachings of the Christian faith. The questions are asked to the child or new believer, and they are to respond with an answer that they have memorized. Catechisms have primarily been used in the home by parents and their children--usually at a fairly young age--in order to help them learn and remember what the Bible teaches in a succinct way.

For an example of a catechism, you can look at:

That is a LONG one and might seem intimidating. But by going through these questions and answers with your child, looking up the verses that the answers are based on, and discussing the significance of the answers, you could go a LONG way toward developing your child's understanding of God, himself, Jesus, and the entire way he/she looks at the world....A few points to be made:

1. These are not learned overnight. Catechisms are meant to be used over a LONG period of time, where you slowly progress through the questions.

2. Memorizing answers doesn't teach children to be cold or distant to the Bible. It actually helps them to really KNOW what the Bible says and not just make up their own ideas of what Scripture teaches. Going through such questions and answers can be a great opportunity to develop a love for God in your child's life.

3. Catechisms can really benefit any person of any age. I know from parents that I've talked to who use these that THEY have learned as much or more than their children by being forced to think about these things.

4. You can adapt them as you need to. Some catechisms sound old, for example, so you sometimes need to use different words that your child could understand.

5. It is the responsibility of EVERY Christian parent to disciple their child. Instead of just hoping that our children "get it" over time, why not go through a straight-forward, interactive, consistent catechism to make sure that they understand Scripture's teachings? There is a reason they have been used so frequently :)

6. There are a wide range of catechisms. Before you begin one, you want to make sure that it is biblically sound and in agreement with your own theological convictions.

That's all for now. We can discuss this more in upcoming months, but I'd recommend to any parent to use a good catechism to instruct their children!

No comments: