Jesus taught through stories, and so should we. Storytelling conveys information on multiple level, and is a powerful tool for influencing behavior. If you want to teach the seekers how to be disciples, teach them using the techniques of the Master.
For more guidance on using storytelling in your catechesis, click here.
2. Active listening
Generally, whoever is speaking is learning. As a catechist, you want to aim for having your seekers speak about 70 percent of the time. Use your 30 percent to reflect back what you hear and ask focused, conversion centered questions.
You can read more about this important skill here.
3. Naming God
As catechists, we have to be able to name who God is. I don’t mean simply knowing a few titles for God. I mean being able to say how the church knows God is God.
Discover more about becoming an RCIA theologian here.
4. Community building
Many RCIA team members are great at building strong bonds of community among the seekers, sponsors, and team. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about getting the seekers connected to the larger parish community. Often, neophytes drop out shortly after baptism because they don’t know anyone in the parish. Let’s change that.
5. Knowing scripture
RCIA team members have to be close to their Bible’s. Well, actually their lectionaries. We have to know a little bit about the background of the readings the seekers hear proclaimed on Sunday.
The website of the United States Bishops is a good place to start. Click here to learn how to read scripture. Also, in every New American Bible translation, there is an excellent introduction to each book of the Bible. Read the introduction to each of the books or letters that the seekers will hear this Sunday.
You can also find the introductions online.
6. Loving the other
It’s easy to love lovely people. Pope Francis challenges us to love “Samaritans”—people who are not like us. Democrats have to love Republicans. Whites have to love people of color. Straights have to love LGBT folks. Middle class people have to love the homeless. Sober people have to love addicts. Whoever you have a hard time loving is who you are supposed to be loving.
For help with that, go here.
Which of these skills will you be working on next? Is there another skill we should add to the list? Please share your thoughts.