The General Directory for Catechesis states that “lay catechists, by virtue of their baptism, have a right and responsibility to catechize.” As catechetical leaders, we need to take that call very seriously if we want our programs to reflect Jesus’ life and ministry. Jesus did not act alone. He invited others to share in his ministry, took time to build up his team of disciples, and encouraged others who had gifts to share. Here are a few tips for recruiting catechists.
1. Use the Personal touch!
Look for people who would be great catechists, ex: parents and grandparents who have children enrolled in your program, school teachers, etc. Invite them to share their talents in their ministry. Make sure you make a phone call to follow up.
2. Utilize your current catechists.
Catechists are likely to know other people who share the same passion and interests. They have a good idea of who would be good for the position and know if the person is likely to have a good understanding of the job description.
3. Have a catechist recruitment tea or lunch.
Advertise in your parish bulletin and pass out flyers after Mass. Provide information and give a short presentation about being a catechist.
4. Spread the word.
Tell your friends, family members, other catechists, ministry leaders, that there is a need for more catechists. Use email, texts, Facebook, whatever it takes to get the word out!
5. Advertise in the parish bulletin and parish website.
Create a “catchy” ad that will spark some interest to people who read the bulletin, and include training is available.
After recruiting new catechists, welcome them with open arms, recognize their names in the parish bulletin, personally introduce them to your returning catechists, pair them up with a veteran catechist who can show them the ropes and answer any questions when you are not available. Honor and appreciate your catechists often, and pray for them.
Lillian Cruces is the DRE for St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Whittier, CA and serves as the West Region Representative to the NPCD Executive Committee.
This article was originally published in RTJ’s creative catechist April/May 2013.
Photo: kupicoo, istock