As the years go by, I am increasingly burdened by the sense that the more conservative church people in the West, Protestant and Roman Catholic alike, are, if not starving, at least grievously undernourished for lack of a particular pastoral ministry that was a staple item in the church life of the first Christian centuries and also of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation era in Western Europe, but has largely fallen out of use in recent days. That ministry is called 'catechesis'. It consists of intentional, orderly instruction in the truths that Christians are called to live by, linked with equally intentional and orderly instruction on how they are to do this.' 'Catechesis' consists of intentional, orderly instruction in the truths by which Christians are called to live a sort of discipleship in 'mere Christianity'. The fact that catechesis has fallen out of the life and practice of many churches today is a major loss, leaving Christians undernourished and spiritually sluggish. Professor J. I. Packer responds that 'it is catechesis' vital ongoing teaching and discipling that hits the bull s eye': it is of the utmost importance in developing a church that maintains orthodox beliefs. Packer urges Christians to know their faith so they can explain it to inquirers, sustain it against scepti, and put it to work in evangelism, church fellowship, and the many forms of service this is the Christian's business of taking God seriously.