, , ,

The New Macedonia Baptist Church in Northeast Washington, DC, kindly invited me to lead a workshop at their Family Conference 2012 entitled, “Big Truths for Little Kids—Preparing the Next Generation to Advance the Kingdom of God.” In the workshop I speak on the benefit of using historic catechisms in order to discuss the truths of Scriptures with our children daily. I wish that I could convince all Christian parents to do such. Part of the intent of the historic catechisms is to train families in the faith so that children will continue in the practice of the faith as part of their daily lives. This would be repeated over and over again in successive generations.

I gave examples of how to utilize the catechism from Starr Meade’s, Training Heats, Teaching Minds (P&R). I have found this work extremely beneficial in bringing my own children along in the faith, or, as our church covenant says, “[educating] religiously our children.” As noted in the class, once we do the daily reading of the catechism, the devotional help by Meade, and the reading of the Scriptures, my children ask all of the questions. Much of what I do is facilitate a discussion about the truth. As a parent, you do not need to know all Biblical and theological things in order to lead your children to deepen in their faith. You simply need grace from Christ to pray and be faithful.

This year the Redmonds’ used the Heidelberg Catechism for the first time, after many years of using the Westminster Shorter Catechism. We almost have finished the entire Heidleberg. I also would recommend it for daily family times centered around the word of God.

If you need more argument for the importance of daily teaching of our children the truths of the faith, I would recommend J. I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett’s, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old Fashioned Way (Baker). If your real fear in training your children is that you do not know enough Bible and theology to answer potential questions from them (and your real problem is not that you simply do not wish to make the effort to faithfully meet with your family responsibly – cf. Dt. 4:9; 6:1-9; 11:19; Psalm 78:1-8; Eph. 6:4; 2 Tim. 3:15), I would recommend too Packer’s, Growing in Christ, Concise Theology, 18 Words, and the Knowing God Devotional Journal. You could make each of these works part of your own daily, personal Bible study for all of 2013. You would greatly increase in your knowledge of God in Christ, and your joy in him, by giving only fifteen minutes a day to such an endeavor. Your family and your church will benefit greatly from your growth too. I would recommend these works also for those who have no children to raise, but simply wish to grow more in the faith.