All posts written by Jared Kennedy

Why do we need a catechism?

Web BannerThe word catechism and the practice of “catechizing” carries with it a lot of baggage.  Some immediately think, “Aren’t catechisms quirky, out-dated, and rigid?”

If you are from a Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, or Lutheran background, you may remember studying a catechism in confirmation classes. Others will have never heard of a catechism at all.

So, what is it anyway? The word “catechism” comes from the Greek word katācheō, which means “to teach, to instruct.”  The word is used in Bible passages like Luke 1:4 and Acts 18:25. It can be used for any kind of teaching or instruction, but it came to refer to a specific type of teaching very early in church history. In the early church, new converts were taught the basics of Christianity by memorizing a series of questions and answers.  A catechism is just that–a series of questions and answers that teach Bible truth.

In fact, the roots of this method go even farther back than the early church. When God rescued Israel from Egypt, he gave them a whole slew of laws, ceremonies, and sacrifices to help them remember his great rescue and guide their journey to the Promised Land. These traditions were important, because God wanted Israel’s faith to be passed down to their kids with clarity and stability.

God knows that kids have questions, because he made them with curiosity and a sense of wonder. So, when God gave Israel his law, he anticipated their children’s questions. In passages like Exodus 12:26-27, Exodus 13:14-16, and Joshua 4:6-7, we find a pattern like this one:

“And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them…

In these passages, God gave the Israelite parents a script for answering their kids’ curiosity. In Exodus 12:27, it went like this: “It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.”  God wanted parents and kids to put this little script to memory, so that they’d always be ready with answers.

At SojournKids, we’ve put together a short list of questions and answers to teach Bible doctrine to our kids…

Click Here for the North Star Catechism!

Nehemiah (at Home for August 10th)

sojournkids at homeThis week’s SojournKids Bible lesson was “Nehemiah” (Nehemiah 1-4).  Use the questions below to review it with your kids. You can also review the weekly North Star Catechism (below).

READ Nehemiah 1-4 or Story 78 in The Gospel Story Bible

ASK: What happened in this story? Nehemiah heard that Jerusalem was in ruins. He prayed and asked the king if he could return to Jerusalem and help rebuild the city wall. The king allowed him to go and gave him supplies and help.

ASK: What did the enemies of Jerusalem think about Nehemiah? They laughed at first, but later they planned an attack on the city. Nehemiah said God would fight for them.

Check out the daily devotionals that correspond with this week’s lesson in the book, Long Story Short by Marty Machowski, pages 392-397.

This week’s North Star catechism question is…

68. Why do we baptize in the name of the Holy Spirit? Because we are witnesses. We receive the Holy Spirit’s power to share and show Jesus to others.

Mathew 28:20–And surely I am with you always. Even to the end of the age.

Download this week’s SojournKids at Home here.

Revival Under Nehemiah (Kids in Community for August 10th)

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Download the free Revival series devotional here!

Applying God’s Word with your Kids in your Community Group

  • Read Nehemiah 8:13-18 together
  • Have you ever lost something then found it again much later?
  • What truth did these leaders rediscover in God’s Word? (a feast that celebrated God’s care for Israel in the wilderness)
  • Invite a child to pray and then conclude by asking God to remind us of his vision for our lives.

Family Devotions at Home

  • Read Nehemiah 8 together.
  • Would you enjoy a birthday party if you were the only one there? Why not?
  • How many people in God’s family decided to celebrate? (All of them.)
  • Why is it important that we regularly meet and live life together as a church?
  • Parents: Share with your kids how God led you to Sojourn.
  • Pray together that Sojourn will grow closer as a church family who celebrates God’s grace.

The 11 Videos of VBS…

The Exiles Return (at Home for July 27th)

sojournkids at homeThis week’s SojournKids Bible lesson was “The Exiles Return” (Ezra 3:1-13).  Use the questions below to review it with your kids. You can also review the weekly North Star Catechism (below).

READ Ezra 3:1-13 or Story 76 in The Gospel Story Bible

ASK: What are the people trying to do? They are trying to rebuild the temple. What part of the temple did they finish? They finished the foundation.

ASK: What did they do when the foundation was laid? They shouted and praised God, but some were sad because the old temple was more beautiful. They were sad it was gone.

Check out the daily devotionals that correspond with this week’s lesson in the book, Long Story Short by Marty Machowski, pages 382-386

This week’s North Star catechism question is…

66. Why do we baptize in the name of the Father? Because the church is God’s family. We are God’s adopted children. We care for one another like brothers and sisters.

Romans 8:16–The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Download this week’s SojournKids at Home here.