If you don’t catechize your children, may I suggest that you start?
Many young adults who leave the faith do so because they feel it’s merely about assertion or about emotional appeals. But Christianity is based on truth, whether historical or rational. Jesus rose from the dead, and Christianity makes sense.
Catechizing can help our children understand that the Faith makes “sense.” Only God saves. But we can remove impediments to faith.
Martin Luther never got over the basics. He regularly repeated the Ten Commandments to himself. These are not a beginner’s guide to the faith which we forget. It’s something we need daily.
Catechisms are short summaries of the Bible, put into an easily memorable question and answer format.
For example, the New City Catechism (free online or in book form) asks: “What is our only hope in life and death?” The answer is: “That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.”
Then the catechism provides a Bible verse to go along with the answer: “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom 14:7–8).
That is basically it: question, answer, and Bible. If you use the app for New City Catechism—just search for it on your phone—then you can also listen to songs that helped cement the teaching for kids.
Here is how I use it. At dinner time, I review previous questions at a rapid pace with my family. Then I read the newest question(s) to my family and answer it. It’s just that easy. We make it a fun thing. And I act like a maniac when it comes to encouraging my kids. So they enjoy it. My five-year-old plays along; my two-year-old imitates me.
My five-year-old saps it up. So do I (just not as fast!).
I hope that I can remove any obstacles in her way as she believes in the Lord Jesus Christ. When a child grows up in the church, but cannot articulate how Christianity makes “sense,” then we’ve collectively missed a great opportunity to help that child.
Catechisms do one thing, not everything. They contribute to family worship and helping Christianity make sense by understanding how to answer the major questions of life and of Scripture.
So I return to my suggestion. If you don’t catechize your children, may I suggest that you start?