A Catechism for Young Children: 52 Questions and Answers

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Stay tuned for a print version of this catechism.

Description

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 they 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

Dedication

For Adam
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.”

JOHN WESLEY

Introduction

1. Who loves you even more than mommy and daddy?
Answer: God

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?
Answer: No

God

5. How many gods are there?
Answer: One

6. How many persons are there in God?
Answer: Three

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

Creation

10. Who made all things?
Answer: God the Father

11. Through whom did God make all things?
Answer: The Son and Spirit

12. How is God able to make all things?
Answer: He is Almighty

Man

13. How did God make you?
Answer: In his image

14. Why does this matter?
Answer: Everyone is special

15. How should we treat everyone?
Answer: With kindness

Sin

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?
Answer: Death

Christ

20. Who did God send to save us from sin and death?
Answer: His Son

21. Who is the Son of God?
Answer: Jesus Christ

22. Who was the mother of Jesus?
Answer: The virgin Mary

23. How did this miracle happen?
Answer: By the Holy Spirit

Christ (Continued)

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

Salvation

28. Where did Jesus go?
Answer: Up to 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

Salvation (Continued)

33. Do you need to be scared?
Answer: No

34. Why don’t you need to be scared?
Answer: God is with me

35. Can you see God?
Answer: No

36. Can God see you?
Answer: Yes

Holy Spirit & Church

37. Who else did God send to save us?
Answer: The Holy Spirit

38. What does the Holy Spirit create?
Answer: The Church

39. What does the Holy Spirit do for you?
Answer: He helps me

40. How does the Holy Spirit help you?
Answer: Through the Church

41. How do you join the Church?
Answer: Through baptism

Sanctification

42. Who does God want you to be like?
Answer: Jesus

43. Who does God want you to obey?
Answer: Mommy and daddy

44. What should you do every day?
Answer: Pray

45. ​​What did Jesus teach us to pray?
Answer: The Lord’s Prayer

46. What else should you do every day?
Answer: Read the Bible

47. What is the Bible?
Answer: God’s Word

48. What is God’s will for us in the first four commandments?
Answer: To love God

49. What is God’s will for us in the last six commandments?
Answer: To love our neighbor

Last Things

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 first 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.” And so on.

Appendix B: The Ten Commandments

I am the Lord your God, who saved you.*

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.**
  2. You shall not make an idol.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not lie.**
  10. 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.

*While the version of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew’s Gospel says “debts” (Matthew 6:12), the version in Luke’s Gospel simply says “sins” (Luke 11:4). Since children are unlikely to understand that debts are sins, this version is recommended.

When first 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.” And so on.

Appendix D: A Guide to Family Devotions

  1. Sing a chorus or hymn.*
  2. Recite the Apostles’ Creed
  3. Pray the Lord’s Prayer.
  4. Read a chapter in the Bible.**
  5. Work on one section of the catechism (three to five questions).
  6. Pray with your child, asking for prayer requests.***

*If possible, choose one 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?”

Johnathan Arnold
Johnathan Arnold is a husband, father, and aspiring pastor-theologian, as well as the founder and president of holyjoys.org. You can connect with him on Twitter @jsarnold7.