In my last post, I explained how my wife and I do family devotions with our kids. Our spiritual formation process with them has two parts to it: Bible reading and Q&A's. The Bible reading part is simple - we read them a chapter or two from the Bible and then talk about it. This usually causes them to ask questions or it generates some good theological and spiritual conversation. You'd be surprised at what a preschooler will ask. You'd be surprised at how much they comprehend, too.
The Q&A part of our bedtime routine is where we get into the theological truths I want my kids to learn. For instance, if someone asks either of my kids about the meaning of life, they could tell you why God made them in one sentence. If you asked either of them something like "Who is God?" or "Why did Jesus die for mankind?" they can tell you in one sentence. I think this is important to give them some mental scaffolding as they develop into a young man and woman.
The Q&A's, or catechisms, that we go over are listed below. I've written these based upon the Westminster Shorter Catechism for Younger Children. I have them on my phone, so it's easy to whip out - email me if you'd like it in PDF form. Most nights after we read the Bible I ask them a few of these questions and go over the answer with them, word-for-word, until they have it memorized (short-term memory of course). Then we review them several times before moving on.
Q&A's for Kids:
1. Who made you?
2. What else did God make?
God made all things.
3. Why did God make you and all things?
For his own glory.
4. How can you glorify God?
By loving him and doing what he commands.
5. Why should you to glorify God?
Because he made me and takes care of me.
6. How many gods are there?
7. In how many persons does God exist?
Three. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
8. What is God?
God is a Spirit, and does not have a body.
9. Where is God?
God is everywhere.
10. Can you see God?
No; but he always sees me.
11. Does God know everything?
Yes; God is omniscient.
12. Can God do all things?
Yes; God is omnipotent.
13. Where do you learn how to love and obey God?
In the Bible.
14. Who wrote the Bible?Holy men who were taught by the Holy Spirit.
15. Do you have a soul as well as a body?
Yes; my body will die but my soul never dies.
16. What is Sin?
Sin is anything I think, say, or do that breaks God’s law.
17. What does sin do to us?
Sin separates us from God.
18. What does every sin deserve?
The wrath of God.
19. Did Jesus ever sin?
20. What did Jesus do for you?
He died on the cross.
21. Why did Jesus die for you?
To make atonement for my sins.
22. What is Atonement?
Jesus punished in my place for my sins.
23. What is a change of heart called?
24. Who can change a sinner’s heart?
The Holy Spirit.
25. What is justification?
God forgiving me, as if I’d never sinned.
26. What is sanctification?
The Holy Spirit making me more like Jesus.
27. How can someone be saved and spend eternity with God in Heaven?
By grace through faith in Jesus.
28. What does it mean to repent?
To turn away from sin and turn towards God.
29. How were people saved before Jesus came?
By believing in the Messiah to come.
30. How did they show their faith?
By offering sacrifices on God’s altar.
31. What did these sacrifices represent?
Christ, the Lamb of God.
32. What official roles does Christ have?
The roles of a prophet, priest, and king.
33. How is Christ a prophet?
He teaches us the will of God.
34. How is Christ a priest?
He died for our sins.
35. How is Christ a king?
He rules over us and defends us.
36. What is prayer?
Prayer is asking God.
37. What is a sacrament?
An outward sign of inward grace.
38. How many sacraments are there?
Two. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
39. Why are we baptized?
To identify as a follower of Jesus.
40. In whose name are we baptized?
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
41. What is the Lord’s Supper?
Eating bread and drinking wine to remember what Jesus did for us.
42. What does the bread and wine represent?
The body and blood of Jesus.
43. Who can participate in the Lord’s Supper?
44. Did Jesus remain in the tomb after his crucifixion?
No; he rose from the dead after three day.
45. Where is Jesus now?
In heaven, interceding for sinners.
46. When will he come again?
At the second coming to judge the world.
47. What happens to a person’s soul when he dies?
Their soul enters eternal glory or eternal punishment.
48. What happens to his body?
It is resurrected to stand before God.
49. What happens to those who never believed in Jesus?
They are cast into hell.
50. What is hell?
A place of separation from God.
51. What happens to those who believed in Jesus?
They are taken to heaven.
52. What is heaven?
A happy place, where the righteous live forever with God.