Top Reasons People Hesitate to Become a Catechist

When asked to become a catechist, many people hesitate. “Me? A Catechist?” That hesitation is based on many things. Below are some common reasons that people hesitate to become a catechist. What I really wanted to do is write a response to each reason but I’m in a bit of a time crunch to get a lot of work done before I begin vacation tomorrow, SO, I’m hoping that y’all can pitch in and send comments that respond to these hesitations. While on vacation, I won’t be adding any of my own posts but I will post comments sent in. Likewise, if you’re considering becoming a catechist but are experiencing some hesitation, send in your comments…especially if you have a reason that I’ve not included.

“I’m hesitant to become a catechist because…”

  1. I don’t know if I can handle a group of kids
  2. I’m not sure that I have anything to share
  3. I’m not sure that I know just what the Church teaches
  4. I’m afraid I’ll say something wrong
  5. I don’t know if I’ll be able to answer kids’ questions
  6. I’m not that holy…I’m just a regular person
  7. I don’t know if I have the time
  8. I don’t have any formal training to teach
  9. I don’t know if kids will like me
  10. I’ve never taught before

These are just some reasons. Are there others? How would you respond to any of the above?

About Joe Paprocki 2736 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

10 Comments on Top Reasons People Hesitate to Become a Catechist

  1. Best response to parents’/parishioners’ hesitations: You never go it alone — not in life, not in a classroom of kids learning about Christ and Catholicism. Telling a young enquiring mind, “You know, I’m not quite sure. The church has been around for more than 2,000 years and has offered so many good answers and ways to teach us that I’ll have to look that one up for you…” Or keep a log of questions for the next time your priest or DRE visits the class (when I subbed for Grade 5 a few times, and used an AV source, I allowed them to pop up from their desk and write their sincere questions on the board) — almost a fun sort of “Stump the DRE” challenge! Bottom line: I keep coming back to the whole Body of Christ definition for the church — none of us is complete unto ourselves. We all need each other — for answers, for help, for support — in our neverending quest to live a Christlike life. The sooner kids realize that, the sooner they’ll experience a living faith instead of a “head trip.”

  2. Ali, thanks for taking the time to offer your responses…I’m sure they will inspire many to further consider accepting the invitation to become a catechist!

  3. Hi Joe,

    Just wondering if I may please have your permission to use these questions in a bulletin ad to recruit catechists for our RE program. I was hoping to use your questions and answer them in our space. You can reply to me at the email I provided. Hope you had a great vacation Thanks so much in advance for considering this.

  4. Amy, by all means. Anyone else who wants to use them, please do so. If you can add an acknowledgement about the source ( I’d appreciate it! -joe

  5. Hi Joe,
    Your articles are very useful to me and catechists.
    Thank you for sharing your gifts. God Bless you!!!

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