How Teaching the Faith Challenges Me

Teaching the Faith challenges me to say Yes to God

Photo copyright 2014 Lisa Jones. All rights reserved.

With the school year winding down, I have said my final farewell to my third grade faith formation class at my parish. I love teaching third grade CCE. Guiding these kids in the faith has brought me joy, tears, frustration, a desire to drink wine, gratitude and immense peace. They have taught me so much about myself and challenged me in all the best ways possible. Thinking about this year’s class and my previous 3rd-grade classes inspired me to list out how they’ve challenged me. All the good and bad.

They challenge me –
…to know my faith
…to have fun
…to demonstrate patience
…to get better at classroom management
…to think of new ways to teach
…to grow in holiness
…to answer really, really tough questions
…to admit I don’t know the answer
…to explain my faith
…to reflect God’s love to them
…to help them find peace and comfort in prayer
…to really believe what I teach them
…to live my faith out loud in my actions and words
…to step outside my comfort zone and act silly
…to become a better disciplinarian
…to learn more about why I love God
…to find ways to excite them about Church
…to let go in the midst of chaos
…to call on the Holy Spirit for guidance
…to stay hip on what third graders are interested in
…to be a role model
…to inspire a hunger for Christ in them
…to show them an example of God’s unconditional love

…to continue saying YES to God by stepping foot in the classroom week after week in an attempt to guide them closer to Jesus.

As a catechist, I want to inspire a lifelong hunger for Christ in my classroom of kids. I want them to be curious, to want to learn more, to want to grow closer to God, to know they are called to be holy and a disciple of Christ and to develop a personal connection with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. That’s a tall order for a teacher who spends one hour a week with kids, but it is what I am called to do as a catechist. And I love it.

Copyright 2015 Lisa Jones
Photo copyright 2014 Lisa Jones. All rights reserved.


About Author

Lisa Henley Jones is a former stay-at-home mom who discovered a new career as an online marketer/social media manager. She blogs at Of Sound Mind and Spirit with her sister, Shelly Kelly, about faith and family life. During the hot summers in Houston, Lisa can be found by the pool eating popsicles with her husband and three school-aged children.


  1. Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about volunteering to be a religion teacher this coming year? I have never done anything like this before but I know that my church is in need of teachers.

    • Susan,
      My first year I jumped in with both feet and prayed a lot! A few things that might help you prepare – The Catechist’s Toolbox by Joe Paprocki is a great book! He actually has several that are really informative in a practical way, but I would start with Toolbox. (He also has a website Catechist’s Journey with tips and articles.) When I received my teacher’s textbook from my parish, I sat down and read all the teacher notes in the beginning. It helped me think about my role, my purpose for the class time and the reality of the age of kids I was teaching. Knowing something about how my third graders at ages 8 and 9 learn, what they are interested in, and what type of teaching activities benefitted them was extremely helpful. Before each lesson I spend a little time here on looking at the lesson plans and activities available. (under the Kids tab above). Your DRE or other experienced catechists in your parish may also be a resource for you. Find out from them what books, activities or tools you will have at your disposal to add to the lesson. Bless you for becoming a catechist. It is a sometimes difficult, very important job and rewarding role. I will keep you in my prayers!

  2. Kathleen Shea on

    Hi Lisa, Your note was awesome! I work with 3, 4 & 5 year old children with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Yes, it is so few hours, but seems so important! I love it. Check it out at
    The Missionaries of Mercy are having all their sisters trained in this catechesis because they found it so deep and rich! Email if you want to know more about it. Blessings in your work and for your family! Kathy

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