Catechism?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by amazinglove92, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. amazinglove92

    amazinglove92
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    I am currently attending NBBC in Wisconsin. I recently got involved with an extension program. This program takes students from the school and sends them all over Wisconsin to help churchs with their needs. My pastor of my extension church recently asked me to take over junior church. I have been doing so. I feel a problem with my material is that it brings way too much attention to the characters instead of to God. My age group is 4-6 by the way. I think a program that does a great job of the right focus are catechisms. Now I am wondering what do you think about catechisms? The one I was thinking about was the Westminster Shorter. I know it is really deep information but isn't it best to begin early? I look upon my younger years and wish that would have been the case. Can my age group handle some of the information with me trying desperately to get it to their level?
    I know it is complicated but I am thinking with enough effort and application and creative ideas I can make it work. Is it possible?
     
  2. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones
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    It is possible and has been done. You don't have to invent one though since there's plenty of children's catechisms around, and a quick websearch would enable you to peruse them. If I recall Charles Spurgeon had a decent children's catechism.
     
  3. bapmom

    bapmom
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    amazing,

    let me make this point......God included those stories about those people so that the Bible is more personal to us. It is your job as the teacher to teach those 4-6 year olds about God through the characters. The material we are given to teach to our classes is still rough. As the teacher we are responsible for applying it to the individual age-level under our care.

    4,5, and 6 year olds are still very concrete thinkers. They need those personal stories about real people to teach them what God's basic principles and commands look like in real life. Like I said, it's your job to apply it for them, and to show them how this teaches us about God. We cannot rely so heavily on the material that we automatically blame it when we see a problem.
     
  4. russell55

    russell55
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    You can always teach the stories, but make God--what he's doing--the focus of the stories. IMO, 4-6 is just a little young to focus too much on a catechism. I'm not sure, because I've never tried it, but that's just my intuition.

    And kids do need to know the stories. The stories are the background for all the teaching passages, and the background for the catechisms.
     
  5. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    The last two posters questioned the appropriateness of a catechetical approach for such young children. They did so on the basis of instincts and common sense. But there is also a theoretical basis for their concern. Look at the writings of John Westerhoff, particularly "Will Our Children Have Faith?". He speaks of four stages of faith -- experienced faith for preschoolers, shared faith for school-age children, searching faith for teenagers, and owned faith for adults. There is a lot more to the theory than these categories, but if the theory (which is based on research about learning modes) be anywhere near correct, these children need to feel a sense of belonging to a larger community, the community of faith. Thus learning through life stories is important to them, and age-appropriate. I think you would find that abstract concepts like "sin" and "guilt" and "mercy", etc., would sail right past them.
     
  6. ~JM~

    ~JM~
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    With my children I use the catechism written by Richard Cecil. link

    For other Baptist Catechism click here.
     
  7. trainbrainmommy

    trainbrainmommy
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    NBBC grad here! :wavey: (class of '90) I know all about extension!

    I taught Junior church for several years in our last church. I used Bible drill questions from ABeka Bible curriculum.

    I would teach the Bible lesson, worked on our memory verses, we sang songs, had a snack and I asked the drill questions as a time filler - as a transition between activities. eg., I would ask a drill question and they raised their hands. When they answered a question correctly, they got to line up to go home or they got to collect the crayons, etc.

    By the time I left, the 3 year olds could answer the questions. They may not have understood exactly what they were saying, but as they grew older, they began to comprehend. The congregation was amazed - we would sing songs in the service occasionally, and one Sunday, without warning the kids, I started asking the drill questions. The kids could answer the questions without even thinking about it because they had heard the questions and answers so many times.

    My suggestion is this - don't make the catechism the focus of your time but don't neglect it, either. I was told, and I believe it, that the kids learned more doctrine in Junior church than they did in SS or Wednesday night.

    God bless!
     
  8. Milady

    Milady
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    I just completed an audio CD of the Westminster shorter but I would probably suggest that you go with Spurgeons.
    (I have also been recording that one)
    I seriously think that Bible stories rather than true doctrine, as found in catechisms are a serious cause of the ignorance of adults in Baptist churches today.

    THis is nothing new though:
    Here is a link to that:
    http://www.spurgeon.org/catechis.htm
    Here is a link to my recordings of it:
    http://brandedforchrist.org/Audio/CHScatechism.htm
     
  9. bapmom

    bapmom
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    but the point is, it doesn't have to be EITHER/OR.....it can be doctrine taught through stories....which is how God chose to teach us most of the doctrines in the first place. And we are adults He's teaching. The OP is talking about teaching 4 year olds.
     

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