On February 5th we will kickoff our Spring 2017 Immanuel Kids class for grade-school children (1st-6th grade). It will run every Sunday morning from 9:00-9:50 until April 27th. The theme this trimester is "Big Truths + Young Hearts." Every week the kids will be learning core doctrines and truths of the Christian faith through catechism.
What is Catechism?
The word “catechism” means “to teach, to instruct.” From very early on in church history, the church began to use this term to refer to a specific teaching method in which new Christians were taught the basics of the faith by memorizing a series of questions and answers. Catechism is just that–a set of Q&As that teach God’s word.
Why We Use a Catechism?
1. To Establish Core Christian Beliefs
Perhaps you're thinking, "Why not just memorize Scripture?" Catechism will certainly involve memorizing Scripture, but it goes a step further by helping define and explain the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. It is not at all a replacement for Scripture; rather, it serves as a tool to provide an orderly and orthodox account of what Scripture teaches. Throughout church history, every heretic used Scripture. They knew and memorized God’s word, but they nevertheless interpreted it wrongly. Learning catechism questions will help guide our kids to not only know the Bible, but also how to read and understand it according to an orthodox Christian faith.
"While it is the Word of God that the Spirit uses to bring our children to faith, a catechism provides the needed framework for their continued interaction with God’s word."
2. To Build a Framework for Personal Interaction with the Scriptures
Catechism’s thorough question and answer format helps to develop a fundamental understanding of God, sin, salvation, the Bible, the church, heaven and hell. While it is the Word of God that the Spirit uses to bring our children to faith, a catechism provides the needed framework for their continued interaction with God’s word.
3. To Actively Participate In Our Children’s Discipleship
Committing to catechesis is a challenge. All parents have busy schedules and finding the time to squeeze in doctrinal Q&As into our days is easier said than done. We will likely start and stop many times over. But while it is a true commitment to add catechesis into our routines, it is worthy of all our efforts to disciple our kids in such a manner. Surely, many of our kids will not even completely understand what they are memorizing, but that is not the goal. We are focused on laying a foundation and praying that these truths are eventually grasped by faith, through the Spirit. The early church father St. John Chrysostom said that every family is a “little church,” where parents are privileged to train their children carefully and diligently in the ways of the Lord that they might know Christ. Our hope is that catechesis provides a means to that end.
"Finding the time to squeeze in doctrinal Q&As into our days is easier said than done. We will likely start and stop many times over. But while it is a true commitment to add catechesis into our routines, it is worthy of all our efforts to disciple our kids"
To get your kid(s) signed up for "Big Truths + Young Hearts" click the link below: