If the reader will forgive my use of a somewhat cliché prefix, I would like to talk about an idea for which I know no word. Therefore, for the purpose of this post, I will use the term “metacatechesis.” I would like to define this word to refer to teaching our children to teach the Lutheran catechism to each successive generation.
One concept we study as we are training to become teachers is “metacognition.” This refers to the process of thinking about thinking. It is a reflective process we encourage in our students so that they can first know a thing and then develop an awareness of the fact *that* they know it, why they know it, and how they know it. This reflection deepens the knowledge acquired and creates greater ownership of that information or skill in the student. As I ponder the topic of catechesis, this idea returns to me but with a slight twist. I ask myself, how does metacognition play out in catechesis?
When our family found its way to the Lutheran faith, one issue of great concern to us was to teach this newly found faith to our children, to root them firmly and raise them up in it. A second issue, one which followed closely after the first, was how to do our utmost to develop a generational perspective in our family with regard to catechesis. We wanted to know what we believe and why we believe it for ourselves. We also wanted to know how to teach our children this faith and to ensure that they would do the same in turn when they were heads of their own households.
To do this, I believe we parents need to practice metacatechesis. We must teach our children to love and value the catechism. Without a doubt, we must know what we believe, teach, and confess and why we believe, teach and confess it. But then what? We must teach them how important catechesis is to the life of a Christian (Matthew 28:19-20). We must teach them the value of metacatechesis. That is, if we want our great-grandchildren to also receive this “faith once delivered to the saints,” we must teach our children to teach their children to teach their children.
Ringwood Knox Lutheran Parish, Melbourne, Australia provides free resources for anyone to create Catechism memory cards covering
- The Lord’s Prayer
- The Apostles Creed
- TheTen Commandments
You will find these under Resources | Education on the Parish’s website, here.
Here is an example, the meaning of the Third Article.
Following is a list of recent additions to the Document Library.
Charles P. Arand, “Luther’s Catechism as a Map for Life’s Journey,” Reformation & Revival, vol. 10, no. 2, Spring 2001, pp. 49-61.
Johnston, Paul I., “Christian Education in the Thought of Johann Michael Reu,” Concordia Theological Quarterly, vol. 58, nos. 2-3, pp. 93-111
Luther, Martin. Luther’s Two Catechisms Explained by Himself, in Six Classic Writings. Trans. John Nicholas Lenker. Minneapolis, MN: Luther, 1908.
Kolb, Robert, “The Layman’s Bible: The Use of Luther’s Catechisms in the German Late Reformation,” Luther’s Catechisms – 450 Years (Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1979), 16-26, 75-79
Mueller, J. Theodore, “Professional Growth in the Study of the Confessions,” Concordia Theological Monthly, vol. IX, no. 4, April 1938, 257-268.
Nestingen, James Arne, “The Lord’s Prayer in Luther’s Catechism,” Word & World, vol. 22, no. 1, Winter 2002, 36-48.
Reu, M. Catechetics or Theory and Practice of Religious Instruction. Chicago: Wartburg House, 1918.
Rueter, David L., “What is Catechesis Anyway,” chapter 1 in Teaching the Faith at Home (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2016).
Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, English Edition, Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States, 1917.
Facebook group member Pastor Matt Lorfeld his wife Heidi Lorfeld provide this video showing catechization of their 2-1/2 year old son while eating in the high chair.
He is learning the 1st and 4th Commandments.
This illustrates a father catechizing in the home, catechizing a young child, and fitting catechization into ordinary activities.
Recommended by my Pastor, Rolf Preus, is A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories by Arthur W. Gross.
There are plenty of Bible story books and their quality varies widely. This one has a mostly highly important distinction from the great run of Bible story books: It presents the Bible as a book about Jesus.
To many of you, this will sound so obvious that you might wonder, don’t all of them? Well, no, they don’t. Many Bible story books do a passable job in the New Testament, but they fail badly in the Old Testament. The Old Testament books are books about Jesus, and this Bible story book presents the stories in a way to give children the understanding that the stories are about Jesus.
Used paperback editions on Amazon are as cheap as $0.01 (that is not a misprint, one cent) and used hardbound are as cheap as $0.99. At ChristianBook.com, the hardcover edition currently is on sale, and checkout is easy with PayPal. They also are offering bulk discounts.
There are two companion products, a New Testament workbook and an Old Testament workbook.
The Sixth Commandment Transgressors:
He who ruins a virgin, commits adultery, incest or any unchaste act;
He who is guilty of the monosexual crime or of any of the nameless crimes against nature;
He who by impure conversation, songs, stories or pictures incites and evinces evil lust;
He who arouses his passions and pollutes himself by unlawful objects of vision or touch, by thought or suggestion.
He who fails to remove the causes of the evil under consideration: intemperate eating and drinking, sluggishness, aversion to work, late rising and undue familiarity between man and woman;
The person who arouses the passions of others by lewd dress or gestures;
He who acts as accessory for others by offering the use of his house or by furnishing shelter, help and opportunity to commit this sin;
He who does not, in word and deed, safeguard the chastity of others.
Luther’s Two Catechisms Explained by Himself, trans. John Nicholas Lenker, p. 198 (Minneapolis: The Luther Press, 1908).
“Unless deliberate action is taken, children often are not thoroughly exposed to the areas of the Catechism until they reach confirmation class.” — Amanda Moldstad, On My Heart
LutheranCatechism.com Releases Third Version of Free Small Catechism Memory Cards
New Version Uses Evangelical Lutheran Synod Translation of the Small Catechism
Sidney, Montana. February 23, 2016. LutheranCatechism.com announces the third release of Small Catechism Memory Cards. This release uses the Evangelical Lutheran Synod translation of the Small Catechism.
Translations in the series now include 2010 Sola Publishing/ReClaim Resources, 1979 NPH-WELS, and 2001 ELS.
This free resource lets anyone print standard size 3” x 5” index cards, each containing a portion of Luther’s Small Catechism to use as a memorization aid, for teaching children, or for meditation and prayer. Simply download the free PDF file containing the cards and an instructions file. Then follow the instructions to print and separate the cards.
See the whole Press Release here.
LutheranCatechism.com has produced a book of prayers titled, Pray for Children. Following are the preface and listing of prayer topics covered. The book itself can be downloaded here.
“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Matthew 18:10-11.
So we should pray for our children, our grandchildren, and the children of our congregations; and the Father loves to hear our prayers for them.
Therefore LutheranCatechism.com has gathered these prayers. They help you put words to your concerns for children, and speak your concerns to our Heavenly Father.
Many of these prayers are old. They use old-fashioned language. No attempt has been made in this edition of Pray for Children to update language. You can use them as they are, or you can modernize the language when using them. That won’t be hard to do.
Should a qualified person or group of people want to modernize these prayers, LutheranCatechism.com would be happy to help that happen, and would be happy to publish a revised edition.
This is a first effort, and LutheranCatechism.com would appreciate you sending us more prayers for children that you might have or come across.
It is grievous that we have no prayers in three areas: (1) for conception, (2) for adoption, and (3) for cases of miscarriage. Children are gifts from God, by which He blesses us and by which He grows his kingdom. Miscarriage, difficulties with conception, and difficulties with adoption are troubling experiences and ones where we should have help in resorting to God in prayer. Please, if you find prayers in these areas, we especially would appreciate those.
- Home and Family
- Leaving Home
- Children of the Congregation
- Erring, Wayward, Crisis
- Praying Scriptures
Facebook group member Nicole Schulert posted in the group:
Thanks for the Lord’s Prayer idea! We did it with a stopwatch for fun. Since we only have one strong reader so far, it took 3m40s to put it in order, but they can’t wait to try again tomorrow.
She was referring to a post by another Facebook group member, Melissa Sutton. Melissa has a creative method for teaching her young son the Lord’s Prayer. She printed the prayer and sliced it into a little more than a dozen ribbons of paper. Each ribbon has a portion of the prayer. Then she asks her son to find the ribbon that begins the prayer, When he finds it, he moves that ribbon into a second column, and she has him read what is printed on it,
Then she asks him, “What’s next?” He sifts through the remaining ribbons to find the one that has the next part of the prayer. He moves that ribbon into the second column, and she has him read what is on that ribbon. You can see her video and the blog post about it here.
There can be variations in how this is done, and it is also nice to see how it works out with children in a group and children of different ages. So we asked Nichole to video her use of the Lord’s Prayer puzzle. She generously did that for us, and shares it with you below.