Introducing a whole-church challenge: The New City Catechism
I’d love to invite you all to take part in a whole-church challenge for this coming term! We’re going to have a go at learning the first part of the New City Catechism (NCC) together.
What is the New City Catechism?!
A catechism is a way of presenting the big truths of the Bible in a Question and Answer format. Back in the day (as in, most of Christian history over the past 2000 years!) it was a staple for children and adults new to the faith to learn these big truths through catechism. The New City Catechism is a contemporary catechism produced in 2017.
What’s the purpose of the NCC?
Jesus said “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matt. 7:24). The truths of the Bible are ROCK for our lives. A catechism helps us to learn these truths. It also gives us a theological framework through which to understand the Bible when we read it.
So how does the NCC work in practice?
It’s dead simple. The NCC is a collection of 52 questions and answers divided into three parts. This term we’re learning part 1, which includes 20 questions, focussed on ‘God, creation, fall and law’. We’ve condensed it a little further to fit between now and Christmas. Each question comes with a shorter answer for children, and slightly longer answers for adults.
There is a brilliant App, which includes supplementary Bible passages and a short commentary on each question.
There is a very catchy song for each question and answer, in the app, or on Spotify/Youtube (just search ‘New City Catechism’).
There is a booklet, which will be available at the Getaway, and at church.
Everything you need to know is at newcitycatechism.com
How will we do this at church?
We’ll be working through one question a week, which we’ll flag at church, on the church WhatsApp and Happenings newsletter. To help us all with the challenge we will also:
Give a sticker-chart for children to complete. Stickers given when they are able to give the question and answer for the week at church to Peter or another children’s leader.* There will be prizes for any children who have completed the sticker chart by the end of term.**
Learn some of the songs at church. The songs make memorisation SO much easier. We’ll do a few of them all together on a Sunday.
Incorporate the Q&A into our Sunday service. When there is a Family Focus slot, we’ll work through the Q&A together. We will also include them occasionally as part of our collective responses.
3 minute reflection for adults each week. One of the teaching team will produce a 3 min video each week unpacking the question and answer, with some personal reflection and application.
*Don’t worry- there will be plenty of grace for any children who find memorising things more challenging.
** Again, don’t worry- we’ll give some leeway so it doesn’t feel unachievable!
Some tips for parents
Parents- this is a brilliant opportunity to teach your kids the big truths of the Bible!! This is what God calls all parents to do- and something that we all struggle with. So why not embrace this as a golden opportunity? Children from about 4/5 and up should be able to engage.
Learn the songs together. This will be by far the easiest way to learn the questions and answers. In a trial run in the Brewster family our older kids (6 and 5), easily learned each question after a few runs through the song at breakfast each week.
Talk about the questions and answers together. We want to foster understanding, not just memorization.
Create some extra incentives for kids to learn them! We sometimes call it bribery and corruption in our house…
All going well, I hope we might return to part 2 next Autumn term!