Competing Well

It's the start of a new season! Time of try-outs, practice, matches, meets and games. September is an exciting time, full of opportunities for your child to excel both in school and in sports. The training is tough, but the victory is worth the dedication it takes to get there!

As we all know-- winning isn't everything. The main goal in athletics isn't always to beat the opponent, but rather to play with integrity and to be the best you can be.

But winning is something , isn't it? As a parent, we often see the drive in our children to win. After all, many believe, "What's the point of training if you aren't trying to win?"

The possibility of winning is what makes competition so exciting. Discipline and teamwork are essential to life, so the opportunities your child gains through athletics is essential to building an athlete's character on and off the field. Most of all, when your child uses the talents God has given them, they glorify Him and grow into the young men and women He's calling them to be!

So, where's the balance? How do you help your children find a balance between becoming winng-obsessed and working hard towards their goals? When does healthy competition turn into unhealthy conflict-- with friends, within your family and within themselves?

In Matthew 5:9, Jesus says, ""Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.""

While winning is good, it isn't what God is most concerned about. Yes, He wants us to maximize the gifts He's give us, but He cares so much more about the state of our hearts. In sports, it's easy for athletes to lose perspective when they lose a game or when they become overly confident with consistent wins.  How do we make sure their focus stays on Christ-- win or lose?

Here are a few prompts for dialogue as you work alongside your child to help her or him be the best athlete they can be:

  • Are you treating your opponents with respect?
  • Are you being a humble servant to your coaches and teammates?
  • Are you showing grace when it seems like your team is letting you down?
  • Are you actively making peace with those around you?
  • Are you keeping Christ at the center of every practice and game?

In sports, as in all aspects of life, we should be striving to live out "I'm Third." If your child is struggling with prioritizing winning over honoring God through diligence and humility, it may be a good idea to have a conversation about unhealthy conflict versus healthy competition.

How do we raising peacemaking, competitive athletes? We have to help train their minds with as much discipline as they train their bodies. By spending time in God's Word each day, our children can stay focused on the important parts of competition.

Romans 12:2 reminds us to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind." When we fill ourselves daily with Truth and seek His help, we can make sure that we're living out "I'm Third," even in the midst of intense competition. Talk about a win-win!

How are you helping your child be a "peacemaker" who competes with excellence? We'd love to hear from you! Share with us on Twitter and Facebook !

Kanakuk Spiritual Training Series: Fun and Age Intentional

Every Kamper this summer received one of our new spiritual training books. We created these with your kids in mind to teach them Biblical truth written for their specific age and are designed to have a piece of Kamp with them year round.

There are three different series based on age:

Dream: Our youngest Kampers will learn about the ABCs of God, characters of the Old and New Testament, promises of the Bible, and their identity in Christ.

Discover: Middle school Kampers will learn about the story of the Gospel throughout the Bible, purity, and how you see Jesus in the whole Bible.

Deliver: High school Kampers will learn about belief statements, having a servant’s heart, discipleship, and apologetics.

“What sets Kanakuk a part from other camps is our desire to invest in kids year round. We believe in the power of God’s Word and know that spending daily time in it is important to the Christian faith. Helping Kampers form disciplines out of their love for Jesus is an invaluable investment, and we believe that these devotional books help Kampers do just that.” Shay Robbins, K2 director

Throughout your Kamper’s devotional book you will come across checkpoints. Checkpoints are a way for your Kamper to stay connected with Kanakuk directors throughout the year by letting us know your Kamper’s progress.

“Response to the new devotional book program has been overwhelming. Kampers left with a great sense of excitement towards going on a journey through God’s Word that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. I’ve already received checkpoints from more than 100 Kampers, and new checkpoints come in every day. It’s really exciting and encouraging!” Lindsay Rother, Assistant K-West Women’s Director

In the “Dream” series, checkpoints are mailed in with post cards provided in the books every three months. For the “Discover” and “Deliver” series, checkpoints are emailed in every month. Checkpoints are also a great way for Kamp to honor Kampers for completing their devotional books the following summer with a special keepsake, so be sure to have your Kamper send in their checkpoints when they come to them!

If you have any questions about your Kamper’s devotional book, contact your director or email

Making Use of Summer Memories

We can hardly believe it’s been nearly a month since our last closing ceremonies! This summer was a whirlwind of fun, excitement and life-change at Kanakuk. Our Kampers, families and staff all had the opportunity to dig deeply into their faith in the fellowship of Christ-loving friends, while also enjoying the nonstop adventure that Kamp offers! We are so thankful for all the incredible things the Lord accomplished in Summer 2014.

It’s always fun to reflect on memories from Kamp. From awecrepic Kamp parties to cross talks, there’s no end to the good things we get to look back on. We thank God for these blessings and have the opportunity to share them with our friends and family so that the joy of Kamp can be spread year-round!

Now that a new season has begun, we have the chance to really use what your children learned at Kamp this summer. How can you help them turn these past memories into a present reality?

Here are some questions you can ask your child to help them think through these things. Feel free to come up with your own! Did they…

·       Hear from God in a new way?

·       Gain a new friendship?

·       Face a new challenge?

·       Feel encouraged in some way?

·       Push toward a new opportunity or goal?

After they’ve reflected on these questions, it’s time to take action. In order to apply all the awesome things your child learned and experienced at Kamp, it’s important to make a plan to implement them into their everyday lives. We have 3 action steps that can help your children move forward in living in obedience to all that God taught them this summer!

1. Pray

Colossians 4:2  tells us to dedicate ourselves “to prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Prayer is how we tap into the strength God gives us through His Spirit.  When we go to Him in gratitude and ask for help, He will provide us with all that we need to accomplish what He has called us to do!

2. Be Held Accountable

In  Hebrews 10:24-25  we’re reminded that staying in community with other believers will “stimulate” us to “love and good deeds.” We were never meant to walk this journey alone! Through mutual encouragement with godly friends, we are able to resist temptation, reach goals and stay disciplined.

3. Give Grace & Keep Going!

No one is perfect. Even in our best efforts and intentions, we will come up short. But  Lamentations 3:23  demonstrates God’s unlimited grace-- “His mercies are new  every  morning!" God is a God of forgiveness. No failure can ever lessen his love or compassion for you. This knowledge will enable you to move forward with confidence, knowing the Lord is on your side!

So, what summer memory is helping your child live #ImThird most? We'd love to hear on Facebook or Twitter . We hope your child is encouraged to turn their incredible summer memories into a reality in this new season.

August 2014 Inspiration

Kamp is officially over, but we're excited to head into this next season! We're kicking off the new school year with some inspiration that we hope will encourage you throughout the year. Keep up with Inside Kanakuk to stay connected to the exciting things going on at Kamp!

Share with us which Bible verses that have impacted you the most on Twitter and Facebook !

Welcoming our Chief Business Officer: John Jensen

We hope you are having a great start to the school year!

Here in Branson, we are getting ready to hit the road to interview summer staff and see Kamp Families. Speaking of Kamp families, we excited to welcome former EP Energy executive John Jensen as our new Chief Business Officer.

“We want every person involved in Kanakuk ministries to be known for humility and excellence. John Jensen brings professional skills learned through decades of experience, coupled with a sacrificial perspective,” said Joe White. “Having leaders like John on our team helps us model servant leadership to our extended Kanakuk family, ultimately fulfilling our mission to develop dynamic Christian leaders.”

Jensen’s vision aligns with Kanakuk’s as he and his wife Cathy have dedicated the past two decades to investing in the lives of youth and families through outreach and leadership within their local churches.

“Faith has long been the foundation of my efforts, but now I am able to use the business skills I have gained over the years to further Kanakuk’s mission to develop faith in others,” said Jensen. “I feel my entire professional journey had prepared me for this, and I look forward to serving alongside such likeminded individuals. 

Jensen earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Colorado School of Mines, not far from the small farming town where he and his wife Cathy grew up. Cathy earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology from Colorado State University and a Masters in Religious Education from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary.

Before joining our leadership team, Jensen served in a various roles in the upstream and midstream energy business including engineering, finance, strategy, government affairs, business development and planning at EP Energy, El Paso Corporation and Conoco. His most recent role was Executive Vice President of Operations for EP Energy, a multi-billion dollar oil and gas company headquartered in Houston, Texas. 

Top 5 Kanakuk Instagram Moments of Summer 2014

There's no doubt that this summer was the most "Fully Charged" summer yet at Kanakuk! Every day brought great new memories, growth in faith and fun with our Kanakuk family. 

Last week we shared our top 5 Instagram moments on social media, but wanted to share with you here too! Check them out!

5. We love our tribal traditions at Kanakuk:

4. We gave a shoutout to our awesome Kamp Kitchies!:

3. Thankful for an incredible 2014 Summer Staff:

2. One of the best parts of Kamp:

1. Doesn't get much better than  Lecrae  and  Tedashii  at  Kanakuk K-2 !

What was your favorite Kanakuk moment from this summer? We'd love to see on social media! Share with us on  Facebook Twitter  or  Instagram !

Servant-Leadership: Dining Hall Divas


“Others Second” starts by putting “God First.” At Kanakuk, encouraging Kampers to turn their hearts toward serving one another tops our “to do” list every day! At Kamp, every kid can find new ways to serve.

At K-West, Komos (girl Kampers) asked for an opportunity to learn what it was like being a Dining Hall Disciple or “Kitchie Komo.” So, a couple of summers ago, Dining Hall Discipleship leader, Bri Coon, developed a class to make serving fun and teach spiritual lessons.

Dining Hall Divas is a 50-minute class held 2-3 times a week. Girls learn about serving in the body of Christ, meal prep skills, kitchen basics and best of all, “Kitchie” cheers and dances!

Dining Hall Divas has turned out to be a great environment for leadership training and a very popular class at K-West.

“We learned how to serve God by serving others with a willing heart.” –Grace, cabin 10 and Ivy, cabin 12.

July 2014 Inspiration

This summer is flying by! We hope that in the midst of busy summer schedules you’ve found encouragement through our Scripture graphics this month!

Join us in praying for the last few beautiful days of summer to be Fully Charged. Pray with us for Kampers, who will enjoy every last activity and their counselors to show them God’s servant hearted encouragement.  And for all those who have left the Kanakuk gates until next year, that they would continue their daily study of God’s word.

Let us know which Scriptures have encouraged you lately on Facebook and Twitter – you might even see it here in the future!

Summer 2015

We believe kids need summer camp now more than ever, and we’re getting more intentional about how we partner with your family in 2015! One way we are doing that is to create age specific Kanakuk experiences for 1-Week, 2-Weeks and 4-Weeks! Three safe, fun and spiritually encouraging programs that progress with your child!

Is your child ready to have a blast while creating friendships and memories that will last a lifetime?

Terms are already filling up for 2015! Enroll today at or call one of our wonder registrars at 417-266-3000.

Kanakuk is Hiring!

Kanakuk Ministries is on the grow! Developing dynamic Christian Leaders through life-changing experiences, Godly relationships, and spiritual training takes a dedicated and professional team and we want you to be on it! 

A long-term strategic plan has created opportunities for a wide range of talents to join the Communications team. We are hiring two people immediately in these key roles:

  1. Social Media Coordinator - Job Description:
  2. Copywriter - Job Description:
  3. Media Producer - Job Description:
  4. Drupal Front End Developer - Job Description:
  5. Marketing Coordinator – Content - Job Description:

Are you the right person for one of these positions? Do you know someone who is? Would you be willing to share this using the links above?

Submit your resume and brief letter of why you would want to work for Kanakuk to: . Please no phone calls. Hiring is open immediately and will remain open until the positions are filled. We are always looking for energetic talent so even if you are seeing this in 2025 we'd love to hear from you!

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