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HISTORY OF KIDS 4 TRUTH

Beginnings

Bob Roberts, founder and director of Kids 4 Truth International has been working in Children’s Ministry for over 10 years and has a strong burden that young people be grounded in essential Christian truths. In 1999, he attended an IMAX production called “T-Rex, Back to the Cretaceous.” He was appalled at how effectively the presentation used media to impose its treacherous evolutionary agenda upon an unsuspecting public. Bob drove away begging God to help him spread the Lord’s truth to children in a similarly dynamic fashion. God answered Bob’s prayer by giving him the idea for the first of about 15 dynamations since produced by Kids 4 Truth International titled “Creation.” (The word dynamation is the combination of the two words “dynamic” and “animation.”) Bob consulted his friend Rob Gillen, a programming and web services guru, about how to go about launching an interactive multimedia presentation. They decided to host the “Creation” dynamation on a website so that anyone with an internet connection could view it. Meanwhile, another friend, Marie Tabler, used her graphic design skills to fashion the “Creation” dynamation, and she also began working with Bob on other elements an even larger website for boys and girls. While working on the website components, Bob also began writing curriculum to correlate with, but not be dependent upon, the website.

Curriculum and Clubs

While the website is an incredible tool to help spread the Gospel, the real cornerstone of Kids 4 Truth is catechetical curriculum. Bob Roberts saw the need for this catechetical approach to teaching doctrine to children while he was serving as the Children's Pastor of his local church. He found that there was a severe lack of God centered truth being taught in most children's ministry curricula, and he began to search the Scriptures to find God's thoughts on teaching the next generation about Himself. He also researched what great saints of old did to teach their children the essentials of the Christian faith.

The Lord graciously allowed Bob to devise a curriculum that answers 120 vital questions in a study of 12 doctrinal themes of authentic Christian faith. These key doctrines are taught through a lesson time and reinforced through memory work of the key questions and answers accompanied by Bible verses from which the answers are derived. Each theme is repeated and expounded upon progressively every two years so that a child who goes through the curriculum in its entirety should be able to answer with certainty and proof texts 120 of the most important and questions about God and His Word.

The Kids 4 Truth club program implements the curriculum, a guided teaching time, and memory work. It encourages and provides materials for the supplemental use of awards, songs, and review activities. All of these efforts are designed to inspire and equip the next generation of believers. Kids 4 Truth wants to help churches and parents help their children to learn and love God’s Word.

The Kids 4 Truth curriculum and club format was first implemented in 1999 in the church where Bob Roberts was the children’s pastor at the time. In the fall of 2004, six churches became official charter users of the program. In 2005, after the program was revised and edited, Kids 4 Truth launched into 50 churches. In the fall of 2006, the number of churches using Kids 4 Truth doubled. Today, there are over 300 churches using the program, and the number of interested churches increases on a weekly basis.

Staff

Since the inception of Kids 4 Truth, the Lord has been providentially forming a team of talented and dedicated people who have devoted their lives to this ministry. Not only did God provide the director, Bob Roberts, with the vision and big-picture goals for Kids 4 Truth, but he provided him with co-laborers whose gifts and work could help the dream become a reality.

Bob enlisted Marrena Ralph in the summer of 1999 to help make award standards for the original Kids 4 Truth program in their local church. Marrena became Bob’s full-time secretary on a part time paid basis in the fall of 2001. She continued to work “part time” until 2004 when Kids 4 Truth was able to pay her a much-deserved full-time salary. Now, as Clubs Program Administrator, Marrena manages the “details” of the ministry, particularly coordinating communication with churches and clubs workers. She and her husband Rusty continue to put in countless hours off the clock on Kids 4 Truth projects, as well.

Rob Gillen has been a source of guidance and technical support since the beginning of Kids 4 Truth. He is primarily responsible for the management of the website, and he works many hours on a volunteer basis. While his official title is "Technical Lead," he also acts as project manager and serves as a member of the board and financial committee.

Julie Gillen shares her husband's commitment to Kids 4 Truth and has been instrumental in its development since fall of 2001. She came on part-time for Kids 4 Truth in 2004, and over time her responsibilities have comprised finance management, communication, shipping, and web content management. In her role now as Financial Coordinator – although she is paid as a part-time employee – Julie puts in full-time hours to keep Kids 4 Truth running efficiently and on budget.

Marie Tabler is Kids 4 Truth's graphic designer. She works as a contractor and oversees all artwork, both print media and web media. As a new believer at the time of Kids 4 Truth's beginning, it was Marie's hope to use her skills for ministry rather than commercial use. Her first undertaking was "Creation," the very first dynamation in 2000. After that, she designed Kids 4 Truth's first website, which won The People's Voice Award at the 2001 Webby Awards. She continues to use her amazing gift for detail to produce beautiful dynamations and artwork for the ministry.

The whole team rejoiced when Todd Tabler, Marie's husband, was saved in 2001. Todd immediately desired to use his talents for the Lord. He has put in many volunteer hours doing videography and helping with the preparation of various multimedia projects to enhance the outreach and training resources Kids 4 Truth wishes to provide. He also has served since 2004 as the secretary for the board of directors.

Joy McCarnan became acquainted with the team in early 2005. Her training in English, writing, and theology uniquely equipped her to join the work going on at Kids 4 Truth. As Executive Editor, Joy has helped to revise and refine the curriculum, write devotionals, and contribute editorial input on general projects. She was able to come on as full-time staff in October 2007 and is responsible to edit content for all web-based and print projects.

Sarah Roberts became an official part of Kids 4 Truth in spring of 2007 when she married Bob. She now works full-time for Kids 4 Truth as an unpaid volunteer. Her primarily role is as a customer service representative, and she assists Marrena with clubs resource development. Sarah has also enjoyed using her artistic skills to assist Marie with graphic design projects, and she is most recently been assigned to assist in web development.

Laura Graham began working part-time for Kids 4 Truth in June 2007. Her responsibilities as an Education Consultant include curriculum and resource evaluation and development. She also serves as a customer service representative helping to answer phone calls and the website chat line.

Website & Other Media

The Kids 4 Truth website went live in May 2000. The number of visitors to the website has been absolutely astounding since the launch, and the team began to recognize the website’s great potential for spreading God’s truth. The “Creation” dynamation has now been translated into a dozen languages and has been seen by literally millions of people worldwide. Other dynamations that have been produced since that time include “The Watchmaker,” the “Chosen” series, “One,” “Arrival,” and “Creation’s Voice.” The website receives approximately 1.5 million hits each month, and we have personally answered over one thousand e-mails asking questions about God, the Bible, eternity, and other crucial issues.

Immediately after the tragedies of 9/11, Bob Roberts and the K4T ministry team were burdened to reach out to those hurting and questioning with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Within a few short days, a cooperative effort from many volunteers produced a full color Gospel tract with the theme of hope during calamity. Funds were donated for printing costs, and over 3 million tracts were produced and distributed across the nation. Thousands of these same tracts were also produced in Spanish, French, and Russian and distributed worldwide.

Since 2001, several other Gospel tracts, bookmarks, and resources have been produced and are sold through the Kids 4 Truth online store. So far, about 15 dynamations have been finished and circulated. In 2006, Kids 4 Truth completed a 66-page songbook including 12 beautifully-composed and written original songs and 24 loved hymns (1 song and 2 hymns per doctrinal theme) as a companion tool for the curriculum. Whenever funding allows, many of these resources, particularly the evangelism literature, are discounted or given away.

Kids 4 Truth has also seen a rise in the popularity of an online devotional webpage that features daily devotionals (contributed by blunter authors) based directly out of Scripture passages and guided by the theme “It’s All About God!” Kids or adults can visit the site and read (and listen to) a devotional every day. The devos site is one of several dynamic aspects of the Kids 4 Truth site that we hope will encourage kids to engage daily in theocentric Bible study and real-life application of the essential truths of the Christian faith.

 


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