what is klife

KLIFE is a community-wide, interdenominational Christian ministry of discipleship and fellowship for youth and their families. Through a variety of activities (klubs, small group Bible studies, mission trips, ski trips, and monthly events), KLIFE kids grow in their faith and have lots of fun in the process. They learn that following Christ and discovering His plan for their life is the most exciting adventure of all and that they can count on friendship and support from leaders and peers who care.

KLIFE works alongside churches and families in the community to teach and encourage kids to be strong in the Lord in spite of all the negative pressures they face as teenagers. KLIFE networks kids from different churches, and those without a church affiliation, to build positive, Godly relationships that can withstand the negative peer pressure so prevalent in today’s youth culture.

The heartbeat of KLIFE lies in the ability to build relationships with kids and bring the content of God’s word to bear on those relationships. Our desire is that kids would choose to participate in one of our small groups led by our staff and volunteer leaders. The purpose of these groups is for kids to gain a greater knowledge of God’s word, build Godly relationships with peers, and have access to a mentoring leader to come alongside them as they navigate those difficult adolescent years. Supporting and surrounding our small group strategy are the more visible components of our ministry: weekly klub meetings, activities, events, and retreats. Weekly meetings consist of songs, games, skits, and talks that contain a lesson with a relevant life application from the Bible.


Meet the staff

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Hunter Gaut • Chapter director

Hunter grew up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where he played baseball and football throughout high school. He had the opportunity to continue his baseball career at Central Christian College in Kansas before he transferred to Oklahoma State where he earned a degree in General Business with a minor in Finance. He spent his summers in college coaching baseball in Bartlesville and working as a camp counselor at Camp War Eagle in Rogers, Arkansas. Hunter enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hunting, hiking, being on the lake, and almost anything outdoors. He is excited to be a part of what God is doing through Tri-Lakes KLIFE.

Connor smith • women's director

Connor grew up in the great state of Texas. In 2014 she graduated from Texas State University with a degree in Public Relations and Spanish. She spent her summers serving as a camp counselor at TbarM Camps and going on mission trips to Piedras Negras, Mexico. Working for Kanakuk Link Year brought her to Missouri and now KLIFE is keeping her here. Connor enjoys sunshine, bright colors, pretty flowers, good books, and long runs. She is excited to be a small part of a really big story told through Tri-Lakes KLIFE. 

Matt Rau • men's director

Matt is from Elk Grove, California where he lived all his life until attending college at Azusa Pacific University in southern California.  He played baseball, football, wrestled, and ran track throughout high school and continued to run track for the Azusa Pacific Cougars as a decathlete.  Throughout the summers during college Matt was hired by Kanakuk Kamps to work at K-1.  Then he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Applied Exercise Science (Class of 2012) and later attended the Kanakuk Institute (Class of 2015).  He enjoys the outdoors, physical activity, having spontaneous adventures, and meeting new people.  And while his family may be a good distance away, he is so thankful for their support and is so thankful to be a part of this Tri-Lakes KLIFE team.  Matt cannot wait for this team to be continuously humbled and used by the Lord to impact this community each year.


Libby thompson • women's director

Libby was born and raised in the town famous for frozen custard and the world’s best baseball, St. Louis. In 2011 she graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in Ministry and served as a volunteer KLIFE leader for 3 1/2 years before leaving the frozen tundra of Wheaton to serve as a missionary in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. Six of her summers have been spent at Kanakuk & Kids Across America where her love for Jesus, kids, and the outdoors come together so well. After working for Kanakuk Kamps in Branson from 2012 to 2013, she was thrilled to stick around and join the KLIFE staff full time. She is now entering into her third year with KLIFE. Coaching softball, running by the lake, and sipping fresh cups of coffee have made Branson feel like home.


small groups

The heart of our ministry is small groups. Our small groups are made up of boys or girls in the same grade. They are led by young professionals and college students who have a heart for ministry and working with kids. Last year our leaders spent over 14,000 hours with their small group kids.

Each small group has one or two KLIFE volunteers (college age or older) or a KLIFE staff member leading it. The volunteer has been through an interview process with a staff member, has been background checked, and has signed a commitment to follow Christ in their own life. The groups are assembled according first to gender, then by groups of friends possibly covering a couple of grades, but are purposeful in bringing groups of kids together to build accountability relationships.

A small group meets once a week and studies the Bible or a biblically-based book keeping in line with the KLIFE curriculum. The time they meet is determined by the leader of the group based on when everyone is able to get together.


Join or Start a Small Group

For information about Hollister small groups, email Hunter Gaut:

For information about Reeds Spring small groups, email Hunter Gaut:

For information about Branson small groups, email Libby Thompson:


LIVE Curriculum

LIVE is a digital curriculum that gets kids into the Bible and the Bible into kids. LIVE crafted lessons are easily understood, with principles that our leaders can grasp and pass along to students. Plus, the lessons emphasize discussion, dialogue, and meaningful connections among the group.  This allows leaders and students to just enjoy spending time with one another and each will thrive with this curriculum.

Each KLIFE Small Group may use the interactive LIVE Curriculum to help each group be effective and focused. Your KLIFE Staff Director will set you and your group up into the system.

What's next packet

Made a decision to follow Jesus but wondering what is next? We have just what you need. Click the link below as we walk with you through this amazing decision and where to go from here.

upcoming events


Zombie Night

Ski trip

This is a Tri-Lakes wide event that is happening on October 31st and is going to be the place to be on Halloween night. This is happening at the Branson/Hollister KLIFE building (see "more about us" tab for address). 

Wow, we are so excited about this! This is Tri-Lakes wide and will be happening over MLK weekend which is January 13-16, 2017. We will be packing up the vans and going to Winter Park, CO. Check the link for more info. 

Stay connected

To best keep in touch with parents and kids please fill out this short survey and we will add you to our mailing list. 

Dad's Cell
Dad's Cell
Mom's Cell
Mom's Cell


Please feel free to contact us at any time with questions or concerns.


Hunter Gaut - Chapter Director

Matt Rau - Men's Director - Branson

Libby Thompson - Women's Director - Branson

Connor Smith - Women's Director - Reeds Spring