Sunday, June 5, 2016
The Hindering Perception
When I saw them up the road, I knew what was happening. Anyone who saw them would have figured the same thing. They were doing a car wash. Very likely it was a fund raiser for some youth group since they were the ones out on the side of the road waving hand made poster board signs in the air. But, I was very wrong. When I got close enough to read the waving signs, I did not see the words, "Car Wash," but "Drive Thru Prayer." It certainly got my attention so as I passed them, I took a long look their way. Behind them there was a car parked in the circle drive in front of the church and a small group of people were gathered around it. From the way things looked, it was the place where the praying was taking place.
In all my years of ministry, I have never thought of a "Drive Thru Prayer" ministry. In the last two churches prayer rooms were created for ongoing prayer ministries, but people still had to make the effort to come into the room for prayer. A drive through ministry for prayer was until the other day a not really considered idea. I guess my hesitations would stem from wondering whether folks driving somewhere in their car would pull out of their intended journey for a moment of prayer offered by a group of strangers. But, what I saw the other day surely gave proof that some would if given the opportunity.
As one who has lived his life as a part of the mainline traditional established church, I understand and confess the church's reluctance to get out of its comfort zone for something so out of the box and beyond the boundaries of conventional structures for ministry. But, it is not just the church, but also the leadership, a place where I certainly stood. Getting the ministry of the church out into the world is not something which should be viewed as some radical act. It should be a commonplace practice where failure and foolishness do not enter into the equation. Too many times we are hindered by our perception of what other people might think. Maybe, the real thing which should concern is what God thinks of what we do.