Open-Ended Questions for Catechumens

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After the catechumen (the person being prepared for baptism/membership) has been instructed in the Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, a pastor may ask the following questions (e.g., over breakfast or coffee as part of an interview for baptism/membership). The pastor should ask the questions with gravity, in expectation of a serious response. Some of these questions are adapted from Martin Luther’s questions for those who intend to go to the sacrament.

Question 1. Do you believe that there is one God who created all things?
The catechumen should answer definitively.

Q. 2. Have you kept all of God’s commandments, or have you sinned against him?
The catechumen should readily acknowledge that they have sinned.

Q. 3. Are you sincerely sorry for your sins?
The catechumen should express sincere and humble repentance.

Q. 4. What do we deserve from God because of our sins?
The catechumen should mention death or God’s wrath, displeasure, judgment, or punishment.

Q. 5. Do you hope to be saved when Christ returns to judge the world?
The catechumen should express a sincere desire to be saved from the wrath to come.

Q. 6. Do you hope to be saved on the basis of your good works?
The catechumen should renounce their good works as the basis for salvation.

Q. 7. How then do you hope to be saved?
The catechumen should mention the death of Jesus for our sins, and may also mention the resurrection, ascension, and heavenly session.

Q. 8. Who do you believe that Jesus is?
The catechumen should demonstrate their knowledge that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. If the answer is unsatisfactory, the pastor may ask, “What else do you believe?”

Q. 9. Do you believe that there is any other way to God except through Jesus Christ?
The catechumen should answer definitively.

Q. 10. Will you follow Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord?
The catechumen should answer definitively.

Q. 11. Will you renounce Satan and all his works?
The catechumen should answer definitively.

Q. 12. What will you do if you sin after baptism?
The catechumen should be ready to flee to Christ who intercedes for us above and to submit to the gentle restoration of the church.

Q. 13. Will you be a faithful member of the church, living in love and harmony with your brothers and sisters in Christ?
The catechumen should answer definitively.

Q. 14. Will follow the leaders of the church as they follow Christ?
The catechumen should answer definitively.

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.