How Not to Use a Catechism?

Of course, we never want to substitute learning a catechism for learning the Scriptures themselves. The catechism is designed to summarize biblical truth, not supplant it. Children should regularly be reading or having read to them the Bible. Bible story books can be very helpful for young children as well.

In addition, parents must be careful never to confuse accurate knowledge or the statement of biblical truth by their children for conversion. We don’t want to produce tiny theologians; we want to produce disciples of Jesus. If you use this catechism properly, your child will grow in knowledge, but he or she must be born again and genuinely trust in Christ in order to be saved. Salvation and discipleship are the goal, not great knowledge.

Finally, don’t ever give your children the impression that God requires them to learn the catechism or to impress others with their knowledge in order for them to be acceptable in God’s sight. God requires faith and repentance, and the catechism is designed teach the Gospel, never to impede the Gospel (see question 147). Misuse of any tool – no matter how good the tool – can lead people away from the Gospel.