October 29th Session Summary – Part 1: Questions, Questions, Questions!

Since I have lots to share about my session last evening, I decided to break it up into smaller, bite-size pieces for you this week. Here’s the first installment.

Why Last evening’s session was characterized by questions, questions, questions! It seems that you can’t talk about creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac without a million questions! That’s good, of course, however, as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, catechists have to be alert to the fact that, at some point, the kids may be asking questions in order to delay any “real” work from ensuing!

  • After opening prayer, I began by asking volunteers to tell the stories of creation, Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel, which we explored the previous week. This was my way of reviewing and assessing. Thankfully, a number of volunteers did quite well in re-telling the stories and hitting all the main points.
  • As they were re-telling these stories, I played the role of “devil’s advocate” and asked questions designed to force them to explain further and to “defend” their faith. For example, I asked (typical answers in parens):
    • So God made human beings on the 2nd or 3rd day, right? Just kind of in the middle like all the rest of his creation? (No, God made humans last…the highpoint of his creation)
    • My science teacher tells me that creation took place over millions of years, so the Bible story must be a lie, right? (No, the Bible story is true, just not necessarily fact)
    • When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree, God said, “Good job!” right? (No, God punished them)
    • So God wasn’t pleased with Cain’s offering because Cain was a bad person, right? (No, it’s just that sometimes bad things happen to good people)
  • Of course, it was my questioning of them that prompted them to ask questions back at me, many of them very good:
    • How come the Bible doesn’t say anything about dinosaurs?
    • If Adam and Eve hadn’t sinned, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now?
    • Where is the Garden of Eden?
    • Is heaven the Garden of Eden?
    • What’s heaven going to be like?
  • Just to name a few. The questions came fast and furious and, while it was fun, at some point, you just have to say, “OK, last question, we have to move on,” and then stick to it even though 3 or 4 hands were still going up. You can tell when questions are becoming a delay tactic when the questions are asked but interest in the answers is waning!

[picture by Tintin44 via Compfight]

About Joe Paprocki 2745 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 www.catechistsjourney.com.

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