Book Review of Show Them Jesus

If you have been reading the blog lately, you have seen several posts including great quotes from Jack Klumpenhower's book, Show Them Jesus. If you are new to the blog, go back and check out posts over the last few weeks.

I decided I would write a review of the book.  Let me start with this: go and buy the book!  Whether you are a parent or grandparent, Sunday School teacher, youth leader or pastor, this will change the way you minister to children and teens.

Klumpenhower was unknown to me prior to this book.  Since starting the book, I have become acquainted with his curriculum for pre-teens and teens as well as his website which includes great tools and resources that he talks about in the book.

The book is broken into two parts: why teach the good news and how to teach the good news.  Both parts are extremely rich in theology as well as practical ways to share the good news with kids/teens. In the first part, he shares his journey as a teacher from teaching morals and stories to focusing on Jesus and good news for unbeliever and believer.  As I read this book, I kept saying "Amen and Amen."  Klumpenhower shares many objections to children's curriculum that I also have. He responds to them with clarity and helpful tips for how to change. One of the great benefits of this book is how he uses Scripture and doctrine as well as things he has learned and practical ways to use in classes or the home.

Another great part of this book is his use of object lessons or illustrations. He has several within the book including the God Report Card, Flashlight visual from Serge, King of the Hill, Longest List, and Shark visual regarding sin. All of these would be great object lessons on the gospel for teachers. Most of these are also available on his website linked above. I plan to use several of them during family nights in the future.

I would even encourage pastors, leaders and adults not in children's or youth ministry to read the book. It has several helpful points that apply to all ages.  These would include teaching or preaching focusing on Jesus from the Old and New Testaments, the importance of sharing the good news regularly to all people, how rewards, fun, or worship can get in the way of Jesus, four principles for fighting the sin that I plan to share with our staff, and an appendix full of reasons why preaching/teaching grace does not lead to laziness, sinning, or lack of obedience.

There are few weaknesses within this book.  Klumpenhower acknowledges one of these and that is the chapter on prayer.  He admits his weakness in this area and that chapter seemed to lack substance. I found some of the content at the end of the chapters for teachers, parents or anyone to not exactly fit the topic of the chapter.

I would rate this as the best book on ministry to children I have read.  It is well written and includes tons of personal examples as well as helpful content.  If you are looking for a book to give ideas on sharing the gospel (not just at end of a lesson or several times a year) this is it! Go out and buy Show Them Jesus today.


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