There were greeters. There were ushers to show you to your place. There was music. There was prayer. And there was preaching.
It took place in the Mayfield Plaza parking lot, but you know what Matthew 18:20 says.
The drive-in church service Grace Life Church offered this past Sunday was another example of how the faith community is having to be creative; to still be the church and help minister in this crazy time of a world-wide pandemic and fear of what lurks outside our door.
Kudos to all of Grace Life’s organizers. They had welcoming stations at all the entry points of the lot with signs. There were the parking attendants who directed motorists to the spaces in front of Mega Gym and even staggered the vehicles — one in the front parking spot, then next in the adjoining back spot, and so on — to allow for social distancing.
Signs were posted with the radio frequency to tune to in order to pick up the hymns and Pastor Chad Lamb’s sermon that he delivered from on top of an RV to the rows of vehicles. There were tents to ask for assistance and ushers collected any donations as folks were leaving the lot.
Of course several of our local churches have had to adapt and adjust their normal worship services and outreach efforts in this present situation of social distancing while also serving a savior who said “Let the little children come to me” and who touched and healed and who was touched and healed.
Pastors are carrying their messages out into the world on social media, like Facebook Live. While sanctuaries may be quiet, congregation members (who are not under the weather themselves) are able to check on neighbors, shut-ins and the elderly. Some are even helping sew hospital masks to address those needs for healthcare staffs.
Lamb remarked in his message (which dealt with the timely topic of not being fearful) that it was just the fifth Sunday service for Grace Life, which usually worships at the WK&T Technology Park. In most churches, the fifth Sunday of a month marks a special time. For some, it is a time to hold The Lord’s Supper. In others, it’s a time for communal fellowship among fellow churches within a denomination.
I have heard a lot of sermons on how the church is not the building but the people. Here is a good opportunity to show the church outside its four walls — with safety and common sense. We shouldn’t commune and run the risk of spreading sickness, even in our efforts to be the hands and feet of Christ, we should stay vigilant to keep others and ourselves free from sickness.
This is a strange time we are living in, but it is also a special time to help spread the gospel in a variety of special ways. It just means thinking outside the box … or the parking lot.