Do you as a catechist or a DRE have classes/gatherings where kids are inspired and engaged? Do the young people that are involved in your program enjoy coming each week? How many times have we heard grown ups talk about how boring and unengaging their faith formation experience was? As a DRE I’ve seen changes to the catechetical landscape. However still today I walk by or visit classes where the catechist continues to have kids read out of the textbook (or on the smartboard since we now have online textbooks). It’s confusing to me, especially since I often share with them how reading out of the textbook is not a good model today to engage children. Catechists have to stop simply reading or having their students read out of the textbook. It’s not a fruitful way to hand on the faith and help young people be engaged and drawn into what we are proclaiming. We want them to be inspired by the Gospel message and the teachings of Christ and His Church. All of it is meant to lead them closer to Christ and encourage, inspire and teach them about God’s amazing plan and ways.
- Preparation: Come prepared to share the content as part of God’s story and not as a set of facts you will pass on?
- Questions: Be careful on how you ask your student’s questions. Sometimes, especially with the younger grades, if you ask a questions they will share answers about random things or take it in a direction you don’t want to go. Other times questions are asked that don’t actually add much value to introducing or deepening the lesson. We only have so much time to communicate, engage and assist in the ministry of evangelizing and catechizing. Our lesson plans need to be intentional and thought out – our young parishioners deserve the best we can give them (even if most of our catechists are volunteers with little teaching experience).
- Engage! Be concrete, be creative, make what your are sharing attractive. Your students long for the abundant life Christ has for them, but we have to give them glimpses of that through our time with them.
What suggestions do you have in regards to engaging your students and drawing them into the joy of the Gospel message?