Our catechetical efforts are part of the larger goal of initiating and apprenticing people of all ages into the life of the Church. How often do we sit down, as a Church, and identify just what the “life of Church” means in practical terms? WHAT are we initiating and apprenticing people into? Personally, I feel as though most of our curriculum guidelines are one dimensional, focusing on what one should KNOW. What about what one should BE and DO? Is there something that we can do about that?
In his book, The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic: How Engaging 1% of Catholics Could Change the World (Beacon Publishing), Matthew Kelly reveals that typically 7% of Catholic parishioners are “doing almost everything in their faith community and paying almost entirely for the maintenance and mission of the parish.” He then set out to identify what differentiates these 7% from the other 93% of Catholics. He discovered that 4 qualities drive the level of engagement of this 7% of Catholics:
- Prayer – dynamic Catholics have a daily prayer commitment
- Study – dynamic Catholics are continuous learners
- Generosity – dynamic Catholics are generous
- Evangelization – dynamic Catholics invite others to grow spiritually by sharing the love of God with them
My contention is that, in our faith formation programs, we focus almost exclusively on #2, and even then, with less than desireable results. What would a curriculum (in its broadest sense) look like that truly initiated and apprenticed people of all ages into a life of prayer, study, generosity (stewardship), and evangelization?
What are your thoughts?