Centershot archery ministry combines sport with scripture
By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN For the past three years, Mike Berg, a member of Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church in Cokato, has had the dual mission of teaching both the discipline of archery and the discipline of leading a Christ-centered life through Centershot Ministries.
Centershot is an interdenominational outreach ministry that combines archery and scripture with the goal of making Christ the “target” in one’s life. It is also a sister program with the National Archery in Schools program.
Each of the eight sessions is a different lesson or “flight” that takes archery beginners from the basics of the sport to a more in-depth critique of their shooting form and performance.
The archery lessons then tie into a line from “The Salvation Poem.”
Starting out with the basics, Berg and the other instructors teach eye dominance which eye to use for aiming at the target and following the 11 steps from stance to follow through. These are steps that shooters should take for each shot to guarantee success.
Centershot was actually an idea from the maker of Matthews bows, Berg said.
The bows used in the program are made so that a wide range of shooters can use them, he said.
“The nice thing about archery is it lets everyone participate,” Berg said.
The program has had shooters ranging in age from 5 to 85 and has even benefited shooters with special needs, Berg explained.
With the Bible study being a big part of the whole program, Berg said they talk about shooting a perfect score in archery and in life. However, due to sin, “we can’t ever shoot a perfect score in life,” he said, which is why Jesus is needed in one’s life. Berg also noted that sin was also an archery term meaning to miss the mark.
Some of the added benefits to Centershot includes improved confidence and self-esteem and bringing families closer together.
There were seven instructors who went through basic archery class. Two instructors must be present in order to run the range, Berg said, noting that safety is a priority in offering the course.
Typically, classes can be up to 15 students of all ages.
Aaron Anderson, 16, has taken three out of the four courses. He’s liked the classes not only because they have made him a much better archer, but also because the lessons tie in well with scripture.
Morgan Berg, 15, has taken all four of the courses offered and has improved her archery skills so much she shot her first deer with a bow and arrow this fall. “It pays off,” she said.
“It’s just fun,” said Micah Berg, 13. “You get to shoot with your friends and learn about God.”
Centershot began three years ago as an activity for the Good Shepherd Free Church community. It has since become an outreach program.
An indoor range is set up in the church’s common’s area with materials purchased through Centershot.
A lot of steps are in place to make it a safe program, Berg commented.
To sign up for Centershot
Centershot is open to all members of the community and the next four-week program begins Thursday, Feb. 2.
The program runs Thursdays 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays, 9:30 to 11 a.m.
The cost for materials is $15 for an individual and $30 for a family.
For more information, or to sign up contact Mike Berg at (320) 286-5231 or Pastor Lyndon Korhonen at (320) 286-2861.
To begin your own Centershot program
For more information on Centershot or how to get one started in your own church, visit www.centershotministries.org.