A Simple Way to Build Faith
“Daddy, can we do the questions?” That request is music to my ears. Shortly after our son, Joshua, turned 5, my wife and I began teaching him a catechism, which is a series of questions and answers designed to explain basic biblical doctrine.
What We’ve Learned
We began asking Joshua a new question every second or third day as part of the prayer and snuggle time we have with him and his 2-year-old sister. Several things amazed us right away.
- Joshua was able to answer many of the new questions correctly with little or no help. It is encouraging to see that what we talk about at home and what he hears at church are anchoring firmly in his mind and heart.
- He was able to quickly and easily learn new questions. Children have an amazing capacity to absorb information. We want to pour the gospel into our children as much as possible to take advantage of this developmental stage.
- He was eager to “do the questions.” Showing a little encouragement and excitement when he answers questions correctly goes a long way and is helping him have fun as he learns about God.
- The catechism questions began fueling wonderful spiritual conversations about God, life, heaven, and his unchurched friends. Initiating spiritual conversations has become easier and more natural.
- Our biggest surprise was that our daughter, Hannah, was learning almost as much as Joshua! Our hearts quickly began to melt when we heard our 2-year-old’s sweet voice articulating biblical truth. It reinforces the principle that you can’t start this process too early.
A Great Opportunity
As a parent, you know that summer is a mixed blessing of free time for your child. Why not invest some of that time into teaching your child a catechism or challenging your child to learn a Bible verse each week until school starts? Or do both and learn a verse with each question. Sweeten the challenge by offering a quality reward at the end of the summer if he succeeds. (God mentions rewards quite often in the Bible; there is nothing wrong with motivating a child similarly!) Let this summer be a life-changing summer for your child. Perhaps you will experience the same change as well!
Q. Who made you?
Q. What else did God make?
Q. Why did God make you?
A. For His own glory.
Q. How can you glorify God?
A. By loving Him and doing what He says.
Q. Why should you glorify God?
A. Because He loves me and takes care of me.
Ways to Impact Your Child Spiritually
- Find a church with Saturday evening services and attend a few during the summer. Attending a different church’s worship service may further energize your family’s walk with Christ.
- Find different ministry opportunities in which to participate as a family (soup kitchens, clothes closets, etc).
- Make it a goal to invite a friend to church each Sunday during the summer.
- Encourage your child to keep a prayer journal during the summer.
Brian Dembowczyk is Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Assimilation at FBC Tampa, Florida. He is married to Tara and is father of Joshua (5) and Hannah (3). You can follow Brian on Twitter at @BrianDembo or check out his blog at missionaldiscipleship.blogspot.com.
Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons. Click on photo for source.