Sunday, February 8, 2009

Reverse Bus Ministry

Imagine a hundred people arriving at church like any other Sunday completely unaware of the significant impact they would have on their community before lunch. That’s exactly what happened at this morning’s service. By the end of the morning, dozens of people had rolled up their sleeves to scrub windows, pick up trash, weed planters, and spread mulch at a local elementary school. (Photos below).

All this was a part of our current message series, “Living Outside Ourselves.” At the end of today’s message, a school bus pulled up in front of our church (unannounced beforehand) and I challenged our people to consider serving at one of our local elementary schools. Arrangements had been made with the school’s principal and custodial staff. Tools, gloves, and t-shirts were provided. Approximately 35 people participated after the first service. They served for an hour and the bus returned just in time to transport another 65 who volunteered after the second service. Overall, 100+ man-hours of labor were invested all before lunchtime.

Next week, a video of our day will be shown at church, and the principal has offered to attend to thank our folks.

Years ago, many churches had bus ministries. A fleet of buses would leave their parking lot early to bring people (usually kids) to church. Today we reversed that. A bus arrived to take our people into the community. After all, Jesus said, "Go into all the world ..."

For other ministry leaders: This idea is very transferable to any church. Feel free to duplicate it. I hope many do. Do me a favor and let me know if you do. I’d love to hear your stories.

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