Category Archives: Worship

Mission and the Small Catechism: Aspects of the Connection, and Realities to Face

The connection between mission and the Small Catechism has a number of aspects. Some of them are:

  • state of catechesis
  • marriage
  • family
  • congregation
  • community
  • generations

Some realities we need to face are that:

  • The state of catechesis is poor.
  • We are suffering a death rate among our own offspring who, after being confirmed, depart the faith. This is death by apostasy.
  • The strength of outreach depends on the strength of inreach.
  • Because we are vague and faint on the Catechism, our outreach is weak.
  • We need to strengthen catechetical inreach in marriage, the family, and the congregation for their own sakes, and then also for the sake of outreach to the community.
  • The Small Catechism teaches what needs to be presented in evangelism and outreach. It contains the six chief parts of Christian doctrine. Do we think something else is what outreach should present?

I have been writing a series of articles that make initial rough sketches of these aspects and realities.

State of Catechesis

Marriage

Family and Congregation

Community

Generations

I welcome your feedback, ideas, suggestions, evidences, and experiences in these areas. Please use the contact form to write to me.

Guest Post – Bob Myers Intro to Video, Nestingen on “The Catechism as handbook for the Christian’s worship, prayer, and calling”

Editor’s Note:

When I saw Bob Myers sharing this video on Facebook, I wanted to provide an introduction and promo for it here but did not have the time. Bob graciously agreed to do this for me, and Got ‘Er Done  the same day. Thanks Bob!

Bob is retired from the U. S. Navy and the U. S. Navy Blue Angels. He describes himself on Facebook as a “Son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, beggar at the Lord’s table.” When my wife and I were heading to vacation at Navarre Beach this past March, he hospitably invited us to his church, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Pensacola, Florida. We were blessed by two services there during the week, and Bob presented me with a set of his Small Catechism memory cards and Yshnog. Bob is alway doing stuff to spread and strengthen the faith.

Here’s Bob’s intro and promo …

Luther’s Small Catechism is a confession of faith that I have come to love in the years since becoming a Lutheran as an adult.

These basics of Christian doctrine, what some have called “the Layman’s Bible,” teach us in a condensed version what we are to do and what we are not to do in the first chief part, and then in the subsequent parts are shown who God is and what God has done for us.

God’s gift of the internet gives the modern parent or grandparent precious resources for our use in teaching the faith. We can search for papers and articles, videos and presentations that help us “hand over the goods.” I’ve been able to use a series from the Higher Things organization called “Video Catechism” to prepare lessons and to teach 6th-8th grade students the basics of the faith.

While searching YouTube for resources and presentations I came across this gem posted by Lutherske Fordypningsdager. My computer translates Lutherske Fordypningsdager as “Lutheran Specialization Days.” It is an annual forum in Norway to promote the central and life-giving truths of the classical Lutheran confession of faith. Their focus is on the proclamation of the Word of God in law and gospel. They have attendees from a variety of denominations and confessions of faith. This lecture was from the 2015 forum.

The video, “The Catechism as handbook for the Christian’s worship, prayer, and calling” by Dr. James A. Nestingen, takes a look inside the first three parts of the catechism. He reminds us that we are creatures of God, and who we are as creatures of God, and who we are in Christ Jesus. To watch and listen to Dr. Nestingen is to witness a man clearly and lovingly confess the faith. His skillful weaving of story into what he teaches helps the listener remember what he has been taught. It also models for us what it looks like, what it sounds like, to teach the faith. Built on the framework that is the confession that we learn by heart, we’re given examples to help us pass on that faith.