Reformers Recommends: A Guide to Catechisms for Family Worship

Posted by Thomas Eglinton on

[PDF ICON] Click Here to download a printable PDF version

IMAGE Reformers Recommends: A Guide to Catechisms for Family Worship - By Thomas Eglinton

The word Catechism means 'to teach orally'. Catechisms are a question and answer method of teaching. They have been used throughout church history and increased in use around the time of the Reformation.

Catechisms can be used to teach children sound doctrine, to teach new believers, as devotionals or as study guides. Throughout history, many catechisms have been written. There are many catechisms available and many commentaries on those catechisms. You can view some of these resources here.

However, for this Reformers Recommends post we would like to focus on just four catechisms and some resources that can help you use them in your family worship.

For some further reading as to the importance and the 'how to' of catechizing children. See 'Rediscovering Catechism' by Donald Van Dyken or 'Catechizing Our Children' by Terry Johnson.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism

The Westminster Shorter Catechism is a classic among catechisms and sits with the rest of the Westminster Standards. Here are two great resources for leading your family through the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

From the Lips of Little Ones

From the Lips of Little Ones

by Jeff Kingswood

 

This book contains 73 weeks worth of guided daily family devotions addressing one or two questions from the Westminster Shorter Catechism each week. The daily devotions are focused around God's word. Each day you will read a passage of the bible and Jeff has provided notes on where to lead the discussion in order to highlight the bibles teaching about the catechism question of the week.

 

Training Hearts, Teaching Minds

Training Hearts, Teaching Minds

by Starr Meade

 

This book is more suited to an older audience (perhaps a family with children aged 10+) although families with younger children will still benefit greatly. Each question of the Westminster Catechism has 6 days worth of guided family devotions. These devotions are a little more in-depth including at times several different passages of scripture.

 

The Shorter Catechism Activity Book

The Shorter Catechism Activity Book

by Marianne Ross

 

This workbook is full of puzzles that give the answers to the questions of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Suitable for primary school age children, this will particularly appeal to children who enjoy puzzles and logic games.

 

The Heidelberg Catechism

The Heidelberg Catechism is another classic of church history and is well worth our attention.

Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds

Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds

by Starr Meade

 

This is a similar layout to Training Hearts, Teaching Minds and is appropriate for families with children aged 10+ as well. The Heidelberg Catechism is divided up into 52 Lord's Days and Starr provides 6-12 short guided devotions for each of these.

 

 

Truth and Grace Memory Book 3

Described further below, this workbook also takes children through the Heidelberg Catechism.

 

Baptist Catechisms

Teaching Truth, Training Hearts

Teaching Truth, Training Hearts

by Thomas J Nettles

 

Baptists have historically had a love for catechisms and have written many over the years. Founders Press have collated seven of the best of these into a great volume called 'Teaching Truth, Training Hearts' that will provide a large resource base for family devotions and for catechizing children.

 

Truth and Grace Workbooks

Founders have also put together three great workbooks for children of all different ages. The workbooks simply contain a catechism, memory verses and hymns that are suitable for learning by children of the recommended age bracket. At the back of each book there is a section that can be used to track progress over the years.

They are a simple, but very useful resource and are well paced, not expecting children to learn things overnight but providing enough content so that a child who even picks up half of each book would be in the wonderful position of knowing many great truths, scriptures and hymns.

Truth and Grace Memory Book 1

Truth and Grace Memory Book 1

edited by Thomas Ascol

 

Book 1 is for children age 2 to 8 and contains a historic baptist catechism called A Catechism for Boys and Girls. There are also suggested Scripture memory, and hymns that serve to strengthen children to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.

 

Truth and Grace Memory Book 2

Truth and Grace Memory Book 2

edited by Thomas Ascol

 

Book 2 is for ages 9 to 12 and contains The Shorter Catechism: A Baptist Version along with suggested Scripture memory and hymns.

 

 

Truth and Grace Memory Book 3

Truth and Grace Memory Book 3

edited by Thomas Ascol

 

Book 3 is for ages 13 to 16 and contains The Heidelberg Catechism: A Baptist Edition. This book also has suggested scripture memory and hymns.

 

 

 

The New City Catechism

The New City Catechism

The New City Catechism

 

Last on our list is The New City Catechism which is a new catechism brought out by Redeemer Presbyterian - Timothy Keller's church. This catechism was not written in order to bring something new but instead it was written in the hope of bringing the church back to the old practice of catechesis.

The New City Catechism has some great features including visual representations, guides as to the response the catechism questions should invoke and highlighted sections that are perfect for younger children to memorise.

The New City Catechism Devotional

The New City Catechism Devotional

 

The devotional is suitable for private devotions as well as family devotions. It contains an explanation of each catechism question along with commentary from a theologian (including Calvin, Spurgeon, Keller and others).

Families with young children could just use the catechism with the recommended text and those with older children would benefit from considering the commentary provided in the devotional.

 

Make use of Catechisms in Family Worship

We would like to encourage you to utilise these resources as part of your family worship at some point during your children's upbringing.

  • You could use them as a regular start to your family worship time by asking a few of the questions in a catechism each time. 
  • You could dedicate a year to going through one of the resources mentioned above as your family worship session.
  • Or you could use the workbooks as a part of your children's day - perhaps as part of their morning routine they can learn some catechism answers and memory verses.

We think you and your family will benefit greatly from the oral learning as set out in these catechisms.

 


Find more Reformers Recommends lists here.

Sign up to our mailing list to hear about great Christian books, new releases and special deals


Share this post



← Older Post Newer Post →