What is a "catechism" anyway?

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Catechism as a Teaching Tool

If you haven’t discovered it already, the New City Catechism and its corresponding app are a fantastic resource for teaching kids (and their parents!) solid biblical theology in a bite-sized, simple way.

  1. What is a catechism anyway?

If, like me, you didn’t grow up with catechisms, the structure may be a bit unfamiliar. A catechism is a systematic explanation of theology (teaching about God, humankind, salvation, etc.) structured in a question and response format that is intended to be memorized. While there are several great catechisms out there, I love the New City Catechism because of its use of modern language and the fact that it comes in both a longer and shorter version, with the short version is perfect for younger ones! Here’s an example:

Question 1
What is our only hope in life and death?

That we are not our own but belong to God.

 

  1. Why use a catechism with children?

For parents who desire for our kids to love and follow Jesus, a catechism is a wonderful tool to use to plant truth in little hearts, in the hope and prayer that it will bear fruit for many years to come. Ideally, catechism memorization compliments, rather than replaces, Scripture memory as the questions and answers provide summaries of Biblical truth that will stick with kids throughout their lives.

 

  1. How can you use a catechism in your family?

For us, we spend 5 minutes a day or less with the catechism, making it a super quick and easy way to learn great theology! The New City catechism is available in book format, but I highly recommend downloading the app, which features songs for each question. For us, we try to focus on one new question from the catechism each week. So, each morning we: (1) listen to the new question/song 1-2x and (2) listen to one previously-memorized question/song as review. That’s it! Later in the week, I might ask my daughter the question portion to see if she has memorized the answer, and often she has!

If you’ve already taken the plunge to use a catechism in your family, or if you are inspired to try it, I’d love to hear about it!

- Courtney