I went to a wonderful panel discussion at the Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference on teaching theology to children. The room was bursting at the seams with young moms, grandmoms, and everyone in between excited to learn about teaching their children theology. Since this is near and dear to my heart, I knew I was in a room full of like-minded women who want their children to know Jesus in a deep and lasting way. One of the great resources mentioned in this discussion was First Catechism. Melissa Kruger, the convener of the discussion, wrote a blog (blogs.thegospelcoalition.org) listing 5 reasons to teach catechism and I love what she said! The catechism:
- Simplifies complex truths
- Teaches the language of the Church
- Prepares children to answer
- Provides a treasure map to follow
- Becomes a fun time of family fellowship
Why is it that when some people hear the word theology they immediately say that’s too hard for kids and it’s no fun? Well, I beg to differ. Theology is just teaching the truths about God! One of the best ways I have found to teach theology is through teaching catechism. Catechism is simple questions and answers that help children learn answers to BIG questions. When taught around the family dinner table, in a classroom setting, or a recitation party, kids can learn these deep truths in fun and engaging ways.
For example, after teaching concrete-thinking children the Ten Commandments, how about teaching them this question and answer:
- Of what use are the Ten Commandments to you?
- They teach me what is pleasing to God, and how much I need a Savior.
Wow, what profound truths to teach our children in a few simple words!
For some reason, it always strikes me when I have a little girl all dressed in her Sunday best with sparkly shoes and hair ribbons as she comes to recite catechism to me, and I ask this question:
- How sinful are you by nature?
- I am corrupt in every part of my being.
Think about that for a minute. No matter how beautiful we look on the outside, we know how sinful and corrupt we are on the inside. Our children need to know how serious their sin problem is so that they see their great need for a savior, who is Jesus. These amazing truths, powerful even in these short questions and answers, lay a foundation for our children to understand who Jesus is and how great his love is for each of us.
The 150 questions of First Catechism teach:
- Foundational truths about God’s triune character
- His will for our lives
- His plan of redemption through Christ
- The Ten Commandments (both what they say and what they require)
- The Lord’s Prayer (and its 6 parts)
Great Commission Publications (GCP) has been about family ministry since its start, intentionally linking all of our curriculum with the home as a way of fulfilling God’s covenant family mandate to “tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord” (Psalm 78). First Catechism and Kids’ Quest curriculum truly are great ways to help our families grow in knowledge and wisdom, but most importantly to grow more in love with Jesus every day.
If you want to know more about First Catechism and our catechism curriculum, Kids’ Quest, (and get free samples!) visit our website at http://www.gcp.org.