David’s #29 – Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids By Jack Klumpenhower

In 1 Corinthians Paul writes, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”  Is it really that simple?  Is it really just about the cross?  Klumpenhower would argue, and I would agree that yes, it is.  The Cross applies to everything in our lives.  We should relate to God based on what Jesus has done for us, and that should shape how we live.  He also insists that this is the message that we should be teaching our children.  Regardless of whether you are a parent, most of us have children in our lives; Sunday school teachers, grandparents, godparents, VBS teachers, even babysitters.  Our goal should always be to look to Jesus and constantly strive to point children to Him.

Yes, the Bible and many of the characters within it offers good moral lessons that will likely help us all make sound choices and get on better with those in around us.  But that is not what it is about.  It is about the cross of Christ, the almighty God, His son Jesus, His love for us and the saving grace that we are afforded because of His death on the cross for us.  Christ died for us. This is what we need to be teaching to the children (and adults) in our lives.  The Cross is the central point of the Bible and should be the focal point of teaching, not moral lessons.  Teaching kids obedience without focusing on the heart is not only futile, it is dangerous.  Our goal should not be behavior modification. It should be building love for God.  Only a strong love for Jesus can overpower our love for sin. We already have tendency to try to earn God’s love and our inclination is to pass that on to our children.  But the truth is that we cannot earn it,
and we do not have to.  His grace has been purchased and His Love is free.

Fear not, Klumpenhower not only goes in depth into why it is important that the focus be on Jesus, he also offers plenty of information on how.  He teaches us how to learn to find and connect the cross to every part of Christian life, which will make us much inclined and comfortable talking about it, as a teacher or in everyday life. He introduces a variety of techniques and even breaks them into age ranges, from very young through teenagers. He makes no secret of the fact that it is a clumsy process, sure to involve mistakes and embarrassment.  He provides countless real world examples and openly discusses many of the failures he has experienced in his teaching efforts.

Klumepenhower will engage the heart and the head.  This is not just a good book for teaching children.  It is also a good book for teaching anyone, even and especially yourself.

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