Foundations of Catechesis

The word ‘catechesis’ comes from the Greek word for ‘teaching’ or ‘instruction’.  Catechism refers to the content being taught (the gospel), while catechesis refers to the Church’s ministry of teaching.  J. I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett define catechesis this way:

“Catechesis is the church’s ministry of grounding and growing people in the Gospel and its implications for doctrine, devotion, duty, and delight.”

 

Catechism involves three things: 

  1. Following Jesus the Truth. This involves learning and reflection (doctrine). This results in growing faith.

  2. Following Jesus the Life. This involves worship and prayer (experience). This results in growing hope.

  3. Following Jesus the Way. This involves fellowship and service (practice). This results in growing love.

 

Principles of Belief: We seek to be: 

  1. Biblically grounded/ informed and faithful in all we do and teach. We believe the Bible is God's word written, and the foundation of all true discipleship. 

  2. Faithful to the sound doctrine of Scripture as articulated in the four ecumenical councils and the three historic creeds: the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian. 

  3. Faithful to our church tradition by submission to our historical Anglican formularies: the 39 Articles, 1662 Prayer book, and the Ordinal. 

  4. Informed by the Church’s inheritance of sound catechetical practise (founded on the “three pillars” of the Creed, Lord’s Prayer and Ten Commandments).We will also use as a reference and resource, the new ACNA catechism. 

 

Principles of Catechesis 

  1. Catechesis assumes that the Christian faith needs to be effectively and systematically taught and learned. 

  2. Catechesis begins with right believing and leads to right living. 

  3. Catechesis is intentionally done within the context of the body of Christ, for the growth and discipleship of each member, for the up-building of the whole church, and the extension of God's kingdom. 

  4. Catechesis should be introductory, intensive (e.g., training prior to baptism or confirmation), and continuous in the life-long process of discipleship. 

  5. Catechesis is for all people of all ages and needs to appropriately target both age and experience. 

  6. Effective catechesis requires effective catechists (whether lay or clergy). Because the work of catechesis includes both right believing andright living catechists must be both skilled teachers and pastorally minded individuals. 

Scott Hunt