Our Story


The staff and volunteers at Appleton Alliance Church in Appleton, WI firmly believe that this is true. After years of developing a solid ministry foundation, we were looking for a curriculum that provided the level of FUN and solid BIBLE foundation we were looking for. Unable to find it, we wrote our own. Another church learned about the program and asked to use it, so we agreed to share it as a test of how it might work in another church. Success! Other churches began asking for it, and it is now used in churches of various sizes. Our sister church in Lima, Peru saw what kids were learning and how God was using the program, and they desired to use it as well. God provided a translator, and it is available in Spanish.

Through this process of sharing the curriculum, we have learned that children’s ministries of all sizes are in need of more than just curriculum: you want training, ideas, strategies, and resources that align with the curriculum you’re using. This is why we partner with you; to help fully equip you to reach the kids in your communities for Christ! 


Kris Smoll,
Founder and Executive Director of Discovery Land Ministries

Kris oversees the effective, growing, high-energy children’s ministry at Appleton Alliance Church, where she has been the director for over 20 years. She is an international speaker who is passionate about kids knowing the Word of God so they can go out into their world, boldly share their faith, and confidently live their lives for Christ. She is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute. Kris lives in Appleton with her husband and two boys.

Jessi Borchardt,
Director of Discovery Land Global

Jessi has been involved in volunteer and staff children’s ministry roles over the last 13 years. She considers her job and her passion the same -- equipping those in the local church to reach the kids in their communities for Christ. She is here to help you carry out your Discovery Land ministry with excellence. Jessi lives in a tiny town in northcentral Wisconsin with her husband, three kids, and lots of trees.

And there is a whole host of volunteers behind the scenes who are creating, writing, editing, translating, answering questions, and doing ministry right alongside you.