Many parts of the United States continue to face high numbers of COVID cases and even rising hospitalizations. This means some churches are still not having in-person services or gatherings. Our congregations need connection and ministering, but how do we do that in such challenging circumstances?
We have to be creative and find safe ways to still minister to and connect with our people. Some churches have found multiple ways to create drive-thru experiences that allow safely distanced interactions.
Here are just a few examples:
- Drive-thru prayer – Have volunteers, safely masked, available to pray with drivers. So many families and individuals are dealing with sickness, financial stress, job loss, depression, and more; they miss having the prayer support they found during and after a weekly church service. Having a staff member or volunteer take a few minutes to pray with them and over them, even though safely distanced, can provide great encouragement and support.
- Drive-by youth surprise – Have youth group volunteers drive by the homes of the youth to safely say hello and drop off a little gift. This lets the youth know they are missed and in the thoughts and prayers of the staff and volunteers. Some churches also leave a sign in the yard with a positive message representing the church.
- Drive-thru family fun night – Invite families with children in the children’s ministry to come to the church and drive through to have staff and volunteers say hello and give each family a Family Fun Night Pack. Some fun things to include in the pack could be popcorn, candy, a family devotional activity, and a Redbox gift card. This is a way to show some love and encouragement to families.
- Drive-thru Thanksgiving Dinner basket – Prepare baskets of the food needed to make a Thanksgiving dinner. Many families are struggling financially and having groceries provided for an extra special dinner during this season will certainly be a blessing. Families or individuals can drive through and volunteers bless them with a bountiful basket of food.
These are just a few ideas, but there are many similar ways you and your staff can plan around your congregation’s specific needs. It feels frustrating to not be able to gather together and minister in ways we have previously found effective, but 2020 is making us consider ministry differently. It requires flexibility and creativity, but our response is important because our congregations need us.