Throughout this month, I’ve been interviewing Jack Klumpenhower about teaching children and his recent book, Show Them Jesus. Be sure to read part 1 and part 2 of the interview and check out Jack’s blog, jackklumpenhower.com. Today, Jack answers my question about how he came to have a more grace-centered perspective on teaching the Bible.
Jared: How did you come to make your own teaching more Christ- and gospel-centered?
Jack: I learned it from others.
Like many teachers, I grew up knowing only one approach: I looked at how we should or shouldn’t be like the various characters in a Bible story. It’s fine to do some of that, but eventually I met a few teachers who were particularly good at noticing the main character. They first of all taught what Jesus did and how God helped his people. Since I heard preaching that did the same, it was easy for me to see how that was better.
I’d also been in a church that was on the leading edge of what we now call the “grace movement” already in the 1980s. So I understood discipleship that’s grounded in believing all that we are in Christ—justified, holy, adopted children of God. That fit nicely with the focus on Jesus. So in short, I had good teachers. I think most big strides in learning how to teach come from observing other teachers and picking up ideas.
Readers, who have been some of the most influential people in your growth as a Bible teacher?