When the guidelines were provided for Drive-in church from our denomination’s leadership, an idea was formed. With the standing goal of resourcing families together to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves, we began planning.

The plan is to offer a kid-friendly-family-engaging service of less than thirty minutes outdoors at three different times. Families with multiples could choose their service as they’d all be the same. We chose a Thursday night so not to interfere with any other ministry choosing to edit their programming or service offerings through the summer. Nothing is as it was and everything is up for innovation. The services will be the same: 6pm for 1st grade and younger; 7pm for 2nd-3rd grade; 8pm for 4th-5th grade. The back parking lot is perfect for sound and no drive-thru traffic on Thursdays.

A ZOOM call with the children’s ministry leadership team gave direction followed by phone calls with the senior pastor, the head of trustees, the head of IT team, the head of AV team, and a super Dad who always has a spirit of YES. We reserved space, ordered an inflatable movie screen from WalMart, thought through the projector needs, and this amazing team of super-servants met at 6pm last Thursday to see where the sun would be and set up for a dry run. An upgrade in sound/visual equipment in our sanctuary offered some replaced equipment which was sitting on a shelf.

The location was perfect, but a tad windy. The inflatable movie screen was awesome to look at, but the wind made it so unstable we had to move it behind the sidewalk we’d hope would serve as a stage area. Moved it so far to rest against the building which was on a slope making the screen low and small. The screen also had a hole in it so it wouldn’t stay upright. We couldn’t get a visual from the projector even though it was in the shade to be seen by the cars in the parking lot. A new projector with the lumens necessary to be seen in the daylight would cost a fortune. We’re now rethinking how or even if we should present the music video and/or the story video. If not a visual, how else do we engage with more than one sense (auditory) to present the message, share the message in the vehicle, and invite families to respond within the boundaries given? The two heavy plastic kiddie pools we’ll use to collect an offering will give us an awesome sound when money is dropped in as families exit. Sidewalk chalk will X-out spaces where there is no parking. Traffic patterns were set and the sun will cooperate for the appropriate shade. More ideas are coming in from folks who have been silent for a while, but have jumped all-in to the deep end of the innovation pool because sharing Jesus with kids in a sticky, fun, and engaging way is the goal for us all.

The Resilient Church Academy has helped me process the fireworks of thoughts and ideas that can only be turned off by watching an historical documentary on Prime TV. What are you watching? Sorry, squirrel moment. Yesterday’s Master Class of mobilizing the resilient gospel spoke of creating spaces for lament, spaces for mission, and spaces for hope. Our Drive-in dry run created space for all three. And I’m good with that.

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17