Speaking of travel…
Be sure to drive carefully through the Cedar Valley Cathedral of Praise’s parking lot. Most visitors have tears in their eyes.
The Dalton, Ga., church started an unconventional drive-through worship ministry in May. Since then, members of the congregation and strangers alike have taken time on a Sunday afternoon to pull off Cleveland Highway for a moment of prayer.
Unconventional, maybe, but not unexpected. I’m sure Cedar Valley isn’t the only one doing something like this, although I understand there probably aren’t many. When they don’t come to you, you go to them. This is at least a step in the direction of the latter, even if this is an imitation of corporate America. Having a drive-thru prayer/worship ministry is convenient for both sides. Those interested enough and wanting a spiritual encounter drive right up to you, as well as those pulling pranks. People who want to talk to someone never have to get out of their vehicles.
But to show this isn’t really something new, see this idea…
See their happy faces listening to the song, music and sermon? Yeah, neither did I. And it’s so much more convenient not to have to get out of the car. People could even “go to church” in their pajamas. Frankly, I don’t see the point in the men wearing suits and women wearing dresses. Who are they trying to impress, the kids in the back seat?
Mormon guys on bikes still roam the streets. Jehovah Witnesses still go door-to-door. Even though I strongly disagree with their theology, I still have to admire these misguided souls for their tenacity. Year in and year out they’re still out there on the streets, even though they are the prosaic stereotype of street witnessing. I’m sure they get their share of converts from just sheer numbers, if not convincing arguments.
It’s a commendable thing for Cedar Valley to do this. I’m just not all that impressed simply because it seems like another attempt to “do ministry” while avoiding the complicated and soiled personal involvement into someone’s life. How much can anyone really get to know of someone’s life in the time it takes to wait on a McDonald’s hamburger? Even a 10 minute McWorship or McPraise session in a car is a long time. For ministry to occur, there has to be relationship, some connection between people on some substantive level. There has to be more than sympathy. There should be empathy with another. For that to happen takes time on both sides. Much more time than anyone would get in a drive-thru.