Drive-In Church?

Posted: August 31, 2011 in church, community, current events, ecclesiology

Interesting story from a few days back about a new “drive-in church” in Texas:

Fast food joints have them. Banks and pharmacies have them.

So why not churches, too?

Drive-thrus may not be the most traditional route to get folks in church, but it’s working in the town of Lucas, in southeast Collin County.

On Sunday, for the first time ever, under the glaring Texas sun, in near triple-digit heat, churchgoers like Gene Schulle grabbed a worship bulletin, tuned their car radios, and focused on the view in front of them.

Now, before we rush into a full-out bombing campaign against what we would rightly decry as totally missing it, let us slip on our learning caps and see if God might want to teach us something through this…hyperbolic illustration.  It seems to me that the attitude embodied in this type of “church” (this word really needs careful defining) is exactly the same attitude that often (although perhaps less brazenly) grows rampant in our own “traditional” (for lack of a better word) meetings.  How often do we (I) walk into “church” ready to watch a show, hear a lecture, study a Scripture, sing a song, or whatever, rather than meet with God and with His people, celebrating the joyous fellowship we have in Christ as we worship and serve Him together as a community of saints?

Now, of course we (us biblical folk) would never actually say that we view “church” (there’s that fuzzy word again) as merely a “show,” but I think that our actions often betray our real attitude.  Just read a little more and judge whether or not you sometimes fall into the mindset this story so exquisitely embodies:

Without ever getting outside of their cars, parishioners drive to their favorite spot and sit behind the wheel for a worship service that includes all the familiar music, prayers and a full sermon…

Dotty Claybrook said the direct contact with nature appeals to her. She’s turned off by mega-churches and open groups, and prefers a more intimate setting — alone in her car.

Alone in her car.  She is doing “church” alone in her car.  It’s completely oxymoronic, and yet we so often fall into the same kind of thinking.

Father, help us to think biblically about our calling as a redeemed community of saints, united with one another and partaking of true fellowship through our shared union with Jesus.  Then let our careful thinking lead us to loving action in how we choose to relate to one another as your church.  Amen.

  1. Matt Gerrelts says:

    Thanks for this reminder. Although not a new practice, this is fascinating and, yes, something to learn from.

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