Hi, I’m Patricia Kapelke.

Sparta, WI

Phone Number

(816) 806-2973


[email protected]


Olivet Beacon of Light Church
Director of Family Ministry


Concordia University
BA in Education

Church Affiliation


Years In Ministry

19 years




Event Planning, Teaching classes (student/ adult/ marriage), Preaching, Writing Bible studies/ devotions, Premarital Counseling (Prepare Enrich Facilitator), Team leadership and training

Tools & Software

Microsoft Office Suite, Planning Center Online


Married : Jim (27 years)
Kids: Hope (21), Kylie (19), Richard (18), Kalista (17), Halie (16), Josiah (13), Ethan (9)

Top 3 Strengths


Social/ People Skills0%


Family Pastor Questionnaire Responses
Personal Info
Please share briefly how you became a Christian.
I had a fairly colorful and adventurous childhood. I found myself in and out of churches, but I would often attend church without the rest of my family. I truly feel that God had a desire for my life from the very beginning and He has used much of my childhood to develop me into the servant I am today. Although Christ seems to have always been a part of my life, it was in college that I fully realized what it meant to walk with Him daily. It was then that I discovered people actually read and memorized the scriptures, and they took these scriptures and applied them to their lives. It was then that I knew I wanted more than the colorful life of my past that I was familiar with. I have been striving to live a Christ filled life ever sense.
How would you describe yourself?
  • Fun
  • Serious
  • Intense
  • Motivational
  • Flexible
  • Inspirational
  • Loving
  • Organized
Personality Type
Tell me about some people (i.e. authors, mentors, and ministry leaders) that have had a big impact on you.
I do not have one or two speakers that I listen to regularly. I really like to read and listen to a wide variety of speakers and authors. Some that I feel have significantly influenced my thought processes are: Dr. Becky Bailey because of her gentle approach with children and her passion for creating emotionally safe places; John Piper’s book “Don’t Waste Your Life” was very impactful for helping me understand that I can share Christ no matter what my circumstances; Max Lucado and his understanding of God’s love and grace; Chip Ingram’s practical views on Christian marriage; Frances Chan’s passion for going against what is expected and striving to seek God’s best plan; and Voddie Baucham’s strong conviction that parent’s are the primary ministers to their children. There truly are many others, but these came to mind first.
How do you plan to engage and inform parents or guardians about your ministry objectives and progress?
I have found that face to face communication works the best. Building relationships and speaking directly to parents at drop off or pick up has given me the most positive results in the past. Working within any communications the congregation already has established is also important. (newsletters, emails, facebook, etc) I believe that weekly updates on the day’s lesson can also be a great place to inform families of announcements.
Tell me about a time when you developed a new team of volunteers into a strong working group. What did you do?
Building relationships works best for me. We have meals together, go through studies together and have fun together. As we walk together in faith, we learn to see people’s hearts and passions. When you have a relationship with someone, it is much easier to see where God has truly gifted them, and this makes placing them in their “sweet spot” for serving easier as well. I also strive to provide pathways for success. I want to do everything in my ability to make certain that our volunteers have everything they need and more. I want them to feel confident in their training, confident in the materials that have been provided and confident that they have been placed in a spot that they can easily share their love for Christ and not need to stress about what is going to go wrong. This “plan” helped me develop a youth ministry team of small group leaders, mentors, worship leaders and large group speakers. This team dedicated each Wednesday night to our youth and the vast majority of them did not have students in the program.
How would you alleviate the confusion when you are communicating with volunteers and it becomes apparent that they don’t understand what you’re saying or vice versa?
Although I know the volunteer relationship is very different then a marriage, I think of when I was learning the Prepare/ Enrich program and how it has taught me several communication strategies. The best way I have found to try and alleviate communication issues is to use the phrase, “What I hear you saying is…” and then restate what you believe you heard. This gives them an opportunity to correct any misunderstandings you may have and usually helps to eliminate communication issues.
Spiritual Growth
Once you lead a student/child to Christ, how do you communicate their decision to their parents? Once a child accepts Christ as their Savior, how do you begin discipling them?
I would typically have a type of remembrance certificate that helps students remember and celebrate the day that they accepted Christ. Since I strive to have myself or other teachers touch base with each parent, one of us would be helping the student communicate to parents the wonderful news. I would want to work within the program that the congregation already has in place for walking along side a student. If changes are desired, things like Faith5, student Bibles and student mentors are all great ways for us to help students continue to grow in their relationship with Christ. I have also sent baptismal birthday cards to students on the anniversary of their baptisms to help them remember the importance of this wonderful day.
As the spiritual leader of the children’s ministry, how are you going to help volunteers grow in their faith?
As part of the relationships we build, I strive to have all team members KNOW, GROW and SHOW. That they would know God and one another in Worship and fellowship. That they would be growing in their faith through devotions and studies we complete together and on their own. And that they would show their love for Christ with the families we are blessed to be walking with.
Ministry Growth
What is your philosophy of ministry?
Obviously, the main goal of any ministry is to reach souls for Christ. We desire each person to come to a saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior. That said, I have three main desires for Children’s Ministry that I feel help children and students become more open to accepting Christ. First, that since a child’s parents are the primary ministry leaders in the child’s life, our job as a Family Ministry team is to equip those parents with resources and tools that can help them be the best leaders for their children. I also desire to find “church parents or church grandparents” for those children who like me don’t have a parental leader in their home. Building relationships with parents and students alike will help our team to know how to best serve and equip each person God brings into our ministry. My second desire is for all students and children to know that they are precious, valuable, and loved by us and God. This world they encounter each day can be truly rough. It is important for us to reinforce that their identity is in Christ and that He has given them great value. Finally, I desire for everyone to embrace the fact that children and students are NOT the future of our church, but the present. This IS their time to fall in love with Christ, to share that love with others, to serve Christ fully and be a part of the congregation. This is their church family too, not just a church family that they can look forward to belonging to when they are all grown-up.
What was the most creative idea you introduced in your last ministry role? What steps did you take to implement that idea with leadership, volunteers, and families if applicable?
During Holy Week, we had a prayer walk called “Journey to the Cross.” This walk is a time of personal reflection through 12 experiential stations. It is truly one of my favorite things to bring to congregations. I introduced the walk at the staff level first when we were exploring ideas for the Easter season. It was well received and so I then asked the Chaplains and Stephen Ministers to partner with me by presenting them with the entire idea. Together the groups and I recruited volunteers and shared the vision with our church family. I created post card invites for congregants to give to family and friends and we publicized the event on the local Christian radio station. We had a great time recruiting volunteers with a wide range of skills. We needed decorators, carpenters, prayer warriors, greeters, audio technicians and friendly faces. We worked hard to make sure the Journey could be enjoyed by all ages and was a place guests would feel welcome. We received a ton of positive comments, saw lots of tears and people really taking time to connect with Christ on this prayer walk. It is an event that our congregation repeated the following year and planned to repeat every three years.
How would you evaluate systems and structures to see if there could be improvement?
I prefer informal evaluations to formal ones. I have found that by building relationships and interacting with the parents, teachers and students using the structures and systems, that when I ask I am given more quality feedback. I feel it is important to listen to frustrations as well as compliments. Frustrations can often be helped with small/simple changes. Another form of evaluation is looking at the retention of students in the programming and if students in the programs are bringing friends. You don’t bring your friends to or stay involved in something that isn’t meaningful to you. Having conversations about what makes you want to bring a friend or not continue in the program this next grade can be invaluable.
Share with me what you would do to deal with a fast-paced, always changing environment. Have you had this experience in a previous position?
I believe that any time you work with children you are working in a fast-paced, always changing environment. Children’s ministry is rarely predictable. Even with the best plans, surprises are not unusual. When preparing lessons, I try to think of back-up plans, and pit fulls that we may encounter. It is also important (in my opinion) to have fun. Take small mishaps and laugh through them, help children see that no one is perfect and that people are more important than our agenda. We are striving for excellence, but God works in our weakness, even if it is through last minute changes.
What goals have you set in the past for your ministry area. Did you accomplish them and if so, how did you accomplish them?
One of my most recent goals was to bring in more outside speakers. I reached out to our local CRU (college campus ministry) and was able to create a relationship with them. We would have speakers from their ministry come and share with our students. They joined us about once quarterly. This worked out great and I am so happy that God led me to bring in these college students. I truly believe it was a blessing for them and us.
What would it take to grow a kid’s ministry program?
I truly believe that this is a multi=faceted issue. The church as a whole needs to be a place that families feel welcome and that is feeding the parents spiritually. The children’s ministry needs to be a place of excellence where children feel safe, have fun and want to bring their friends. The children’s ministry also needs to be a place where parents feel supported, and know their children our safe and loved. Building relationships is also very important. When you have a relationship with parents and students they receive a since of family. We are a church family. Knowing that you are part of an amazing church family will help you desire to stay, support and defend this church family. The enthusiasm members of the family have will easily bubble over to others and draw others to the same church family so that they can experience the same love and acceptance, therefore growing our children’s ministry and our church.
Your members/guests and their families come to church with specialized needs, different learning styles, and family stresses. Do you have a strategy to provide significant ministry to meet these needs?
Yes, of course, but it is hard to say more without knowing the need. In my last ministry we had: a student that is autistic and brought an aid with them to youth group; a student that is dyslexic; a young student that had a brain tumor; a young student with sensory needs; students that are going through very tough custody battles; and students that bring them selves to church because their parents don’t seem to care about their spiritual growth. Building relationships with each one of our students and families will help us greatly and understanding their biggest needs. I know you are probably looking for lesson accommodations, but that (in my experience) is really the easy part of dealing with specialized needs. I believe that almost all of our students have special needs. I know from simply having 7 homeschooled children that each one of them learns differently, responds differently and blossoms differently than their siblings. It is exactly the same in any classroom or ministry. We each walk into the room carrying burdens, bringing joys and facing challenges. I don’t believe it is about equaling the “playing field,” but about teaching that we are ALL “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Each of us has our identity in Christ and each of us has a special path that God has laid out that is designed especially for us; and we are the best ones at walking that path. He loves us all, we need to show love to one another.
Describe the diversity of some of the ministries with which you’ve worked. How did you go about learning and educating yourself in order to effectively reach your community?
The majority of my ministries have been in primarily Caucasian areas. We have a few African American families, a few Hispanic families and a few Asian families. The diversity usually comes more socioeconomically. However, I believe the answer is the same in every community. We build relationships, we walk through life together and learn to love our unique differences. Typically, I learn more about our community and it’s people by attending the high school sports events. Friday night football games are great community events. They are a great place to meet and connect with people with no “church” pressure. I also like to look at the community events. In our current community there is “Butterfest,” “Deke Slayton Days,” and the winter farmer’s market. These are all great places to connect, learn more about the town and what this community values. Volunteering in the schools and in the community is another way to build relationships and learn how best to support families in our area.
Is there a process that you go through when choosing a platform for screening volunteers, curriculum choices?
When choosing volunteers, I am looking for ways to place people in areas that God has gifted them and that they will be successful in. I usually do this through building relationships, and prayer. I am often amazed by the volunteers God directs me to. Many of them have flourished beyond my expectations. When choosing curriculum, I look more for a collaboration. Discussing needs with staff, volunteers, parents and other Children’s ministry leaders through a few forums I belong to. I strive to find a curriculum that fits all of our needs, but I also know that I am able to write and adjust curriculum fairly easily so I prioritize the needs of our volunteers and parents while making adjustments as needed.
What have you done in the past to ensure your church has a safe environment, including emergency procedures.
In each of my previous ministries I have written or edited our safety manual/ procedures. These are then discussed, demonstrated and walked through during our volunteer trainings. In this last ministry I coded doors that could be used for storm shelters, rerouted our evacuation path, secured an off campus meeting place in case of evacuation and instituted an active shooter protocol. My suggestions were widely accepted by the safety and security team which helped me in making many of my desires a reality.
How would you describe the ideal relationship between senior/lead pastor and kids pastor?
I prefer to work on a collaborative team. I recently listened to a sermon that was discussing Aaron and Moses. The message discussed how we all can’t be Moses and some of us need to be the older brother who is standing there holding up the arms of our younger brother. I was truly struck by this. That is what I am. I am an Aaron and a seed planter. I see my job as one where I plant as many seeds as I possibly can while supporting my Lead Pastor the absolute best I can. I want to be his biggest supporter. I want to do everything in my power to help achieve the vision God has given him for this church family. In my most recent ministry we had weekly meetings together. (every Wednesday at 1pm) These were precious times for me. I was able to hear his heart and he was able to hear mine. We would discuss hopes and dreams for the program as well as ways we could be most supportive to each other right now. Many great ideas came from these meetings and the congregation was able to see we were a united team, so even if one of us made a mistake, they knew the other would be there to support and pick up as many pieces as possible.


Toni Grosheck || (608) 780-4139 || No Email
Julie Wanke || (608) 797-4311 || [email protected]
Andrew Fortuine || (608) 769-8613 || [email protected]
Dorothy Payne || (608) 783-1484 || [email protected]

Favorite Bible Story

The story of Joseph

Favorite Scripture

Genesis 50:20