Catechesis transforms new believers from listeners to discoverers. This is catechism's "secret," its immense value, for the seventeenth-century poet and priest George Herbert. "At sermons, and prayers, men may sleep or wander," he wrote, "but when one is asked a question, he must discover what he is."
More appropriately, we discover whose we are. Unfortunately, writes Gary Furr, we are far more deeply initiated today by the powerful catechisms of media, American culture, and capitalism than by this ancient faith of Christians.
"To introduce new believers to the Church of Jesus Christ" through catechesis, Dan Williams notes, "is to open for them the treasures of the apostolic faith and practice-a faith much larger than any one denomination's claims upon it-sharpened and transmitted through the ages." Debra Dean Murphy explores how to introduce children to worship. John Lockhart tells how his church wrote a catechism to help adolescents frame their faith. Emilie Griffin shows how spiritual direction can offer practical guidance for Christians of all ages.
Christian Reflection is an ideal resource for discipleship training in the church. Multiple copies are available for group study at $3.00 per copy.
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to explore how the ancient church practice of catechesis can orient new believers to their roles in the drama of God's redemptive work. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.