Connecting kids for 20 years

Twenty years ago, the first Kids ConnectionVHS tapes were being sent to WELS schools across the country. Now, marking its twentieth anniversary, the children of that first Kids Connection audience are viewing the DVDs every month at WELS schools. While technology, styles, and hosts have changed over the years, the message has remained the same: “Stay connected to Jesus.”

That message, says Mr. Steve Boettcher, who has been producing the videos for all 20 years, is “as true this season as it was 20 years ago. It’s something we really truly believe in.”

Kids Connection, a video implemented by the WELS Commission on Youth and Family Ministry, was born out of a desire from teachers and pastors who wanted a WELS Connection-style video with a message targeted to kids. Nine episodes are made each year, one for each month of the school year.

Boettcher says, “We want to connect Christian kids to other Christian kids, showing there are other schools like theirs and other Christians like them across the nation in WELS.” The goal, he explains, is to highlight young Christians as much as possible in the videos, including the high school-aged hosts of each episode.

Helping WELS kids stay connected for the past 20 years is Rev. Tony Schultz, pastor at St. Luke’s, Watertown, Wis. He has offered up a reflection on God’s Word in every episode for all 20 seasons. Schultz says, “Month after month to be able to tell tens of thousands of kids that Jesus loves them, that’s a privilege to touch more lives than you ever could in one building.”

The message Schultz hopes viewers take away resonates with kids and adults alike: “Every hour of every day, look for Jesus. Look for his grace, his love, and his wisdom and power in everything around you. Always be looking for Jesus. We always say ‘stay connected to Jesus,’ but the fact is Jesus is always connected to us. He’s always watching you; he’s always with you; he always loves you.”

Nearly 300 WELS schools and churches already subscribe to Kids Connection. To help the youth at your school or congregation stay connected to Jesus, fill out the subscription form on Connect.