“The next twenty years will be marked by confusion. The greatest gift we can give our children is clarity.”

Join co-hosts Andy Lamberton and Stephen Mullan as they chat with Pete Wright from Growing Young Disciples about Raising Kids for Christ in a Confusion World.

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Raising Kids for Christ in a Confusing World

We need deep fathers. Men who are capable of making wise decisions for and with their children because they understand the ways of Jesus wholeheartedly and can see through the world’s lies. We need to be fathers who help our children navigate this confusing age.

There is a list of men who join David in 1st Chronicles 12, some from Issachar – “men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do”. Here we have men who understand their cultural moment and, because of this, know what direction they should go. I pray the same will be said of us.

The next twenty years will be marked by confusion. The greatest gift we can give our children is clarity.

On the final episode of this first season of the Legacy Podcast, we are joined by Pete Wright from Growing Young Disciples to talk about Raising Kids for Christ in a Confusing World. One way Pete mentions we can give clarity to our children is to use some catechesis, and so in a unique approach to writing an article, I (Andy Lamberton) document my real-time thought process, considering if I should do catechisms with my children.

If you, like me find that a bit stuffy, you’ll find this article interesting.

Should I do Catechisms with my children? And what even does that look like?

When deciding on anything, you first work out your questions. Here are mine: what is a catechism? Am I biased in my opinion? What benefits do I see? How could we fit it into our family life? What do I need to start?

What is a Catechism?

A catechism is a teaching tool using questions and answers. The questions trigger memory; the answers reinforce truth. It is a conversational way of learning. The goal is to ‘learn by heart’; we educate the mind and in time, hope these truths enter our hearts, become the way we view the world, love our neighbours and follow Jesus.

Am I biased in my opinion of Catechisms?

When I was 9, my Sunday school teacher said. “We’re not going to learn the old-fashioned catechisms. We’re going to learn memory verses because God’s Word is better than old catechisms”. This sentence has formed my understanding of what a catechism is—an old thing.

On top of this, I find it a bit stuffy… 

If you know me, you’ll know I love Jesus. But I’m someone whose understanding is catching up with my experience. God has acted in my life. Spoken and restored. Called and guided. Loved and challenged. Transformed and invited. It is often after God has been at work in my life that I begin to understand what He is doing. I then see Him in richer definition. My life has been the joy of discovering God.

So the idea of teaching my children theology about God before they’ve discovered him themselves doesn’t come natural to me. It isn’t in tune with my testimony. And I wonder, if I choose to do catechisms with my children, will it take all the joy out of their journey? I’m scared of making them into Christians who know their right all the time. Yuck!

What’s your leaning?

Are you drawn to using a Catechism to nurture faith, or is this far from your mind? Maybe you would even find all that stuff hard to read; maybe your children would not engage; maybe you think the church should be doing all that jazz. And sure isn’t a wee episode of Bluey before bed easier – and you get cuddles!

However, after talking to Pete, I am going to try doing catechisms with my children. His reasons were compelling.
I’m willing to change.
I think I need to. 
Here’s why… 

What benefits do I see?

  • Our children, as Bible-believing Christians, will be a minority in Ireland, so they, more than I, will need to understand early how the Christian faith fits together.
  • Tim Keller says teaching children catechisms is like giving them buckets which can be filled throughout their life. I like that. A framework for understanding; a spade to dig deep; a wile heap of big buckets to fill with discovery and blessings.
  • It provides face-to-face time for our family.
  • It’s a way I can reinforce what we learn in church.
  • It has stood the test of time as a practice for spiritual formation.
  • It is something for them to fall back on. When life goes pear-shaped, there will be something in their mind, like money in the bank, on which to draw.

How can we fit Catechisms into our family life?

For us, there are two ways I see it working.

  1. As part of our morning routine.
    Our children are all at primary school, and we have breakfast at the same time, around four times each week. Could I do something there?
  2. Linked to church.
    We go to a small church, and the Sunday School consists of three families. Could I suggest we cover a Catechism there and then reinforce it at home? 

You will have other options here, perhaps at bedtime? before movie night? or after church on Sunday?
I’m going to give the mornings a go.

Oh, and I need to talk to my wife about this – always a good idea! I’ll do that tonight!

What do we need to start?

I love the idea of coming up with a few questions for younger children.
Pete had four basic questions for his two-year-old:

  • Who made you? God
  • What else did God make? All things
  • Why did God make you and all things? For His glory
  • Who is Jesus? He’s the king

This is class! But to start, I think I’ll use a resource. I’ve bought a New City Catechism and the Shorter Catechism of the Westminister confession of faith. (Put me out a tenner!) Having flicked through both, I’m going to use the New City Catechism, do a question a week and see how it goes. 

Starting, well… today! 

If you want to know how it’s going, send me an email – andy@legacyfathers.org


By Andy Lamberton

Andy Lamberton goes to the same church his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents went to. Married to Debbie, they are raising their four children in Donegal with ice-pops for dessert most days. Author of Letters for Exiles: Faithful Living in a Faithless World and director of Legacy, a ministry for fathers from Exodus.

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