Learning the grace of fielding questions of faith is
a primary skill for the catechist. You can plan the best lesson possible, but if you have
not reinforced it with your own knowledge of the subject you will fail.
So many catechists feel inadequate to the task. How can I teach dogma
correctly? How can I interpret the meaning of scripture or an ecclesial document? Too many
willing volunteers never teach because these questions threaten their good intentions.
I offer three easy solutions to this dilemma. First, prepare each lesson
well in advance, allowing time to seek other resources other than the teacher’s manual.
Seek information on the lesson that underpins what the text offers. A great tactic is to
prepare your own list of questions and find the answers in periodicals and books. Second,
we must be willing to say, “I don’t know the answer to that question, let’s
find out together.” Students respect that response. By finding answers together we
are teaching the students a valuable skill. Finally, let the questions provoke curiosity
and fun. Mark Hart’s book Ask
the Bible Geek
the Bible Geek 2
are wonderful tools in the classroom. Each question comes from a young person.
Mark Hart has an uncanny ability to explain difficult topics with wit and wisdom. Whether
you use Hart’s questions or come up with a few of your own, each lesson should have
some fun-filled questions that let the students learn how to delve into the mysteries of
faith with confidence and curiosity.