by Chip Faulkner
HILLSDALE, MI – “What just happened?” exclaimed John after we got back in my car. We had finished meeting again with the marketing director of radio station WCSR about our Centershot outreach event. How stunned we were to hear that a corporate sponsor, Whitetail Properties, had offered to cover the bulk of the fees for a huge advertising blitz to promote a multi-state tournament. The blitz promised to use radio, social media, and remote broadcasts to reach thousands of households.
Centershot is a faith-based program that uses archery as an outreach tool to share the Gospel. Some of the folks in our church knew about Centershot, and I had recently become more interested in Centershot while on retreat at Bambi Lake. We contacted Roscommon Baptist Church to see about the possibility of having a one-day Centershot event at our church so we could better evaluate the potential of the ministry in our context.
We soon learned that Centershot, the National Archery in Schools Program, and the International BowHunting Organization were looking for a location in our area to hold a Regional Open Tournament. A simple idea just kept growing into a bigger and bigger opportunity! The county fairground opened their facility to us and local businesses likewise got involved.
In addition to the tournament, we were able to offer a Centershot “Fun Shoot.” The shooting range was full all day with young people safely enjoying archery. The response from the community proved hugely positive.
Our church, as tournament host, not only got to serve our community, but we also staffed a prayer table and made many new friends. Through the registration process we were able to gather the contact information of numerous families interested in our Centershot ministry. What really stood out to me happened during the awards program at the conclusion of the tournament. The Centershot representative clearly shared the Gospel to the whole group using a color-coded LifeBow.
For follow-up we will have another Fun Shoot outreach in August, and then we will be starting our first 8-week Centershot ministry starting in September. Several of our members have received their Basic Archery Instructor certification. We believe Centershot will be a vital evangelistic channel in our purpose of exalting God, equipping mentors, and engaging community. It’s so amazing to be on mission and experience the Lord Jesus showing his provision beyond what we could ever ask or imagine.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chip was called to Hillsdale Baptist Church in March of 2020. He has served churches in Oklahoma and Illinois and also as a missionary with the IMB. Chip and his wife Gail have three grown children and 5 grandchildren.