The iPad is a complete phenomena.
It came out of nowhere to define a market that previously didn’t exist.
Much of this success can be attributed to a specific design philosophy employed by Apple.
Simple is powerful!
The design philosophy behind the iPad is also one of the secrets to engaging, accessible and useful catechesis.
This philosophy of simple probably flies in the face of your ideas on catechesis. It’s definitely not intuitive but it works. Here’s how!
My parents are using a computer!
Recently I convinced my parents to buy an iPad. For the first time, they are using a computer! Notice I said using. They’ve owned a computer before, but they never used it. It was too complicated and it confused them.
The iPad is simple. With the iPad, Apple stripped computing down to it’s core. It doesn’t do everything. It does the essential things and makes them accessible. Even non-computer savvy people like my parents can use it.
For catechesis to be understandable, accessible and useable, it needs to be simple.
Simple catechesis communicates the core
When I say simple, I’m not talking about shortened or incomplete catechesis. Simple catechesis is not shallow. It still has depth–but on the right things.
Simple catechesis drills down to the core idea. It doesn’t teach everything. It teaches the essential things and makes them accessible. In this way, what you teach will be understood and remembered. It will have impact and power.
You have to figure out the core and build your lesson around it. Your goal? The students walk away with the core idea firmed grasped and remembered. That way, it can be put into action.
What is the core?
The core is the one thing that absolutely needs to get communicated. Not the three things. The ONE thing. If you try to build your lesson around three things, they won’t remember anything.
How do you know what that one thing is? Imagine you prepared your lesson, had everything planned and when you were ready to go into the classroom I stopped you and said, “There’s been a change of plans. You only have five minutes to do your lesson.”
What would you tell your students? What message do you really want them to get? That’s the core!
The temptation in catechesis is to teach as much information as the time allows. After all, you only have your students for a short time and there’s so much to learn. You want to give them everything.
However, the reality is, by trying to give them everything you may end up giving them nothing. If you present too many ideas, what’s important gets lost.
To communicate the core, you have to weed out the interesting, but off topic, info and the tangents. They make it difficult to follow the line of the lesson, and they confuse your students.
The hard part is cutting out pieces that really are important but aren’t the most important. You one core message needs to be central.
Stripping down to the essential is difficult and counter-intuitive. However, of you communicate the core, you’ll have a simple message that your students will understand, remember and use! That is powerful!