I have been brought up in a Pentecostal church and happened to be entitled ‘teacher Morris’ because I was teaching Sunday school in my local church. At that time I thought that children need to be taught Christian behavior, ‘churchy’ experiences and being able to master Bible stories so that they can live a good life which is what is happening in many churches. It is after I joined apprenticeship program at iServe Africa that I came across this book titled “Show them Jesus”.
Some things that inspired me to read the book is the statements that children quit church in college level because they learnt much about Christian behavior and churchy experiences which didn’t really change them. They never saw Jesus so strikingly that he becomes their one and greatest Love. They were never convinced that Jesus is better – a zillion times better than anything and everything else.
‘Show them Jesus’ is a book written by Jack Klumpenhower. Jack is a Bible teacher and a children’s ministry curriculum writer with more than thirty years of experience. He has created Bible lessons and taught children about Jesus in churches, camps, clubs, conferences, and Christian schools all over the world. This background has made Jack to speak into detail about teaching the gospel to kids.
Jack explains why kids really, really need us and the point is that we are called to teach the good news – all Jesus is and all he has done by his life, death and resurrection.
He says, ‘We need to learn to teach the good news to the kids and they need to understand that Jesus Christ did not bring religion but good news. That when we talk about news is not what you do – it’s what someone else has done that affects you. The good news mean that you relate to God based on what Jesus has done for you not what you have done to prove yourself worthy. Many times we have been giving children good advice instead of the good news. Eventually, kids will tire of our advice, no matter how good it might be and many will leave the church. Others will live decent church lives but without any fire for Christ which is equally as dangerous.’
Section one of his book that comprises of the first five chapters Jack answers the question “Why teach the good news?” He has given the following answers: Because Jesus is everything we need, the good news is like nothing else, the good news is for church kids too, the good news changes hard hearts, the good news is the Bible’s theme song.
Section two that comprises of the last six chapters he talks of ‘How to Teach the Good News’ in this session he has discussed the following: ‘How to teach the good news from the Old Testament, how to teach the good news from the new testament, taking the good news beyond lesson time, taking the good news into all of life, living the good news through prayer, and making the good news your great hope.
He concludes the book by giving twelve answers to the objection that teaching God’s free grace to children leads to lax obedience and states that those who love God’s grace also love to obey him.
‘Show them Jesus’ is a book that I would read every now and then as it has changed my perspective on teaching the gospel to kids; that it’s not about leaving the kids with lessons about behavior but instead showing them Jesus. I recommend it to all who are involved with children at church and at home and would like to learn on how best to teach them the gospel.
Bryan Chapell, one of those who recommends the book says “we want kids to know about Jesus, but we leave them with lessons about behavior and they leave the church as soon as possible. Here’s book that sweetly, masterfully, and powerfully tells us what the gospel really is and how it can really change a child’s life and eternity.”
This book review has been written by Morris Ndoro a January-December apprentice placed at ACK St Luke’s Diocese of Butere. Morris helps in the church as well as teaching God’s Word in schools nearby.