By Melinda Shunk
Children's Ministry Coordinator
You may think that church vans are sitting alone in empty church parking lots out in the hot summer sun. Of course, we are not using them to pick up and deliver children, youth, and adults to our buildings or events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so why would they leave their parking spots?
It would be easy to think that those reliable church vans and buses could not possibly be used again until the church returns to building use. The pandemic has required people to get creative with online worship and lessons. But some have pressed to think outside the normal walls and WiFi use in ministry which has led to porch visits, food delivering, dropping off Bible lessons supplies, and celebrating a masked milestone in a driveway. It has been amazing to see the church working in the community; but how did those ministry teams get out into their communities?
Tiffany Jones from Beebe shared, “When using our own cars, it created expensive mileage costs.” They also found their loads of goodies that they were taking to family’s homes fit better in the van during their multiple stops each day.
When they drove down long driveways or came unannounced, people always knew it was the church when they saw the church van logos. Tiffany also shared, “They would see us and immediately come to the porch to greet us. Many commented they knew it was the church as soon as they looked out the window.”
Well, you know who else looks out the window: neighbors! Neighbors saw that the FUMC van was making a visit. Neighbors asked what was in the Vacation Bible School box that they saw delivered to the front porch from the church. Neighbors saw masked church staff and volunteers driving the van to bring faith, hope, and love to members during the quarantine.
Church vans need to be used for everything you do in ministry now as a way for others to witness that church is happening outside the church walls. They may want to be part of a church that they can see delivering weekly faith, hope, and love. When people see that church logo driving through the neighborhood, they see the hands and feet of Jesus in their neighborhood.
I know that not all churches have the luxury of a church vehicle, but you can very cost-effectively purchase Church Logo Door Magnets. When a church staff or volunteer drives their own vehicle with a church logo driver door magnet, neighbors know this is not just a friend stopping by for a visit.
You can contact Digital Print & Imaging Mike Burnett at 902 Cumberland St., Little Rock, AR 72202, 501-376-2200, 501-376-2202 (fax), or firstname.lastname@example.org for a 12×18 Church Logo door magnet. I purchased two for $60 and had to pay postage. I think that is a great deal for any church!
Beebe First UMC’s church van