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.

Download the entire Catechism issue and the set of six Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.



Hymn and Worship Service

Inspirational Pieces

Book Reviews

  • "Learning Life-Giving Ways of Life," by Todd Edmondson
    • Tony Jones, Soul Shaper: Exploring Spirituality and Contemplative Practices in Youth Ministry
    • Tony Jones, The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life
    • Dorothy C. Bass and Don C. Richter, eds., Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens
    • Dorothy C. Bass, ed., Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People
  • "Catechism in the Worshiping Community," by Gerald J. Mast
    • Kevin Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine
    • Simon Chan, Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community
    • Debra Dean Murphy, Teaching that Transforms: Worship as the Heart of Christian Education
    • Sara Wenger Shenk, Anabaptist Ways of Knowing: A Conversation about Tradition-Based Critical Education

Study Guides and Lesson Plans (Download the set of six Study Guides)