Drive-In Church

Our church in Southern California, like many others across the nation, has been doing drive-in church: you sit in your car and listen on your radio to a special frequency to hear the sermon and the music. In our church there’s also a little cart with coffee and donuts that goes around. It's really quite fun and novel. It's especially exciting for our church because we're trying to buy a piece of property to build a building and the owner of the property has given us permission to have drive-in church there. It looks like we're going to meet like this for church for the foreseeable future.


I've been thinking a lot about this different version of church lately. I’ve so appreciated all the effort, work, and planning for us to be able to have drive-in church. It’s really good. But it wasn't enough for me. I saw my friends. I got to wave at them in their cars as they drove by. But we, of course, practice social distancing and so we sat in our car quietly just waiting for the service to start. Which meant that there was no ability to just go talk to a person or have the Lord lead me to walk over and pray for another person. I found this especially hard because what we really long for is human interaction—not electronic, not virtual, not from your car—but face to face, handshake to handshake, human interaction. And when we don't have that, there's something missing.


For the last week or two, I've just been feeling off and different—just not myself. I’ve determined that it’s because I lack human interaction. We’re stuck in our house. We can only go to the grocery store or do minor repairs in our house, but for the most part what we're used to in terms of human interactions is being interfered with. It makes it even tougher because we don't have universal guidelines, so what can happen in one state can’t happen in another. I think there's a great lesson to be learned here: don't neglect human relationships, particularly human interaction. Don't become so enamored with what you're learning and growing in and doing individually that you’re not part of the community.


My daughter Barrett walked the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada—almost 2,600 miles—all by herself last year. But she wasn’t really by herself; they built communities on the trail. She may not have taken her friends with her to walk the trail, but pretty soon others joined her as they also walked the same path. These “trail families” just began to emerge—people caring for each other on the trail. She got off the trail in November and she still has contact with most of the people who were in her “trail family.” It’s her community right now. So, my encouragement for the day is: do all that you can to get ongoing human interactions whether it's a heart-to-heart talk over the phone or on Zoom. Heart talk— not just conversation—but heart talk is at least partway there to human interaction.