Recruiting and forming catechists is a primary responsibility for catechetical leaders and is an ongoing challenge. You’re not just looking for any warm body but for people with the gifts that enable them to apprentice others into the faith.
With that in mind, I prefer to use the word calling instead of recruiting. We recruit people to perform a function. We call people to live out a vocation! Serving as a catechist is more than simple volunteerism. It is more than performing a function. It is more than filling a slot. It is a vocation: a call from God to serve his Church!
Perhaps this notion of catechists as having a vocation is new to you. In days gone by, we thought of vocations as pertaining to priests and nuns. While that is true, all people have a vocation: a call to live a life of holiness. In addition, some people have vocations to serve the Church in very important ways. Being a catechist is one of them. The Church refers to the vocation of the catechist in the General Directory for Catechesis (#23): “Indeed, efforts must be made to encourage in parishes and Christian communities vocations for catechesis.”
As a catechetical leader, you are not simply recruiting volunteers; you are calling people to a vocation to serve as a catechist. This is the mindset you should have as you set forth to call catechists: announce this as an opportunity for adults to grow in their faith, in their relationship with the Lord, and in holiness.
For the next several weeks, we’ll explore various aspects of calling forth catechists. In the meantime, do read Jayne Ragasa-Mondoy’s book on Cultivating Your Catechists (part of the Effective Catechetical Leader series) for great ideas on recruiting and retaining catechists.