By Henry Salazar
The main foundation of operating a successful bus ministry is when the Pastor and entire body of any congregation possess the same vision. This will give amplified promotion from the pulpit that will stir the vision and promote unity.
After possessing the vision the whole church needs to invest in full support by meeting the needs of today’s generation of youth and kids. Well, one will ask, how is the church involved in such way? If the church is not geared to meet the flow of attendance being ushered in than it’s just a form of tansportation, so the full potential of the bus ministry can’t be expected until the church prepares. Some simple methods we use hear at Life Challenge are visuals and decorating the classrooms that will relate to Today’s Generation of kids and youth. This kind of an environment will keep the interest and eagerness of a child to learn.
Life Challenge is also known through out Pentecost for having the coolest buses to imagine here in West Texas. We have a bus that’s painted like a Zebra; we also gave it a name “E-ZEE”. Another is The Beef with big giant Texas long horns and painted like a cow all over the bus, when you honk the horn it MOOOSS like a Cow, While Kids go crazy over these two buses the Teens go crazy over The Fired Up which has flames painted on the sides, if this doesn’t stir you up then how about The U-TURN! With a Thumping, Jamming System that carries two 15 inch Rockfordfosgate subwoofers, midrange speakers and a 10-CD system. These are just a few that I’ve mentioned. Log on to www.intensejesus.com to see more buses and ask about the spiritual theme behind every bus’s name.
After mentioning this you would have to agree that this will be an effective environment, but what about lessons and dramas that will target today’s current issues, and how can multi-media be used for your advantage? Log On and see our wealth of resources.
Once again how to maintain a successful bus ministry well if the whole church doesn’t invest their part then the flow of attendance may not be motivated to return with expectancy.
God will raise people with talents for different types of positions when the church moves in the flow of unity! Bus Captains must be self-motivated, spontaneous, creative, and able to both be an encouragement to passengers and workers. This becomes a great position to become a mentor. All bus workers must be willing to be molded spiritually and be submissive to authority. Also without the intense burden for outreach and follow up you will accomplish very little. Their needs to be new contacts met weekly for a steady flow of attendance. Follow up will trigger the desire to build relationship with children/youth and parents. On-going involvement will insure you of future product.
All Bus workers must be up to date with training to avoid any liable issues concerning the church, child/teen, or you. It is crucial to maintain a godly image and respect from your community. Don’t ever be caught alone, always be around someone and don’t ever take a child home alone, Don’t ever drive off with a dirty vehicle all eyes are on you and you reflect the church’s vision.
And very importantly don’t put out cheap materials or flyers, everything needs to be first class. Preparation and creativity is an essential for bus workers.
Tip: If your flyer isn’t eye catching for the first few seconds than it’s not good enough. Remember in today’s generation we compete with Hollywood, TV, and secular events that have creative eye-catching forms of advertisements so “Beat Them “.
One of the biggest obstacles hindering the rise or on-going work of bus ministry is the cost of fuel.
An idea that most have yet to arrive is; Seek community leaders and supporters who are concerned about our Kids/Youth to invest back into our community by being fuel sponsors. At Life Challenge we appreciate our community supporters by using our same buses that go into the community as billboards. We advertise the name of company or individual in back of the bus as fuel sponsors.
I also as a bus minister am aware of the great sacrifice and dedication that is involved in this ministry. So I urge you “PLEASE DON’T BURN US OUT”.
At Life Challenge our bus ministry works best when operating our ministry when public schools are open. We also take a three-month break when the hot season arrives in may-July. This gives time back to the ministers for their families. During this time we prepare and plan for the next session.
Consistent prayer will keep all workers in line with God and with one another.
Don’t forget, any successful program must have a set of rules and regulation for behavior.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”