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 […]

If You Can’t Change What They Think, Change What They Feel

When I was a high school theology teacher, there were two incredibly intelligent students that, I have to admit, were a challenge to teach. Ben and Jerry (not their real names) were smarter than me and they liked to show it. Any chance they got, they would question what I was teaching with counter-arguments and […]

Forming Children as Intentional Disciples

Among the many great books that were published during the Year of Faith in 2012-2013 was Sherry Weddell’s Forming Intentional Disciples. The book is meant to clarify an important distinction between being “Catholic” and being a “disciple.” It begins with the statistics about participation in the Catholic Church today that confirm what many of us […]

Now You Can Teach Like Pope Francis!

Have you paid close attention to Pope Francis’s homilies and speeches? He follows a consistent format that all teachers, catechists, and communicators can use. For Pope Francis, three is a magic number. Beginning with his first homily to the Cardinals the day after his election, he tends to focus on just three words, questions, or […]