Powering through the Catechism in 75 Saturdays
For many months, young people in Lubumbashi (DR Congo) have been coming together every Saturday to study the Catechism using their smartphones, laptops, and the book.
“The Catechism is an invitation to all New Apostolic Christians to acquaint themselves with the content of their faith,” Richard Ndambo, a young brother from Lubumbashi explains, quoting an extract from the foreword of the Catechism of the New Apostolic Church (CNAC).
The youth in this city in the southeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is the capital of Katanga Province, are taking this invitation very serious: since February 2017, they have been studying the Catechism every Saturday.
Doctrine – offline and online
The doctrine of the Church is presented in a very nice package—either in a book of more than 500 pages or in a more concise version consisting of 750 questions and answers. And then there is still an app for smartphone and tablet. In this form, the Catechism has a mere 14 MB.
Each version has its advantages: one to read and leaf through, the other, in electronic form, with really helpful search and note functions—ideal for those on the go.
For four months now the young people have been coming together on the initiative of their youth leader, Lawrens Kumpel. Up to 20 young people attend the gatherings in the congregation Campus on any given Saturday. During the two-hour sessions they discuss ten questions from the Catechism in Questions and Answer, consecutively.
How do they go about these gatherings? Richard Ndambo explains: “One of the young people prepares him- or herself at home and then gives an introductory presentation.” The idea is to launch a debate among the youth. And then they discuss among themselves and with their youth leader what they think.
The use of smartphones is desired in church
The young sisters and brothers love to use the electronic version of the Catechism, both the long version (naccatechismus) and the Questions and Answers version (nacfaq). Both are offered as apps by the New Apostolic Church free of charge and can be downloaded from the iTunes and Google stores. The young people in Lubumbashi have installed these apps and use them, regularly—even in church.
Already now the participants of the study group agree that it has been a huge success. “It helps us to understand the doctrine of the Church and it motivates us to talk about our faith everywhere,” says Richard Ndambo.