So much of the work that we do in the Church revolves around teaching doctrines: Catholic schools, adult faith formation programs, RCIA, speaker series, etc. At the same time, we feel compelled to clarify and defend our faith with clearly prepare apologetics. We buy books and curricula to help us teach the faith. We prepare lessons packed with information because we know all too well how much there is to teach. Just look at the size of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The problem is that we are so overwhelmed by what we teach that we’ve forgotten why we teach. Our one and only goal in catechesis, whether for children or adults, should be to inspire in them a desire to discover the mystery of our faith. To teach in such a way that the mystery is made plain, is to push people away from God and his Church.
Humbly invite people to “come and see,” then embark on a journey of discovery with them. Let us disover anew each day the mystery of God.
Top Takeaways from Chapter 5
You’ve heard it said…but I say to you…
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches new ways of seeing old teachings. As a Church we must seek to do the same in our catechetical and faith formation ministries.
Focus on the Mystery
The goal of catechesis is to instill in believers a desire to continually discover the mystery of Christ. Catechesis must motivate people to want to discover this mystery for themselves.
Coaching > Teaching
The best way to teach is by coaching, not lecturing.
Engagement > Entertainment
Leisure is essential for effective education and catechesis, but leisure is not passive. Engagement is not the same as entertainment. Engagement requires active participation.
Inductive or Deductive Methods
In catechesis we must use either the inductive or deductive methods. We must connect our doctrines to the real life experiences of the people we teach.
Teach by asking questions rather than giving answers. Having lots of questions is always preferable to having all the answers.
Defend the faith without being defensive.
Come and See
We have a very simple message to share: “Come and see.”
“To One Without Faith, No Explanation is Possible.”
“Can Evangelization and Apologetics Be Mixed?”
“Good Apologetics, Bad Apologetics”