Reflecting on Jesus’ examples of communicating with his disciples, here are four tips for communicating with catechists from parish catechetical leaders’ experiences from around the country.
1. Choose methods wisely
At the beginning of each learning season ask catechists to identify their preferred methods for communicating with you and provide you with current contact information. Plan to communicate using multiple methods based on this information. While using email or a catechists’ website alone may be easiest for you, it may be ineffective if all the catechists do not utilize it.
2. Go to them
Stop by each catechist’s designated learning space every few weeks to touch base with him or her as well as connect with the learners and families. Ask about their recent successes and challenges. Provide follow-up support to give them the confidence they need to succeed in sharing the gospel message.
3. Listen and reflect
Close your door for half an hour at least once a week to review what, when, and how messages have been exchanged with catechists. Note accomplishments to share, challenges to address, and encouragement to give.
4. Personalize exchanges
Be sure to know at least one thing about each catechist so that you can “personalize” your interactions. Remembering a favorite activity or spouse’s name are great ways to acknowledge the catechist as a sister or brother in faith.
“For the Church ‘communication’ is essentially the communication of the Good News of Jesus Christ” (National Directory for Catechesis, p.105).
This article was originally published by the editorial staff in RTJ’s Creative Catechist, September 2013.
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