St. John’s UMC in Ivyland embarked on a new ministry three weeks ago: Drive-thru Prayer. Every Wednesday from 4:30 to 6 pm we set up a canopy in front of our church, and prayer volunteers gather to offer prayer to folks who drive by typically on their way home from work.
The first week, six cars stopped; the second week, there were five. Last week 12 cars stopped for prayer.
We believe there are many who are struggling but don’t feel they can come to church. St. John’s wanted to find a way to reach out to them with the love of Christ. Even though they may not be affiliated with a church, they still need to know that Jesus loves them and cares about everything that concerns them.
So we decided to offer an opportunity for drive-thru prayer. When a car comes into the church driveway the occupants don’t have to get out. Two prayer volunteers meet and greet them at their car and ask what are their prayer needs. Then one of the volunteers offers a prayer for those specific needs.
This is a non-threatening time or situation. No one is pushing any doctrine. We just want them to know that Jesus loves them and hears their prayers, and that St. John’s is here for them, too.
After the prayer, we give them a “prayer square”–-a gift from our Prayer Shaw ministry–along with St. John’s contact information. They then go on their way.
As a way to advertise this ministry, a large banner is displayed on the front lawn of the church. Every Wednesday morning signs are placed near the road, and during the Drive-thru Prayer times, volunteers stand near the road holding up signs.
Our prayer is that this ministry will grow, and that we will be able to touch lives with the love of Christ.
St. John’s UMC is at 820 Almshouse Road, Ivyland, PA 18974. Phone: 215-357-6998. E-mail: email@example.com. Visit our Web site at http://www.stjohnsivyland.com
Also, article about our Drive-Thru Prayer Ministry was to appear in the Aug. 13 issue of the Intelligencer and Bucks County Courier Times newspapers. See the article and watch the short video at either www.theintell.com or www.BucksCountyCourierTimes.com.
By Ruth Portzline, Certified Lay Minister
Assistant Pastor, St. John’s UMC, Ivyland, PA
Editor’s Note: This is an excellent example of a church promoting its ministry to its community and to the conference. Kudos to Ruth Portzline and St. John’s UMC. If your church is planning or doing an innovative ministry, please let us know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. And by all means, let your community know through your local news media, visible signs, flyers and social media.