Without children, a church will die.
That is meant to be a quite literal statement coming from the pastor of Griffith Memorial Baptist Church on Terry Road.
Pastor Andy Fullington, who's brand new to his post, says he is trying to re-energize youth in the faith community by adding and revamping programs aimed at kids.
But does it come at the expense of the majority? - the more seasoned church members.
Don't think so.
WJTV News Channel 12 is putting Faith in Focus.
For nearly two decades Cheryl Covington's been attending 'Griffith Memorial'. She says she's seen changes in the church during that time, but she notices the the biggest differences are when reflect on the worship in her own childhood.
"When I was small I was in church everyday but my family, we went to church but it was like we kept God in a box," Covington said.
"You know, we didn't have children's church when I was a little girl and we didn't have anything extra for the children. You would go in the big church and you had to sit there and you couldn't talk and you couldn't do anything," Covington said.
But that's not the case at 'Griffith', where Sunday nights for high schoolers play out like a weekly bible study retreats.
It's called "Kids Quest" - it's choir practice meets bible study - and it's been attracting a lot of attention in the surrounding community.
Even more programs are getting pushed by Pastor Fullington.
"We believe that our senior adults are the backbone of the church. Our children are the future of the church and without them we will die," Pastor Fullington said.
"We believe that the pitter-patter of feet is not only energy and enthusiasm but it is excitement in the Lord's church," Pastor Fullington said.
"If we do not reach our children by the age of 13 there is a 70% chance we will not reach them at all. And by the time they reach age 18, that number drops into the teens," Associate Pastor for worshipping education Steve Froederick said.
The older folks at the church are embracing these new, or renewed programs, for teenagers - some volunteering anyway that they can.
"I think it's really important that they grow up learning that because, as an adult, I just have really, for a number of years, realized that Christ is really with me everyday," Covington said.
It's that message that Pastor Fullington wants taken "into the mission field" - the reminders are painted above each exit at the church.
"There is a lost and a dying world that needs to feel the presence of God," Pastor Fullington said. "We are called to be the light of the world, not the light of the church."
If you would like the viewers of News Channel 12 to learn more about your church community, contact Jacob Kittilstad at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601-664-8839.
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