Stay tuned for a print version of this catechism.
Teaching our children is a great responsibility. God said, “These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deut. 6:6–7).
A catechism is a summary of the Christian Faith in question and answer format. This catechism is a tool for teaching young children about the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It provides a strong foundation for further instruction as children grow older.
How can you be happy? Who made all things? How many persons are there in God? What is sin? Who is the Son of God? What must you do to be saved? Do you need to be scared? What is God making new? These are just a few of the questions that are answered in four words or less in this 52-question catechism for kids.
Recommended for Ages 2–5
You were made to be happy in God
“Is not this the very principle that should be inculcated upon every human creature, — ‘You are made to be happy in God,’ as soon as ever reason dawns? Should not every parent, as soon as a child begins to talk, or to run alone, say something of this kind: ‘See! what is that which shines so over your head? That we call the sun. See, how bright it is! Feel how it warms you! It makes the grass to spring, and everything to grow. But God made the sun. The sun could not shine, nor warm, nor do any good without him.’ In this plain and familiar way a wise parent might, many times in a day, say something of God; particularly insisting, ‘He made you; and he made you to be happy in him; and nothing else can make you happy.’ We cannot press this too soon.”
1. Who loves you even more than mommy and daddy?
2. Why did God make you?
Answer: To be happy
3. How can you be happy?
Answer: By loving God
4. Can anything else make you happy?
5. How many gods are there?
6. How many persons are there in God?
7. Who is the first person in God?
Answer: The Father
8. Who is the second person in God?
Answer: The Son
9. Who is the third person in God?
Answer: The Holy Spirit
10. Who made all things?
Answer: God the Father
11. Through whom did God make all things?
Answer: The Son and Spirit
12. How strong is God?
Answer: He is Almighty
13. How did God make you?
Answer: In his image
14. Why does this matter?
Answer: Everyone is special
15. How should we treat those who are made in God’s image?
Answer: With kindness and respect
16. Who was the first man and woman?
Answer: Adam and Eve
17. What did Adam and Eve do?
Answer: They sinned
18. What is sin?
Answer: Disobeying God
19. What is the consequence of sin?
20. Who did God send to save us from sin and death?
Answer: His only Son
21. Who is the Son of God?
Answer: Jesus Christ
22. Who was the mother of Jesus?
Answer: The virgin Mary
23. Who gave baby Jesus to Mary?
Answer: The Holy Spirit
24. How did Jesus die?
Answer: On the cross
25. Why did Jesus die?
Answer: For our sins
26. What happened on the third day?
Answer: He rose again
27. Because Jesus died and rose again, what do we believe?
Answer: He is Lord
28. Where did Jesus go?
Answer: To his Father in heaven
29. What is Jesus doing right now?
Answer: Reigning as king
30. Why is Jesus coming again?
Answer: To judge everyone
31. What must you do to be saved?
Answer: Believe in Jesus
32. What should you do if you sin?
Answer: Say sorry to God
33. Do you need to be scared?
34. Why don’t you need to be scared?
Answer: God is with me
35. Can you see God?
36. Can God see you?
Holy Spirit & Church
37. Who else did God send to save us?
Answer: The Holy Spirit
38. What does the Holy Spirit do for you?
Answer: He helps me
39. How does the Holy Spirit help you?
Answer: Through the Church
40. What is the Church?
Answer: The family of God
41. How do you join the Church?
Answer: Through baptism
42. Who does God want you to be like?
43. What is God’s will for us in the first four commandments?
Answer: To love God
44. What is God’s will for us in the last six commandments?
Answer: To love our neighbor
45. Who does God want you to obey?
Answer: Mommy and daddy
46. What is prayer?
Answer: Talking to God
47. What did Jesus teach us to pray?
Answer: The Lord’s Prayer
48. How does God talk to you?
Answer: Through the Bible
49. What is the Bible?
Answer: God’s Word
50. What is God making new?
Answer: All things
51. What will God raise from the dead?
Answer: Our bodies
52. What do we enjoy now and look forward to enjoying forever?
Answer: Eternal life
Appendix A: The Apostle’s Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
When learning the Creed, the child can finish your sentences. For example, “I believe in God the Father…”; child answers, “Almighty.” “Maker of heaven and…”; child answers, “earth.”
Appendix B: The Ten Commandments
I am the Lord your God, who saved you.*
- You shall have no other gods before me.**
- You shall not make an idol.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not lie.**
- You shall not covet.
*Exodus 20:2, “who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” This preface is viewed as the first of the ten commandments (ten “words” in Scripture) by some traditions. It should be taught to children so that they understand why we obey the Lord: he is our God, and he has saved us.
**Exodus 20:16, “bear false witness.”
Appendix C: The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins* as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.
*Luke’s version, “sins” (Luke 11:4), is easier for children to understand than Matthew’s version, “debts” (Matthew 6:12).
When learning the Lord’s Prayer, the child can finish your sentences. For example, “Our Father who is in…”; child answers, “heaven.” “Hallowed be your…”; child answers, “name.”
Appendix D: A Guide to Family Devotions
- Sing a chorus or hymn.*
- Recite the Apostles’ Creed
- Pray the Lord’s Prayer.
- Read a chapter in the Bible.**
- Work on one section of the catechism (three to five questions).
- Pray with your child, asking for prayer requests.***
*If possible, choose a song that is relevant to the catechism question(s) of the day. For example, before Question 27, sing the chorus, “He is Lord, He is Lord! / He is risen from the dead and he is Lord! / Ev’ry knee shall bow, ev’ry tongue confess / That Jesus Christ is Lord.”
**Choose a passage that is relevant to the catechism question(s) of the day, or simply begin reading through one of the four Gospels. Consider incorporating a Children’s Bible with illustrations.
***For example, “What do you want to pray about?” “Who do you want to pray for?”