The Seven Ds of Discipleship: #5 Dwelling in the Word

This is part five of a seven-part series on discipleship. So far in this series, we have covered desire, discernment, decision-making, and discipline. In this article, we will talk about an essential and critical key to discipleship: Dwelling in the Word of God. A couple of years ago, I spoke with a group of students about the importance of remaining connected to God through prayerful reading of the Scriptures at home. After the class, a […]

Catechists Hungry for Knowledge of Scripture: A Look Back at Our Poll

Recently, we conducted one of our informal polls to get a peek into the minds and hearts of catechists. In this particular poll, we asked: Which area of Catholic teaching do you most need to grow in understanding? With 51% of the vote (as of 9/6/19), Scripture, by far, is the area in which catechists most feel a need to grow in their understanding. This is not surprising. While we Catholics have made great advances […]

“What’s Your Story?” Inviting Children into a Healthy Narrative

Among the many popular digital entertainment apps available today are those known as “interactive story” apps in which players “enter into” a storyline that is not predetermined and make choices that determine the story’s outcome. One such game, What’s Your Story?, invites players to choose from favorite movies and TV shows and to become a character in the story, making the story their own. The truth is, we all have a story or a narrative […]

Are You Biblically Animated?

At a meeting I recently attended at my alma mater, the Institute of Pastoral Studies (Loyola University), I heard a phrase I’d not heard before: biblical animation. It’s not a new phrase, but it was new to me! First, biblical animation does not refer to cartoon drawings of Bible scenes. Rather, biblical animation refers to activity that is “powered by” (animated by) an encounter with Christ in Scripture. Second, it would seem that the concept of […]

Creating the “Aroma of the Gospel” Through Stories

In order to introduce people to Jesus Christ, it is incumbent on us catechists to tell the stories of Jesus’ amazing deeds, beginning with the stories we have in Scripture in which he opens the eyes of the blind, heals the sick, changes water into wine, calms the storm, and raises people from the dead. Too often, we rush to teach doctrinal concepts while those we’re teaching don’t even know the story of Jesus Christ! As catechists, […]

Scripture Gives God a Face and a Voice

Imagine getting into a conversation with a friend and asking him/her to tell you about his/her spouse or some other significant person whom he/she claims to love, and he/she comes up completely blank—unable to describe what that person looks like, what personality characteristics he/she has, or what stories reveal that person’s essence. You would no doubt be suspicious (and rightly so) about whether or not your friend truly knows this other person or if this […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: The Prophets

This is the final article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. What is a prophet? The word prophet means “to speak for.” A prophet, then, is someone who speaks for God. When God wanted to speak to his people, he often chose someone to remind them of the covenant and its promises. Catechists can help students get to know these important spokespersons for God so they can become […]

Hosting a Bible Boot Camp

With the end of the catechetical year quickly approaching, you may be looking for ways to engage older children, youth, and adults in faith formation over the summer. One great idea is to host a “Bible Boot Camp” using my book The Bible Blueprint and the free online Leader Guide to increase Bible literacy, leading to a deeper appreciation of Scripture. Most programs that are labeled as “Bible Boot Camp” are Vacation Bible School programs […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: David—Hero, King, and Sinner

This is the fourth article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. David, King of Israel, is possibly one of the most interesting characters in all of Scripture. He was a shepherd, the Lord’s anointed, giant-killer, loyal friend, singer of psalms, ambitious king, repentant sinner, and founder of the House of David, from which Jesus was descended. Because David is such an important person from the Old Testament, it’s […]

Lent: So What’s Up with the Number 40?

“These forty days of Lent, O Lord, to you we fast and pray…”  We all know that Lent has 40 days, but it may cause us to wonder about the significance of the number 40. Did you know that the number 40 appears in the Bible nearly 200 times? What’s up with that? In the Bible, the number 40 is symbolic and represents a significant period of time during which an individual’s faith is tested. What is […]

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