“Catechizing” refers almost exclusively to the tool Christians use to carefully teach and firmly ground people, including children, in the essential truths of the Christian faith. Thankfully, many churches and parents are diligently and earnestly pursuing this crucial task. But others are a bit more relaxed about it, not seeing an urgency or, perhaps, believing that children and youth should not be weighed down by too much formal instruction and doctrine.
Think about these two questions for a moment: What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be a woman? Who will provide your children and youth with true answers? Will it be the church and Christian parents, catechizing our children from God’s Word? Or will it be the world? Make no mistake, the world is ready and eager to fill in the void if we fail. And, as we have seen, our current culture provides answers that are far removed from Scripture, tragically blasphemous, and utterly destructive.
In his recent post, “The World Is Catechizing Us Whether We Realize It or Not,” Pastor Kevin DeYoung says,
It is worth remembering David Well’s famous definition: worldliness is whatever makes righteousness look strange and sin look normal. Here’s the reality facing every Christian in the West: the money, power, and prestige of the mainstream media, big time sports, big business, big tech, and almost all the institutions of education and entertainment are invested in making sin look normal. Make no mistake: no matter how good your church, no matter how strong your family, no matter how gospel-centered your Christian school or homeschool, if your children and grandchildren are even remotely engaged with contemporary culture (and they are), they are being taught by a thousand memes and messages every week to pay homage to the rainbow flag.
The Christian family, Christian church, and Christian school must not assume that the next generations will accept the conclusions that seem so obvious to older generations. We must talk about the things our kids are already talking about among themselves. We must disciple. We must be countercultural. We must prepare them to love and teach them what biblical love really means. We must pass on the right beliefs and the right reasons for those beliefs.
We must prepare our children—and be prepared ourselves—that following Christ comes with a cost (Luke 9:23). The Jesus who affirmed marriage as between a man a woman (Matt. 19:4-6), the Jesus who warned of the porneia within (Mark 7:20-23), the Jesus who warned against living to be liked by others (John 12:43), this Jesus demands our total allegiance (Matt. 28:20).
The world is already busy promoting its catechism. The only question is whether we will get busy promoting ours.
In other words, no matter what, our children will be catechized. The question is who will be catechizing them? Church and parents: Let’s not fail in promoting our catechism to the next generation. Let’s be diligent in instructing them in the Christian faith with all its glorious, life-giving, life-transforming, hope- and joy-producing doctrines! If you haven’t already done so, please watch our four, short “Foundations for God-Centered Children's Ministry” videos to further inspire and motivate you toward that end. Also, here are additional resources regarding this important topic:
- “Catechism: Out of Date or a Tried and True Teaching Tool of Eternal Truths” (Seminar by Sally Michael)
- Discipleship through Doctrinal Teaching and Catechism (Booklet by Sally Michael)
- “Developing a Vision Orientation of Ministry to Children & Youth”
- “The Theological & Philosophical Foundations of Truth78 Teaching Resources”