The key to successful faith formation with young people is to meet them where they are. That can have a number of meanings, but in the case of education it means using the resources which students are familiar with. Living in the digital age that means utilizing the technology available to them, and us, to grow their love of the faith in an engaging manner.
Pope Benedict XVI once said in his Communications Day message, there exists a Christian way of being present in the digital world. The Church has historically grown and educated its members via community and communication. The forms of communication have changed through the centuries as technology has improved. In the early days of the Church the faith was passed on verbally. Then Bibles were distributed by monks who handwrote the contents in the language of the region. Eventually this manual method was replaced by the invention of the printing press and Christian was able to reach every corner of the known world. To effectively evangelize youth today we must embrace their various modes of communication via the technology they are accustomed to.
So where do we begin? If you are well versed in the use of computers and tablets, iPads or Androids, Mac or PC, then you are already ahead of the game. If not, then dont be afraid to ask questions of your peers or even take a class or two.
Be Not Afraid
If technology makes you nervous you are not the only one. Technology can seem intimidating. Especially if you did not grow up with it.
Start by using a ready-made resource such as Catholic Brain, and slowly integrate the technology into your curriculum. Pick and choose which of the many resources Catholic Brain has available that you want to add to your weekly teaching agenda. You might begin with a few videos on the saints or one of our many Lesson Modules that walk you through a Lesson Plan relative to major feast days in the liturgical calendar.
Just keep in mind that technology is the tool and it should not be the focus. Technology can effectively help us to spread the Message of Jesus Christ in our efforts to evangelize and teach. Technology is not going anyway. Its benefits of effectively teaching faith should be embraced as the tool it is meant to be. By utilizing the technology available to us today we can help young Catholics grow in love with the faith which we ourselves have grown to love.