How Parents Pass on the Faith (and What We Can Do To Help)

I’m preparing for the workshop I’m giving at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress and I wanted to share one small piece of the message I plan to present. The workshop is focused on empowering parents as the primary religious educators of their children, or more specifically, as disciples and teachers. So this begs the […]

From Lecturer to Leader (Part 2): 3 Ways to Keep Students Actively Engaged

If you watched the last video in this series, then you know some of the biggest mistakes we make as religious educators. We spend more time than we should lecturing in front of the class. We spend time reading the textbook out loud even though the kids aren’t following along. And we assign busy work […]

From Lecturer to Leader (Part 1): 3 Big Mistakes to Avoid This Year

Like a lot of people who are first starting out in education, I made a lot of mistakes early on. I think you will find that these mistakes are quite similar to what you and a lot of people do today. And it’s not really our fault. For the most part, it is just the […]

A Five-step Process for Evangelizing Parents

This post is a part of a series of teaching strategies that get beyond catechesis and into the realm of evangelization. To get a 10,000 foot view of where we are going, read this: A New Vision for Catholic Religious Education. This article and the others in this series are inspired by the book, To […]

What is your vision for the future of religious education?

Last week I outlined a new vision for religious education that is inspired by the spirit of the New Evangelization and written about in my book, To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach. I was overwhelmed by the positive response I got from that 3,000-word manifesto. I was so pleased to see that so many catechetical leaders, […]

A New Vision for Catholic Religious Education

If we were to evaluate the impact of our religious education programs in the Catholic Church today based solely on the number of students whose lives were transformed, do you think we would score well? What if our religious education programs and children’s ministries were measured by the number of disciples (what Sherry Weddell calls […]

10 First-Week Mistakes You Must Avoid This Year

It is time to return to the classroom! Are you ready? I always find that it is a little bit difficult to get back into the swing of things. It’s hard to jump right back in and pick up the momentum where you left off the year before. I know that I’ve personally made many […]

Save Your Voice and Your Sanity: 3 Ways to Effectively Get Students’ Attention

The class mumbles with whispering for a few moments. It grows to a murmur and before you know it, they are nearly shouting to the people next to them. How do you get their attention? How do you snap them out of discussion mode and back to listening mode without raising your voice? I’ve used […]

A Surefire Way to Effectively Communicate with Parents

In order to really make an impact on the faith lives of our students, we have to be intentional about building bridges between us as religious educator and our students’ parents. We cannot sit back and wait for the parents to encounter Christ on their own. We have to develop relationships with them that are […]

Teaching with the Joy of the Gospel

Some teachers and catechists walk around with so much joy. You know the people I’m talking about, right? They’re always smiling. They’re good listeners and they always put a positive spin on things. They never complain. They get excited when they talk about their lesson plans or activities. They’re humble. They want to know about […]