Why Catechism?

WRITTEN BY Jon Dammeyer

This summer Wallen Children’s ministry is doing a kids Catechism Club. Many of you have shown concern with the name of this class because catechism is typically a Catholic or Lutheran term. With this article I hope to calm your nerves a little bit and then show the value and heart behind this class for your kids.

Traditionally, a catechism class is used to indoctrinate children into the church. The Catholic and Lutheran churches use classes like this to confirm their children in the faith. If this was a confirmation class, then I would understand your concerns and even invite more people to be concerned. However, Catechism is different from confirmation. Instead of taking a class to develop adulthood or confirmation of faith we are simply taking this class to get a better understanding of what we believe.

Catechism as defined by Merriam Webster (i.e. Google) is as follows: “a summary of the principles of Christian religion in the form of question and answer, used for the instruction of Christians.” See, when you look at it that way it’s not so scary. In fact, learning the essential doctrines of our faith should be something all kids do not just those a part of the Catholic or Lutheran denominations!

With this new definition in mind I want to take you through what we will be doing with your kids in the class this summer. The catechism we are using is the Westminster Shorter Catechism. This catechism is traditionally the catechism for a Presbyterian church, however, with the exception of baptism and some covenantal language, we agree with these doctrines at Wallen.  I assure you that I have edited the areas of disagreement so that we do not have any issues.

If you are not familiar, a catechism is in the format of a question and answer. For example, the first question is: “who made you?” answer: “God.” The catechism we have is made up of 150 questions and answers that your kids will learn about and some will memorize. Since we are limited in our time, we are going to be stretching our curriculum through three summers. This summer they will be learning questions 1-20, which cover who God is and who we are after the fall.

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On Wednesday nights this summer your kids will come to church having memorized that week’s questions and answers. They then will have a lesson and activity teaching what those doctrines mean and where they are found in the Bible. Your kids will learn how to open their Bible when searching for truth and be able to know where to look for what they believe. These skills will help them not only know the right answers to these pivotal questions but know where to go for truth, a concept that unfortunately is fading in our modern world.

If I have dispelled your fear for this class and you would like to volunteer or sign your kids up you can find a sign-up sheet at the kid’s information desk near the kid’s check-in. If you have further questions or would like more information there are info cards at the check-in desk or just comment on this blog. I hope through this class our church can encourage children to ask questions and seek answers through Scripture rather than the dark world we live in!

Jon Dammeyer is the Director of Children’s Ministry at Wallen

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