Berwick church taking new steps to bring in congregation
Berwick Baptist is trying to attract families and young people with some new initiatives at the church. Here, members of the Vacation Bible School held recently do a song. - Submitted
By Jennifer Vardy Little
A Berwick church is trying a new approach to attract young people and families inside its doors.
Berwick Baptist is facing the same crunch that many other churches have these days – an aging and declining population.
“If you stand at the back of the church, you’ll see a sea of white hair,” said Paul Grimm, chairman of finance for the church.
That reality has prompted the church to take three steps that members hope will change the situation. Recently, two youth ministers were hired to focus on reaching out to the younger church population.
A young married couple, Evan and Kayla Colford, from Boisetown, NB, are studying in the Master’s program at the Acadia Divinity College. They’ve accepted the position and will focus on leading the Sunday school program, as well as doing outreach, street ministry and activities aimed at youth, such as a summer Vacation Bible School.
“We want to help teach children values and make sure they understand that somebody cares about them and is interested in their future,” Grimm said. “We want to help with their spiritual and emotional growth.”
The church is hoping that a new program being offered, beginning Sept. 15, will also attract newcomers. Pastor Marilyn Rose says The Story – written by two well-known Christian authors, Randy Frazee and Max Lucado – is a unique way to explain the Bible.
“Even people who go to church year after year have learned little bits and parts that make up the Bible,” Rose said. “In Sunday School, you learn about little baby Moses in the bulrushes. But you don’t always have a good view of the whole story, from beginning to end.”
The Story tells the tale of the Bible chronologically, beginning with Genesis and Creation.
“We strive to make it easy to understand these stories from long ago that are filled with difficult names to pronounce, so we can understand how it affects our lives today and how we fit into it,” she added.
The church has already began creating buzz about it with a sign out front that invites people to join them for The Story.
“We hope people are going to say, ‘Hmm, what’s that?’ and decide to come in,” Rose said.
The church is also hoping to reach out to younger people with a new website, www.BerwickBaptistChurch.ca.
“It’s a source to quickly access information on what’s going on,” said Grimm. “People don’t automatically look on the web to find a church.”