Reaching the next generation has always been the heartbeat of our church (Grace Fellowship Church, Snellville). For 25+ years, we did a Wednesday night program that was high on scripture memory and high on awards. Our church was blessed and our kids learned a lot. But we knew deep inside that there was more. More to the Christian life than memorizing for an award. More than kids lining up to say verses that they had crammed in their heads on the way to church. We wanted more. More of a kingdom emphasis. More understanding. More heart change. More lives eternally changed.
So we gathered a team to pray. And we asked God for more. He answered and gave us more than we had imagined!
Then we worked. We met in a small classroom with a clean white board and asked God to show us what a perfect mid-week program could look like. The board was filled with words like relevant Bible teaching to address issues that real kids face, deeper understanding of what the Bible means, life application, heart change, one verse per week WITH understanding, verses set to music, mission things that KIDS could do, journals that parents could do with their kids...
And in that small classroom, we knew that saying YES to all this meant saying NO to what we had been doing - for 25+ years. And it would be a lot of work. But there's something else we also knew - God was in it and He would be with us - and so would our church leadership.
Our lead pastor had challenged us to create something more after seeing the ways we had "doctored up" the former program. I remember him holding up one of our leader guides and saying - you've re-written this to such an extent it's not even the same program. How about writing your own from scratch?
So we did :)
One task we took ultra-seriously was designing journals for the kids to use at home. In it, they would read their passage ahead of time, contemplate deep questions, and memorize certain verses. Having been on the mom side of a Wednesday night program (and knowing how easy it was to forget all about journals until we were loading up to get to church the next Wednesday) I was determined to make the journals irresistible for the kids. But how? I was earnestly praying about this one day when I went to check the mail. A printing company had sent an unusual postcard. It had clear letters printed on it, but the instructions said to take it into the sunlight to see a special message. And it worked. The ink was sensitive to the light so certain letters turned green. That was my answer! A book that comes alive in the hands of the kids. From there, the ideas began to flow: heat-sensitive ink, 3D images, even pages kids taste! I wanted the kids to be drawn to their journals so they would get into the beautiful habit of spending time in God’s word.
And once the ball started rolling, we really couldn’t have imagined what came next. We were all so excited with what God was doing, we just couldn’t imagine waiting an entire year to implement it. We worked really hard and completed it by the upcoming fall. We had early birds as well as late-night folks working practically around the clock for the next 4 months. We joked that “the sun never set on the KidzLife project.” But it certainly was a labor of love, and as soon as year one was complete, we dug in to year two.
Truly, we were amazed by the fruit that came from the first year teaching KidzLife at our church–salvation decisions, kids bringing friends, families changed. The Wednesday night program we had used previously was okay, but until we changed it, we didn’t even know how much better it could be. It’s sort of like getting used to poor vision: you get by, but when you finally get glasses, you wonder why it took so long to make the improvement!
- Denise Cox, Jodi Hooper & The KidzLife Team
Core Values Embedded In KidzLife
- Every kid can hear from God.
- Our Bible teaching will be accurate, kid-friendly, captivating, and applicable.
- Every generation has the responsibility to make disciples of the next generation.
- Kids can share God’s love with others.
- God deserves our worship and praise-it is our response to God’s goodness and invites His power into our lives.
- Kidzlife will be a safe place for kids.
The Vision of KidzLife
To help kids and leaders learn what the Kingdom of God is all about by knowing Jesus and His Word.
- That the world would be transformed when generations of kids and leaders live out the Kingdom of God in their homes, schools, jobs and neighborhoods to the praise of His glory.
- That kids would become leaders who know the Word and make disciples of Jesus.
- That communities around the globe would have access to Kidzlife resources to make disciples in their own settings.
- To lead kids to trust Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
- To help kids really know their Bibles, hide His Word deep in their hearts, hear God’s voice and pray.
- To equip our leaders to intentionally disciple kids.
- To create small groups where kids can grow in relationships with one another and apply truth to their daily lives.
- To worship God together.
- To foster awareness and participation in God’s work all over the world.
- To produce effective resources, training, and support for other communities to be able to run KidzLife.
We believe that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings–the only complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith and life. (Matthew 5:18; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21)
We believe that God exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; John 1:1-2, 14, 10:30, 14:15-17; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14). We believe that God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe; that creation was a direct act of God, who spoke the cosmos into being from nothing. (John 1:3, 10; Acts 17:24-25; Genesis 1:1)
Jesus, God the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been born of a virgin. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate. (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Hebrews 1:1-2, 7:25; Luke 1:30-35; Ephesians 4:8; John 1:1-5, 10-14, 14:3; Colossians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 1:3,11; Revelation 20:4)
God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men, regenerate the sinner, in-dwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service. (John 3:5, 16:7-11; Acts 5:3- 4; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30, 5:18; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 12:13)
We believe that man was created in the image of God but chose to sin, and is therefore lost. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 1:18, 3:23, 5:12; (Ephesians 2:1- 3, 12) Only through belief in Jesus can a person be saved. (John 3:16, 6:29) Regeneration by the Holy Spirit brings fruitful spiritual life. (Galatians 5:22-23)
We believe that salvation is a gift of God and that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only those who receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become children of God. (John 5:22; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 4:5, 6:23, 8:1, 38-39; John 10:27- 29; Ephesians 2:8-9)
We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons, who through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ, of which He is Head. That only those who are thus members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership in the local church. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs. (Acts 2:42, 47; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:23-24; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2)
We believe that water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during this present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of salvation. (Matthew 28:19- 20; Acts 2:38, 41, 8:12, 35-38; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
The Kingdom Life
We believe that a believer should walk in holiness and not after the flesh, with the goal of being conformed to the image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As a new creation, walking in the Spirit, the believer learns to grow in faith, in obedience to Scripture, in prayer, in fellowship with the saints and in a life of service. We believe that the believer will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to have his life evaluated and rewarded according to his deeds. (Galatians 5:16-26; Hebrews 10:25; Ephesians 4:20-24; Hebrews 11:6, 12:1-2; John 17:17; Ephesians 6:18; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
The Second Coming
We believe in the imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this “Blessed Hope” has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead–that is, the resurrection of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord–and the resurrection of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Titus 2:11-13; John 14:1-6; Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:11- 15; 2 Peter 3:10)