Doing Catechism & Bible Memory Together
Two things we would dearly love to see our entire church doing together are, first, learning the New City Catechism, and second, memorizing the Bible together. Those of you who were with us two Sundays ago in the Q&A that Pastor Clint Humfrey did with Dr. Voddie Baucham may remember Voddie saying that a pressing need in our churches and families today is catechesis. We agree strongly with him. Catechism isn’t just something for little children; it’s a systematic way of learning the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith, and it can benefit everyone no matter their age. And of course, we all know that Bible memorization is one of God’s appointed ways of making his people holy (Ps. 119:11).
So as part of our plans for integrating the disciplines of Catechism and Bible memory into the life of the church, several months ago, we gave away free hard copies of the New City Catechism to each family in the church. The Catechism is arranged into 52 questions and answers, each of which explains an important teaching of the Christian faith, meaning there’s one for each week of the year. The questions are written in a way that provides either a short or a long answer. We’d love to see everyone in the church studying and memorizing the catechism together!
Even better, each of the 52 questions of the New City Catechism has a supporting Scripture passage. This gives us the opportunity to learn a “Memory Verse of the Week” as a congregation, as well! Imagine how we would grow in knowledge and holiness if we all stored up these truths in our hearts weekly, and encouraged one another regularly in this work.
How do you memorize?
- Simply take a few minutes every day—your devotional or quiet time is great for this—and devote them to the catechism and Bible memory. Try first thing in the morning and just before bed!
- Say the catechism question, the catechism answer, and the Bible passage out loud, several times.
- Then try saying the question and repeating it without looking at the page, a few times. (Repeat for the answer and the memory verse)
- Try walking around while repeating it, or writing it on a piece of paper without looking. Combining physical activity and speech helps retention.
Which question are we doing?
We print a catechism question in the bulletin each week. This is the question being reviewed in the youngsters’ main service class on that particular Sunday, and the idea is that this question will be one that’s been reviewed in homes and families all week. So our “Catechism & Bible Memory Week” is Monday to Sunday. Our plan is to send out a note via our internal CCB network, and by social media, at the beginning of each week for us telling everyone what the “Question and Verse of the Week” is.
So this week’s question is Question 14 (the short answer is in bold):
14. Q. Did God create us unable to keep his law?
14. A. No, but because of the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, all of creation is fallen; we are all born in sin and guilt, corrupt in our nature and unable to keep God’s law.
The memory verse accompanying this question is Romans 5:12:
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.
And if you’d like, there are many free New City Catechism resources you can access—including a free smartphone app as well as songs for children—at:
May God store up these truths in our hearts!