Incredibly good! I can't imagine a better resource for training teachers and parents how to magnify Christ to children.
Part 1 explains why
we need to do all of our teaching within the context of the gospel; Part 2 explains how
to do it. Klumpenhower's major claim is that "we are called to teach the good news--all Jesus is and all he's done by his life, death, and resurrection to save those who are joined to him--and to treasure it as we work with kids" (3). This is our calling no matter the kids in our class: "Church kids come in one of two types--unsaved and saved. Both types
desperately need to see Jesus" (43, italics original). He wants to counteract the rampant moralism in most Sunday School classes by emphasizing that the root of sanctification does not differ from the root of justification: "We grow in the same way we become Christians--rooted in Jesus, with our hope in the good news" (49).
Our Bible teaching is distorted when we fail to connect it to the person and work of Jesus. "If we cut individual stories off from the Bible's central story arc about Jesus, we miss the main thing the Bible wants to say--and fashion Bible stories that aren't biblical" (86). Klumpenhower also notes helpfully that many of the tools we use to draw kids to church or to Jesus (e.g., games, superheroes, a cool experience) can work against the gospel. "If I can't get little ones excited about Sunday school without pretending we're jungle explorers or astronauts, or if I need carnival games to keep the youth group together, I've already lost. The subtle message of those gimmicks is that jungles and space stations and carnivals are more exciting than Jesus" (155).
Klumpenhower is an astute practical theologian who focuses relentlessly on the truth that "the work of God [is] that you believe in him whom he has sent" (Jn. 6:29), and who rightly understands all Scripture as pointing to, preparing for, and/or proceeding from Christ. He provides a helpful checklist for teachers that calls for all classrooms and ministries to be Sin-Aware, Grace-Aware, Heart-Focused, and to manifest Delight in Jesus. The chapter on teaching Christ from the Old Testament will prove tremendously helpful to all readers, and the call to teachers to delight themselves in the Lord and to depend on him ceaselessly will convict us of our self-reliance and establish us on solid ground.
In short, please check this one out! I plan to make it required reading for all the teachers in our children's programs. Reply