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Bus Ministry

Should Your Church Get Involved in the Bus Ministry?

written by on the topic of Bus Ministry, Featured on February, 2013

And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
(Luke 14:23)

The bus ministry may be the greatest evangelistic tool in the history of the local church. In the past fifty years, hundreds of millions of people have come to churches across America, riding in church buses and vans, to hear the gospel message.

I firmly believe that a bus or van ministry should be an integral part in every church’s outreach program. Like any great endeavor, the bus ministry brings unique challenges.

A few thoughts for those considering this eternal work:

  1. Count the Cost

    • Manpower: Before you begin, recruit the necessary volunteers to staff this ministry. Every bus or van route needs a driver and captain. In addition, you may need extra workers, vehicle mechanics and a secretary to care for the paperwork, insurance, and legal needs required by your state.

      The bulk of the work for this ministry will be done on the weekends. In our church, an army of workers heads out every Saturday morning, canvassing our community and inviting people to ride our buses to church. Then, on Sunday morning, twenty-five buses travel back to those areas to pick up those who want to come to church.

    • Money: Set an annual budget for this ministry. You will need to decide if you should purchase or rent the needed vehicles. Our church has been involved in the bus ministry for the past thirty-seven years. For most of that time, we have owned and operated our own fleet. However, there was a brief time where it became cost prohibitive to do this, and it was advantageous to rent our vehicles each week.

      The bus ministry will incur additional costs in gas, maintenance, insurance, promotions and giveaways for the riders throughout the year. Raise the funds needed and be prepared for these expenses so that your church can stay committed to this ministry for many years.

  2. Lead the Laborers

    Undoubtedly, a volunteer workforce will staff this ministry; most having never been involved in anything like it. You must invest the time and resources to teach them how to safely, efficiently and effectively serve in this capacity. In our church, we have hosted annual bus clinics featuring a guest speaker to help train our workers. In addition, we have a brief meeting every Saturday morning. We cover policies, discuss upcoming campaigns, and address issues that arise. This weekly meeting is vital for our volunteers to stay on the same page, ensuring that we keep the ministry running safely and smoothly from week to week.

  3. Reap the Rewards

    • Earthly Rewards: There is nothing like seeing the smile on the face of a young child as they experience church for the very first time. Many of our riders come from underprivileged homes. Some live in dysfunctional families and have faced unimaginable hurt in their young lives. To teach them a Bible story, give them some food, or maybe give a toy at Christmas brings a joy that cannot be described. Every week, we have riders tell us that Sunday morning is the highlight of their week.

    • Eternal Rewards: A cumulative total of more than 1.1 million people have attended our church on the buses, hearing the Bible preached for the first time. Thousands of those have trusted Christ as their personal Savior. These people probably would have never come to our church and may have never heard of Christ had there been no bus ministry in their city. There are now pastors, missionaries, and godly Christians scattered all around the world that were reached for Christ on our buses. We have seen countless eternal rewards by being involved in the bus ministry.

About the Author

Ryan Thompson is the Administrative Pastor of North Valley Baptist Church. He is also the church bus director and teaches an adult Bible class. His most recent book is entitled Making a Difference.

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