How can families incorporate a catechism into their faith-based teachings? Read on to learn the ins and outs of using catechisms at home.
My kids are learning so much! The three range in age from 9 to 12 and are tackling subjects like electricity, comparative adjectives, geology, pre-algebra, and Revolutionary War history. They’ve written papers on historical figures such as Pocahontas, George Washington, and even the ancient math-whiz Archimedes.
So much learning, so much content. Yet this is only the beginning! Our children have had to learn how to use the multiple remotes in our living room. That the milk goes back in the fridge when you’re done with it. And that you never hug Mom before brushing your teeth in the morning!
With all this memory work happening in young brains, where do we begin faith conversations? How can parents capitalize on children’s impressionable minds with something that ties them to the faith your family holds dear? How can you make the Gospel truths something kids can quickly recall and use for everyday life?
The Importance of Catechism
Devotions are a great place to start. But with upper-elementary kids and preteens, I want a great foundation that we can build devotions on as they mature and age. I’ve found something that works great for the brains of the three growing kids in our house. Catechism. That’s right.
The word “catechism” comes from the Greek katacheo, which means “to teach, to instruct.” The word appears in Bible passages like Luke 1:4 and Acts 18:25. It can reference any kind of teaching or instruction, but it came to refer to a specific type of teaching very early in church history. In the early church, new converts learned the basics of Christianity by memorizing a series of questions and answers.
A catechism is just that: Q&As that teach Bible truth. For example, here are some lessons we’ve learned this year from a catechism:
- Who made you and everything? God made everything and me.
- What is God like? God is our holy and almighty Creator. He cannot be seen, but he has made everything we can see.
- Why did God make you? God made us to enjoy him and show his glory to others.
- What is the gospel? The gospel is the good news that we enter God’s kingdom through God’s cross by God’s grace.
- Why does God tell us, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy”? So we will rest in God and remember the finished work of Jesus.
We’ll learn many more Bible truths from catechism in the years to come. We’ve added a few catechism words to the kids’ weekly spelling and vocabulary lists. I’ve also thrown them into a few special “get rewarded with ice cream real quick” scenarios I create on a whim.