The elder pastor quickly responded. “After having successfully done this for several years, we have found that the majority fit into six different categories: The majority are elderly – those that can no longer drive for a variety of reasons. Health or poor eyesight is the most common reason. But they would love to attend church once again.
By Tim Massengale
Pastor Mark North took a last bite of his omelet and washed it quickly down with a gulp of black coffee. Wiping his mouth with the napkin, he reached for the check.
“Thanks again, Elder, for inviting me to meet you for breakfast. Sorry to have to run, but I have to get the church bus to the shop before ten this morning for an oil change. If I do, they promised to have it done by four o’clock so we can use it tomorrow morning for our church bus route.”
Elder Vernon Baker nodded. “I understand. I have several hospital visits to make myself. So how’s that new bus working out for you?
Mark grinned. “Excellent. You were right. It’s been one of our best evangelism investments. We pack it every Sunday morning with over fifty kids. A number have received the Holy Ghost and we have two families coming now from our bus route. We are constantly using the bus for various church transportation needs. Fact is, we need a second one. But we just can’t afford it right now. I hate that. I wish there was a way we could keep our momentum going.”
Brother Baker snatched the meal check out of Mark’s hand. “I’ll pay for this, son. I invited you. You know, you could start a car ministry if you wanted to.”
Mark scowled. “You got the check last time, and the time before, and before that…” He tried to grab it back but missed. He cocked an eyebrow. “What’s a car ministry?”
The white haired preacher paid the cashier and reached for a toothpick. “Car ministry is a simple, but effective transportation ministry we’ve used for several years. It’s surprisingly easy to do. More than once, as I have watched cars pull into our parking lot with extra riders, I thought, ‘Why didn’t we think of this before?’ We have about thirty people coming on Sunday morning that would not be able to come without our Car Ministry. Most have the Holy Ghost now.”
Mark nodded for Elder Baker to continue.
Car Ministry Explained
“Like any church our size, we have several hundred church members that drive their car to church each Sunday. They bring themselves, their spouses and their children. A few bring friends and extended family members. But most of these cars arrive with several empty seats – seats that could be carrying souls in need of salvation. Car ministry attempts to utilize these empty car seats for evangelism. If I’m driving to church anyway, why not take a few minutes to pick up someone that would like to attend church and who is also needs God?
“You only need two simple elements, Mark, in order for Car Ministry to work: (1) Saints willing to pick someone up and bring them to church, and (2) individuals needing a ride that wish to go to church. All we have to do is find both of these elements and you are in business.”
Mark nodded. “Okay. But how do you get your people to volunteer to pick someone up?”