Have You Begun to Catechize Your Children? Should You?
Have you ever thought about catechizing your kids? What if it is a critical step in spiritual formation and you aren’t even aware of it?
Most Protestant parents have never given catechism a first thought, much less a second-thought. Our Protestant churches, Baptist in particular, don’t consider catechism important and give no effort to teaching parents its importance.
In this short video, however, Tim Keller gives a few reasons why catechism is an important aspect of spiritual formation in children. Rather than relying solely on the church to teach and train kids parents are to be intimately involved in this process. (If the video doesn’t appear automatically, please refresh your browser.)
Catechism, meaning memorization, is not something only Catholics do, although we tend to think of Catholics when we think of catechism. Catechism is the process of spiritual formation designed to impart biblical knowledge and teach children God’s word. And, as Keller points out, “memorization always leads to mediation.” This memorization and meditation is one of the key benefits of catechism. But it’s also critical for spiritual formation in a culture that is saturated with information.
Every day we are bombarded with information that seeks to gain our attention and our meditation. Everything from music to television and yes, even school; we are constantly allowing our minds to be filled. Knowing this it is imperative that parents make every effort to impart the knowledge of God’s word into the minds of their children.
Another benefit of catechism that Keller points out is that it creates buckets of information in our kids’ minds. Keller says that our kids don’t know much about the Father, Jesus, salvation, or grace. But as we teach them concerning these and other aspects of biblical theology, we begin to fill their buckets with content. Over the years as our kids grow, experience, and develop in their faith, those buckets get filled with content that they memorize and ruminate upon.
This statement by Keller sums up the importance of catechism for me:
“We have to catechize our children so that they’re not merely imbibing the culture but rather are shaped by what the Scripture says.”
We cannot deny that our culture is filled with content we don’t want our kids memorizing and meditating upon. One way to help our kids discern what is right, pure, and holy, is to catechize them.
If you are wondering where you can get more information on catechism, start here. That link will take you to a list of the historic creeds and confessions of faith that have shaped some of the greatest minds for God. They have also been used to catechize children for centuries and continue to be a powerful tool used by many churches to aid in catechism.
Watch the short video below and use the link provided to learn more about how you can be an active leader in the spiritual formation of your kids.