My kids are in Awana and have been for years. One of the great benefits of the Awana clubs, I believe, is that it encourages kids to memorize scripture. My kids seem to have a penchant for memorizing, and I have been amazed over the years to watch them inscribe the Word of God on their hearts. Indeed, much of the scripture I now have memorized has come through helping them with the Awana verses each week. As summer approaches, unfortunately Awana takes a break. On top of that school is out, and my kids have a tendency to walk away from things like memorization and learning not because they do not like it but because the opportunities are not readily available. So, each summer we try something to keep their minds working. Last year we focused grammar and sentence rules though we did peter out a little as the summer went on. This year, I am going to join them, and we are going to focus on exercising the memory muscle of our brains through the use of a Catechism.
For years now, I have been fascinated with the idea of Catechisms and how to incorporate them into the spiritual life of me and me kids. After years of thinking about it, this summer I am going to bite the bullet and work through the New City Catechism with my kids, and I’m inviting you to join us! Catechisms have been used by Christians for centuries to memorize and write on their hearts the truth of scripture and doctrine. A Catechism is a series of questions for which prescribed answers are memorized and recited back in response to the question. The New City Catechism is a series of 52 questions. You can find out more about the origin and use of the New City Catechism at http://www.newcitycatechism.com/intro.php. The beauty of the New City Catechism as opposed to other catechisms is:
- I trust the source of the catechism and that it is doctrinally sound.
- It is available as an iPad app (search for it in the app store). My kids love the iPad and just the fact that is available on that device will make it a little more enticing to them.
- It is also available online in a browser and as a printable pdf file if you are not an Apple person.
- You can track your own progress. Some of my kids are list kids. The fact that they can track their own progress is a definite plus.
- It offers both a “child” and “adult” option. We will be memorizing the same thing (though mine will be more in depth and harder – ironically, my kids have the better memories).
- It can be used by one person, but it is perfect for a family to learn separately then come together and discuss.
- The child version on the iPad offers songs and other options to help the kids and more in depth study for the adults.
- It’s shorter than most other Catechisms.