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Why Catechisms?

October 05 2017
October 05 2017

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This is Part 1 of series on helping your children grow into faith from Redeemer Children's Ministry Director Sarah Beaugh. Read Part 2 here.

As we settle into the Christian Education schedule for the fall, parents will notice that we are putting a bigger emphasis on catechisms in our Children’s Ministry program on Sunday mornings. If catechisms are new to you or even if they are not, you may wonder why we are using this particular tool in our program more.

The English word "catechize" simply means to teach biblical truth in an orderly way. Catechisms are structured in question and answer format and many are geared toward the instruction of children. The historic catechisms showed special admiration for the family as a "little church," and were intended primarily as a tool for parents to use in teaching their children the tenets of the Christian faith. At Redeemer, we want to come alongside families in this endeavor and help reinforce the efforts you make at home to engage your children in Bible study, scripture memory and family worship. There is no substitute for pouring Scripture and God’s truth into children when they are still young. We believe catechisms provide an excellent structure for this.

In a day and age focused on feelings, applying scriptural truths to our lives through the catechisms can help us stay grounded in truth and good theology. Catechisms can also provide answers to basic questions, such as this from the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

Q: What is prayer?

A: Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.

Answers like these will serve young people well when they are older and begin to navigate the world. We want to pass on to children the conviction that God’s law speaks into the whole of life. The catechism doesn’t call Christians to live by the commandments in a legalistic or chore-like fashion. Rather, they lead us to the redeeming love of God and help us live in an ongoing experience of that love. Catechisms have stood the test of time as a way of teaching children to know, remember and love the word of God.

As a church, we are using the Catechism for Young Children: An Introduction to the Shorter Catechism in grades Pre-K through 5th. We will have these available for purchase on our book table soon. We hope you will pick up a copy for your family to use together at home.

Another way to creatively engage children in learning catechisms is through music. There is also a 3 volume set of music CD’s (or MP3 for download) called Ask Me Whooo available to use as a resource alongside the catechism booklet (which are identical word for word). The series is available for purchase online at www.askmewhooo.com or Amazon. Music is a format that is more easily remembered (think about your ABC’s!) and can aid in the memorization of these wonderful truths!

We are eager to see our children grow and increase their knowledge of Christ and His love for them through the study of the catechism!


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