Friday, July 29, 2011

Teaching the faith - resources

On Monday I talked about using a catechism to teach our children the faith.

I have come across a book which helps us to do exactly that.

Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade is a book of family devotions based on the Shorter Catechism.

She has arranged 6 daily devotions around each of the 107 questions of the Shorter Catechism (which she has adapted into more modern, accessible language). If you do it with her timetable it will take 2 years. However, I imagine it's the type of resource you use in bits and pieces. Perhaps you decide the first 20 questions are your goal for this year, or something like that.

Because the language is so accessible, you could also make this version your 'family catechism' and learn one per week and talk about it at the same time. We may indeed switch to that at some point.

We have not started this book yet, but once we have a bit more of our family catechism under way - we will stop and work on some of them in detail for a while, possibly with just the older children. I'll let you know how we go!

Another resource, along the same line is Bruce Ware's Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God. Ware is professor of Christian Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. When his daughters were young, he would sit with them at night and teach them the same material (yet simplified) that he he was teaching his students.

He has turned those times into this book. There are 3-4 pages per topic, covering topics (which are all broken into smaller sections) such as:

- God's word and who God is
- God as three in one
- God is creator and ruler of all
- our human nature and sin
- the person and work of Jesus Christ
- the Holy Spirit, etc, etc

It is essentially a doctrine course for children and youth. Having looked through it (although we haven't used it ourselves yet) - it seems appropriate to read and explain to primary-schoolers or perhaps something you could give to a teenager. My guess is that parents would learn a massive amount from reading it too! It looks like exactly what we learnt at bible college, but in much more manageable language.

Does anyone else know of any resources that help teach the faith to children?


Anonymous said...

Hi Wendy - thanks for these really useful posts. Gav has been doing some doctorate study in Chicago and last week he was there doing a unit taught entirely by Dr Ware!! There were only 4 students so Gav really felt he got to know Dr Ware and made the most of the chance to have some good discussion. We bought his book some years ago and our eldest Sophie has really enjoyed it. She had the chance to meet Dr Ware using Skype which was fun too!

Amy Perkins

Wendy said...

How cool Amy - thanks for the comment. Lucky Gav. We are looking forward to getting into the book.