Tag Archives: Child Discipleship

KidTrek – After School Ministry: Are You Providing Relational Ministry?


Imagine that someone came running in yelling,

“Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming!  He’s going to be over at the park

on ______________________.”

Some of you would rush out because you would really want to see Jesus.  Wow!  What an exciting afternoon.

Others of you know this is going to be a juicy afternoon.  The Pharisees are going to be there!  Will they be able to trap Jesus this time?

Can you picture Jesus sitting there on a rock?  The crowd is seated down all around him and there is a sense of excitement.

How will Jesus answer the difficult questions that the Pharisees are putting to him?

 The air is filled with tension!

Jesus is calm.  He knows that He has the answers and He gives them slowly and deliberately.  You marvel at how He never falters.  The Pharisees are never able to stump Him.

A baby in his mother’s arms begins to whimper.  He has been sick for more than a week.  She has taken him to all the doctors.  She has done everything that everyone has suggested, but still the baby has become more ill.  She looks down at the pain-filled face of her precious infant thinking,

 “Oh, if only I could have Jesus lay His hands on my baby.”

The mother looks at the crowd that is between her and Jesus.  A shiver runs down her spine; she knows what she has to do, but she is afraid.  What will people think?  What will the Pharisees say when she interrupts?

The baby whimpers again.  The mother knows she must get her baby to Jesus.

She stands and begins to move, cautiously at first.

Then a father on the other side of the crowd sees her and, looking at his sixth grade son thinks, “Oh, if I can just get my son to Jesus, perhaps He’ll pray for him; then I know he

               will be less rebellious.

Suddenly others see and join them, pushing forward with their children, wanting so badly to bring their children to Jesus.

 BUT – there is a barrier!  How do they get past those 12 men?

“Don’t bother Jesus with the children.  Can’t you see He is in an important debate right now?  Take the children away,” one of the men shouts.

“Move back!  Move back!  You are disrupting things!  People can’t hear with your crying baby. Take it to the back where it won’t be disruptive!”

Can you hear the rebukes of the disciples as they push the people back?

But listen to Jesus’ words:

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Look what happens next!  It says so much about the importance of our ministry to the children.

Jesus took the children in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.

Jesus didn’t minister from a distance.  He did not hold his hand out and bless the mass of children from afar.

No, He took the children in His arms.  He touched them!  He held them!

Can you see the mother as she lays her precious infant in Jesus’ arms?  Jesus looks gently down at him and smiles.  He softly touches the baby’s forehead.  What sweet words of blessing is Jesus praying over the child?

Watch for a few moments as Jesus takes one child after another and blesses them.

As you begin a new school year how are you going  to bless the children? What does relational ministry mean to you?

Contact me at wanda@kidtrek if you need some help to think this through. How much of a difference do you want to make in the lives of the children you serve in the coming year?


Church Based After School: “Life’s A Pain”

As we walk through life with children and guide them to walk with the Triune God it is important that we teach them the full truth. . .

Life often is a pain!

What are you teaching the children you serve, or your own children, about pain that never goes away no matter how much they beg God to take it from them? This is especially important as you serve at-risk children – their lives are filled with so much pain. Just because they grow to love Jesus and walk with them much of that pain will remain.

Please don’t lie to them and tell them that if they submit to Jesus that everything will be okay. IT WON”T BE

When we try to sugar coat life we cause more pain. If you have been a follower of my Blog you have perhaps read My Heart’s Cry – the story which taught me the importance of not over protecting our children.

My pastor, Todd Rettberg, is a pastor who truly pastors – he knows what you need when you are in the midst of pain because he lives with constant, continual pain that never leaves. I know from personal experience that he walks his talk. God has my husband and me on a very difficult journey filled with physical and emotional pain – Todd is walking with us through it.

I highly recommend his new book to anyone who serves children. It is important that we teach children that God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want. You can find some answers to share not only with children – but adults who question if God cares when they are in the midst of pain and there is no relief.



Life’s a Pain!

But God has treasures to impart through it.

As a pastor who suffers from chronic pain himself, Todd Rettberg knows what it can do to people and families. With straight talk, humor and compassion, he shows Christians how to find God In the midst of suffering.

Available at:

Crosslink Publishing

The e-book is also available at Amazon.


What type of children’s ministry does your church have? Are the children in your church being discipled?


Kids love it! Today they love it and  have fun. However,  there is no lasting change, the church isn’t essential to them, it is fun while it lasts. Sadly it is too much like going to Chucky Cheese  and the day will come when they grow out of it. Children are entertained they aren’t discipled.

PS316 – Pubic School John 3:16 Model

The Bible is taught and head knowledge is gained, however there is little internalizing of the truth that produces lasting transformation. There is no or little intentional building of relationships which makes the church essential for the remainder of their life. Children are taught the facts of the Bible, they aren’t discipled.


Ministry is carried out as a routine. Curriculum is purchased, adults are recruited to provide minimum ministry, little or no training of adults, small expectations. No intentional or individualistic ministry to children. It is your standard Sunday morning experience for children. Children are not discipled.

D6 – Intentional, Individualistic Child discipleship Model

Based on the commands of Deuteronomy 6  the entire church is engaged and equipped to walk through life with kids. Biblical truth is taught in a way kids can grasp and internalize. Mom and Dad are discipled to disciple their kids. Children are taught to apply Biblical truth the whole person – mental, physical, social, spiritual and emotional. Parents are discipled from a child’s perspective/needs. Children grow up believing the church is essential to their lives. Most importantly children grow into adulthood walking with Jesus.

KidTrek is excited about the new Sunday Plus Children’s Ministry Curriculum. Check it out here

You will find the Strategy, Curriculum Guide and the first five weeks of curriculum. Each week includes Kids’ Bible Focus, Kids Corporate Worship, Kids’ Midweek Celebration, The Shema Focus (class for mom and dad where they study the same scripture their kids are studying), Family Discipleship (tools for mom and dad to use at home.

On-line training is available. Training information here

Child Discipleship Curriculum

Children’s Ministry Curriculum Plan

(I am now writing in reference to Children’s Ministry and Child Discipleship at www.kidtrek-sundayplus.org
I will continue writing in regard to Christian After School Programs at this site.)

Sunday Plus Child Discipleship Curriculum click here


Walk through the Old Testament
Thanksgiving – one lesson
Christmas – four lessons

  • THREE QUARTERS (09.30.2010 completion)
    • Each week includes:
      • Bible Focus
      • Corporate Worship
      • Midweek Celebration
      • Shema Focus (parents class)
      • Family Discipleship (family time and parenting tips)
  • Each week includes these Aims:  Objective and  Subjective. Sample as follows:

Objective Aim:             Though following Jesus can be lonely, He will help us.

Subjective Aim:           Jesus will help me trust Him even when my friends make                                                       fun of me for obeying Him.

  • Each week’s Aim flows through every element of the curriculum.
    • Parents study what their kids learn; provided with study guides for continuing discipleship at home.
  • Suggestions to engage the entire congregation in child discipleship.
    • E.G. The church is encouraged to join the children in memorizing scripture.
  • Curriculum is whole-istic, modeled as Jesus discipled, spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally and socially. E.G….
    • Using faux-currency, a banking system is implemented; kids learn to Biblically manage money.
    • Activities enhance kids’ critical thinking skills.
    • Kids remain in the same Trek Team for a year; recreation teams change monthly (kids learn to interact with different personalities, and ages).
  • Summer Super Sunday strategy – engaging the greater congregation with the children.
    • Training materials the church uses to educate and orient ministry staff.

For a sample and overview of the curriculum click here.

Christian After School Programs

By Wanda Parker

KidTrek is now providing on-line training, click here for more information.

It is so easy to give material goods when what is really needed is human love – but that is more difficult and more expensive to give.


It is much easier to get money to buy balls, computers, tutoring materials, games, toys than it is to raise money to pay salaries for loving adults to pour into the lives of kids.

Children need long-term relationships with adults who are productive, empathetic and wise. These are the characteristics we want to see replicated in children that they too become self-sufficient adults.

Below is a chart showing some of the real needs kids have if they are going to become the self-sufficient adults we all hope they will be.

  • They need to learn how to handle:
· They will need to have:
o Winning o A work ethic
o Losing o Critical thinking skills
o Pain – both physical and emotional o Knowledge of biblical truth
o Anger o Integrity
o Empathy o Honesty
o Grief o Discernment of justice
o Responsibility o Restraint.
o Disappointment o Trust
o Decision making o Self-Initiative
o Peer pressure o Industriousness
o Joy o Know Who They Are
o Sadness o Love
o Love o Forgiveness
o Forgiveness o Generosity
o Shame o
o Generosity o

Material goods won’t produce self-sufficient adults. It takes self-sufficient, loving, godly adults able to walk through life with them who can model living, who will challenge them, who know where to go to get the unique help each kid needs. It takes money to pay salaries so these adults can pour into the lives of at-risk kids who don’t have primary nurturers who can provide this kind of nurturing.

For more on this topic click here

To preview a week of KidTrek Curriculum click here You will find a PDF of a week of our Confidence curriculum. To see the Curriculum Guide, an explanation of the curriculum click here. Have fun.

Child Discipleship – Sunday Plus Curriculum

(I am now writing in regard to Children’s Ministry at www.kidtrek-sundayplus.org   I will continue writing here in regard to Christian After School Programs.)

With more and more research showing that The Church, regardless of denominantion, is losing 70% of church raised children.

There are answers – there is a way to stop this! It is called CHILD DISCIPLESHIP.

According to Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 the discipleship of the children is not just the responsibility of parents – it is the responsibility of the entire church.

I have had success with awakening a church to Child Discipleship. As I’ve read more and more I’ve felt led to create a Children’s Ministry Curriculum that is whole-istic – training, equipping the church in the discipleship of children.

To see the first Unit of curriculum (five weeks), the Curriculum Strategy and Curriculum Guide for Sunday Plus Curriculum click here.

I am presently looking for five churches who would be interested in piloting this curriculum beginning in the fall.

If you would like more information contact me at wanda@kidtrek.org.