Memorizing the Catechism...


HI - Do any of you know of churches that are doing anything out of the norm with Heidelberg Catechism memorization? Are any of you finding success?

Our church offers a traditional catechism class during the Sunday School hour before worship on Sunday morning. Several of us are working on a proposal to move catechism teaching to Wednesday evening, reformat it, and make it part of our youth group program. The catechism teaching would alternate every other week with Bible study. I'm also wondering whether we might consider offering "memorization" as a separate, parallel program in which we would allow kids to do the work at their own pace. What if we would offer rewards for a base number memorized and bonuses for additional groups? What if money were spent to make these rewards sufficiently sweet? Any comments or suggestions on the above would be appreciated! I don't have training in the field of education so I'm wondering how such a strategy might be viewed by those in the know.

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I really like the idea of memorizing. However, I wonder whether every answer in the catechism is of equal value for memorization.

When I was an 8th grader Rev. Henry Bruinooge was our pastor. He told those of us in the catechism class that we needn't memorize anything. But each week we had to select 6 scripture texts from the lesson and write each one 6 times. Those texts have remained in my memory even now.

There are children (and adults) who have great difficulty with memorizing. Perhaps you could provide an alternative like the one above for those who choose to do it this way.

I would rather see today's youth memorize Bible passages instead of the Heidelberg. The Heidelberg is a great tool to help us understand the Scriptures from a Reformed perspective but if we are going to make our youth memorize, let them memorized the infallible, inspired Word of God.

Yes i think that the catechism is a great tool of which to learn the word of God, but it also helps us to understand the word of God as well as answer the question that we may have about the word of God.