Small Canadian church of 50 makes film
Frank Stirk, Baptist Press
December 04, 2009

Small Canadian church of 50 makes film

Small Canadian church of 50 makes film
Frank Stirk, Baptist Press
December 04, 2009

MAPLE RIDGE, British Columbia — Many people who have seen “The

Scarf,” a new feature-length film produced by a Canadian Baptist church, are

giving it “two thumbs up.”

“This is really a tremendous piece of work,” said Alan Braun, pastor of Royal

Heights Baptist Church in Delta, British Columbia. “They’ve done a super job,

way beyond what I thought they would be able to do.”

The reaction is even more surprising when considering the fact that the church

behind the film — The Connection, a Canadian National Baptist Convention church

plant in metro Vancouver — has no more than 50 people in attendance on Sundays.

“Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised at the quality of this production and

impressed with the message it sends,” Tom Blackaby, international director of

Blackaby Ministries International, who also lives in Maple Ridge, said in an


Filmed on a $20,000 budget, The Scarf tells the story of two girls working on a

high school science project about UFOs. One of them is so determined to get an

A+ in hopes of impressing her absentee father that she puts herself at risk by

dabbling in the occult.

Woven through the narrative are dialogues on spiritual

warfare and the power of prayer.

Most of the cast were unchurched teenagers with no acting experience. As a

result, most in the near-capacity crowd who attended its red-carpet premiere at

a movie theatre in nearby Coquitlam were non-Christians. John Martens, the

pastor of The Connection, said that when the movie ended, they broke into “thunderous


Photo courtesy of TheScarfMovie.com

Members and attendees of The Connection, a church plant in British Columbia, work on the set of “The Scarf,” a film that recently released on DVD. The church has no more than 50 people on a Sunday morning.

Martens wrote the script for The Scarf. Youth and media minister Kyle Lawrence

was its director, cinematographer and editor.

The film contains “strong spiritual stuff” but is deliberately not “in-your-face”

evangelistic, said Martens.

“We wanted to make people think and open up their eyes to some new things that

they maybe hadn’t really thought about before,” he said.

Braun likes that approach.

“I really think if you’re going to touch teens today, they want you to get them

to think and to let them discover the answers, instead of just being spoon-fed,”

he said.

Gerry Taillon, national ministry leader of the Canadian National Baptist

Convention, said he, too, “really appreciated” the fact that the movie’s “purpose

is to pique interest and to help young people in their discussions.”

“I think it could do exactly that,” he said.

The challenge now is to make The Scarf available to as many people as possible.

“We’re hoping to get it on TV.” Lawrence said. “We have a number of DVDs of the

movie in the hands of different distributors and people in the industry that

are looking at it that we’re waiting to hear back from.”

Martens is working on DVD-based study materials based on the movie that

churches can use in their small groups or Bible studies.

Martens’ desire is that The Scarf will be only the first of many movies The

Connection will produce as part of what he calls “our long-term, world-touching


“We hope over time — it may take 10 or 20 years — to train a variety of young

Christian filmmakers like Kyle to be able to go out and make their own

Christian films and create a wave of media evangelism and discipleship out

there, bringing the Christian worldview into the public consciousness much more

strongly,” he said.

But for their next project — which they plan to film in 2011 — Martens hopes

there will be more people actively involved in both the moviemaking and the


“It was a lot of fun doing it, but because of the work in the church plus the

work on the movie and all that, it was really a very hard experience for us

too,” he said. “And so to have the church a little bit stronger would be a big


He said he’s spoken with people who “assumed we spent hundreds of thousands of


“The very fact we got this done, I think, is just one of those indicators that

God wanted it done,” he said. “He helped us and strengthened us. Because

sometimes I wondered, ‘How did we make it through all this — and get a neat,

little product out of it, too?’”

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Stirk writes for the Baptist Horizon, a

publication of the Canadian National Baptist Convention. To learn more about The Scarf, visit