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
Robert bruce • chapter director
Robert grew up in the Sunshine State of Florida for 23 years. Throughout high school he played baseball and later went on to play all four years of his college career at Stetson University. While at Setson he earned his BA in Sports Business and a minor in Marketing. Robert recently moved to the mid-west to attend the Kanakuk Institute and serve on Staff at Kanakuk K-Seven in the summers. He has made the move to the mid-west permanent by serving in Tri-Lakes KLIFE. Robert enjoys anything that involves his family and close friends, activities on the water, and hiking. He is most excited to see a community transformed by the Gospel through the impact of youth.
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.
Hunter Gaut • men's 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.
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 Robert Bruce: email@example.com
For information about Reeds Spring small groups, email Hunter Gaut: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about Branson small groups, email Libby Thompson: email@example.com
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.
At the beginning of the school year we take a weekend to retreat and head to Kanakuk Kamps. This year that weekend is September 23rd-25th. The retreat is for 7th-12th graders and costs $30.
The Fall Retreat will be held in Golden, Missouri, at one of Kanakuk's Kids Across America Kamps. It has cabins, an impressive dining hall,and a pool with a trapeze, a blob, diving boards, and more! The kids will have some free time during the day, as well as multiple sessions where there will be speakers, games, and even some prizes for kids! The goal of the weekend is for the kids to have the "camp experience": time in the outdoors, with friends, away from technology and their busy schedules, and just enjoying getting to know the Lord and having a blast with their friends while they do it. It is a very special retreat to us, and one you don't want to miss! Contact your local staff and sign up today!
To best keep in touch with parents and kids please fill out this short survey and we will add you to our mailing list.
Please feel free to contact us at any time with questions or concerns.
Robert Bruce - Chapter Director
Matt Rau - Men's Director - Branson
Libby Thompson - Women's Director - Branson
Hunter Gaut - Men's Director - Reeds Spring
Connor Smith - Women's Director - Reeds Spring