All posts written by Jared Kennedy

How do I use a catechism?

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Building on the foundation of the Heidelberg Catechism (1576), the Westminster Shorter Catechism (1642-47), and the Catechism for Young Children (1840) the North Star Catechism focuses on the basic elements of our historic Christian faith—God’s gospel, God’s church, and God’s mission.

Here are a few brief tips for using the catechism at home:

  • Start early. Ideally, kids will begin learning answers to the catechism questions as they begin to talk. By doing so, they will add to their vocabulary words that reflect Bible truth. We suggest beginning the memory work on a child’s third birthday.
  • Memorize questions, answers, and verses. It is helpful for kids to memorize the verses along with the questions and answers. This is a way of ensuring that catechism remains a gospel tool we use to point kids back to Jesus and his redemptive story told in the Bible. Kids should learn that the Bible, not the catechism, is the foundation for our faith.
  • Teach it “when you sit down,” and “along the road.” Memorization will require some work. The devotionals we are writing to accompany the catechism are intended to aid in planned times around the living room or dinner table with your faith. Learning God’s truth happens best in the context of a relationship. So parents should always be alert for teachable moments—opportunities to talk about how the doctrine learned in the catechism applies to everyday life. The catechism is really just a reference point, a sort of script that parents and children have put to memory, which must be explained and applied through informal conversations.
  • Learn it with the church community. The North Star catechism has 78 questions so that a church community can work together to memorize one question and answer each week, and repeat the entire catechism twice over a three-year period.

Click Here for North Star Catechism Resources.

A Gift of Righteousness (At Home for August 31st)

sojournkids at homeThis week’s SojournKids Bible lesson was “A Gift of Righteousness” (Romans 3:10-22).  Use the questions below to review it with your kids. You can also review the weekly North Star Catechism (below).

READ Romans 3:10-22 or Story 136 in The Gospel Story Bible

ASK: Who is righteous? No human is righteous except Jesus. No one is righteous except God alone.

ASK: What does the word righteous mean? Righteousness is obeying perfectly–always obeying and never sinning.

ASK: How can we be made righteous? We are made righteous because Jesus gives us his obedience as a free gift.

Check out the daily devotionals that correspond with this week’s lesson in the book, Old Story New by Marty Machowski, pages 306-310

This week’s North Star catechism question is…

71. What are we asking when we pray, “Hallowed be thy name”? That we might love God and praise his name above all things.

Psalm 9:1-2 I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

Download this week’s SojournKids at Home here.

Planned Grace: Called to Hope (Kids in Community for August 31st)

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Download the free Revival series devotional here!

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

  • Read Ephesians 1:15-23
  • Have you ever felt like someone forgot about you?
  • Are there people in your life who remember you and pray for you? Parents, Grandparents, Teachers?
  • How does it feel to know that Jesus remembers us and prays for us?
  • Invite a parent to pray and give thanks for every child in the group.

Family Devotions at Home

  • Read Ephesians 1:22-23
  • Parents: Find a large box with one long, open side. Ask your kids to imagine it as a pirate ship. Work with them to paint or draw the ship on the side of the box with markers. Find an old sheet or t-shirt and attach a sail. 
  • What does it take to make a plan? Maybe talk about how you make a list–a shopping plan–before you go to the grocery store.
  • What kinds of plans did we need to build the ship? How does it feel to know that God loves you and has a plan for you?
  • Thank God for giving Jesus the power to complete God’s plan of salvation.

A New Creation (at Home for August 17th)

sojournkids at homeThis week’s SojournKids Bible lesson was “A New Creation” (2 Corinthians 5:14-21).  Use the questions below to review it with your kids. You can also review the weekly North Star Catechism (below).

READ 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 or Story 134 in The Gospel Story Bible

ASK: Who made the world and everything in it? God!

ASK: Why do we need a new creation? Because the world and our lives are broken because of sin.

ASK: Where is the new creation found? Paul says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. God makes everything new through Jesus!

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

This week’s North Star catechism question is…

69. What is communion? Eating bread and drinking the cup to remember Jesus’ death until he comes.

Memorize Luke 22:19-20

Download this week’s SojournKids at Home here.

Planned Grace: He Chose Us (Kids in Community for August 17th)

ephesians-web-banner

Download the free Revival series devotional here!

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

  • Read Ephesians 1:4-5
  • What does a captain look for when he is choosing sailors for his ship?
  • Does God choose people with the best skills? Does he choose the smartest or strongest? No way! He chooses before the foundation of the world—before we were born or had done anything good or bad.
  • How does it feel to know that God chose to love you even when you sin?
  • Invite a child to pray and thank the Father for choosing us just because he wanted to love us.

Family Devotions at Home

  • Parents: Take something your kids would be excited about and bury it somewhere in your
    yard. Create a simple treasure map for your kids, and then go hunt for the buried treasure.
  • Read Ephesians 1:1-6
  • What does it take to make a plan?
  • Who mapped out our lives and the salvation plan? God did!
  • Thank God for mapping out our salvation from beginning to end.