What serves as my own model for catechesis is the encounter of Jesus with the woman at the well of Samaria (John 4:1-42). I see their developing conversation as a guide for how to invite others into a deeper awareness and relationship with God.
Take time to be alone
In the Gospel, Jesus has come to the well in Samaria alone. When he arrives, he finds the woman of Samaria unaccompanied. It is precisely during this solitary time together that a dialogue begins. This is good advice for us catechists as well. Take sabbath moments to find yourself available to God.
Meet people on their own terms
Jesus understood and relayed back to the woman her sordid story but did not judge her. He accepted her situation and used it as the basis to build her up and challenge her growth. As catechists, we too ought to encourage others to find the sacred in the midst of the imperfections in their lives.
Be who you are called to be
Jesus was not afraid to be clear about who he was - he states he is the Messiah. It is good for us to remember who we are - children of God. We are endowed with unique abilities to help build up the Kingdom. Have courage to use them!
Make the Word your own
Jesus’ dialogue with the woman so energized her that she ran to tell others about it. She found her own voice and began to live what she heard. As catechists, our own life experiences are often the most compelling for others to hear. Share your stories!
Let it go
After the encounter with Jesus, the woman left her water jar behind. So often in ministry, plans do not go as we anticipate. We need to be attentive to changes that happen in unexpected ways. With this in mind, be flexible and remember you are not in control!
On your journey of catechist, go out to the well. In your alone time, think about what you will discuss with Jesus. What advice does he give you about leading others closer to Him?