Catechize your children

One of the best ways that you can help your children become familiar with the message of the Bible is by catechizing them. That historically proven method of instruction encourages not only children but also adults gain a helpful, systematic understanding of what the Bible principally teaches.

How soon should you start? Sooner than you think! Under normal circumstances, even very young children can memorize the answer to basic questions about the Christian faith. I have heard “God made me” echo from the walls of toddler classrooms in churches. I’ve also had the privilege of hearing my own children–from very young ages–recite plain answers to simple, important questions from God’s Word. I’ve also listened to adults who were well-catechized as children reason biblically using the doctrinal framework they learned decades earlier.

Recently Pastor Robert Owen of Holly Ridge Baptist Church in Blacksburg, SC sent me an audio clip of his son, Jonathan, singing the answer to the 3rd question of the Baptist Catechism, “How may we know there is a God?”

Jonathan is 2 years old. He is singing a tune from the Jim Orrick’s CD, The Baptist Catechism Set to Music. Dr. Orrick has taken all 114 questions and answers of the catechism and made them singable. The two CD set contains an hour and 48 minutes of memorable tunes.

Another resource that can help parents in the work of catechizing as well as encouraging children to memorize Scripture are the Truth and Grace Memory Books. There are 3 books in the set, each arranged around a different catechism and selected Scriptures and songs to be memorized. The books may also be purchased separately.

If you are a parent with young children in your home, don’t miss the opportunity to teach them God’s Word systematically through a good catechism. If you are a pastor, encourage your parents to take up this challenge. Ten minutes a day will be time well-invested and can help provide a foundation for a lifetime for young ones.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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