A fourth grader sits with arms folded, staring at the floor, in the back of his Sunday School class at North Star Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. On this particular day, he feels the urge to go see what the other kids are doing. They seem captivated by the activity their teacher is leading, and he’s curious enough to let his guard down for a moment to have a look.
The class of 10-year-olds is fully engaged in an experiment involving baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring that tangibly illustrates how Jesus shows up and completely changes a situation. The children are laughing, participating, and best of all, learning about the wonder of God.
The unique, hands-on activity is one of dozens brought to life in the fully digital, customizable Wonder Ink® curriculum, created by leading publisher David C Cook. Rooted in the wonder of the Gospel, Wonder Ink empowers kids to discover the fullness of who they are in God’s Big Story—known by God, loved by Jesus, and led by the Holy Spirit.
North Star Children’s Pastor, Amy Reger, is excited and encouraged by what she’s seeing in the children at her church, with just a few months of using Wonder Ink.
“Seeing what the Lord’s doing in the lives of our kids is incredible,” said Reger. “My whole goal with our kids’ ministry is that we create space for an encounter with the Lord. I am a firm believer that engaging with God is vitally important for kids, so we want to create an environment here where every single week they experience the heart of God in their lives. We want them to learn to listen, to pray … and Wonder Ink leads us there so well.”
Reger had been looking for a platform that was both creative and enabled teachers to go deeper in Scripture through their lessons. She believes Wonder Ink helps kids experience God more fully in very personal ways.
“It hits all the kids’ learning styles, so it’s not forcing a kid to learn in a certain way,” she continued. “We have a huge foster and adoption ministry here. A lot of them came from super hard places, and they’re not ‘sit still’ kids. They’re hands on, tactile. There’s a high level of need for that kind of activity with some of these kids.”
Kids born after 2010 are known as Gen Alpha—a generation struggling to find connection and belonging in a technology-obsessed, post-COVID world. Additionally, the majority of Gen Alpha kids are growing up in single parent or non-traditional households.
David C Cook President Rick Rekedal believes the church, ministry leaders, and others can help meet this generation’s deepest felt need for belonging by connecting with them and pointing them to God.
“We have an opportunity and a responsibility to acknowledge that Gen Alpha has been through an extremely life-shaping experience, quite different from their millennial parents,” says Rekedal. “Gen Alpha kids are hungry for community, and it can feel to them that grown-ups really don’t speak their language. But there is One who does.”
Rekedal is passionate about creating new ways for kids to experience God’s love wherever they are and whatever they’re going through. “There isn’t any circumstance where Jesus doesn’t say, ‘I see you, and I’m right there with you.’”
A former DreamWorks executive and storytelling consultant, Rekedal’s vision is that everything created at David C Cook and Integrity Music—whether Wonder Ink, books, worship experiences, or new media—is focused on making and teaching disciples at every age and stage, especially when so many are looking for a clear sense of belonging.