Bus Ministry 101
By: Matthew P. Gage
The Bus Ministry is a fairly simple ministry to run. Basically, it consists of getting kids to and from church. Everything else is just a corollary to that simple definition. We visit to see who is riding, we try to find more kids to ride, we get them to church, they hear the Word of God, and we take them home.
Bus Ministries come in all sizes. Smaller churches may have a single van or bus, while large churches may have a fleet of buses. Some may run five or ten riders, others will run hundreds or even thousands. Really it just depends on the size of your church, the amount of work you can put into it, and the area you have to work. It would be difficult to run hundreds in a town of 5,000 people, but it would be very easy to do so in a town of 500,000 people.
If you are starting this ministry from scratch, you need to keep the three "F"'s in mind:
Here are a few other considerations
Most Riders Will Be From Lower Class Neighborhoods
Don't expect to build a bus route with middle or upper class kids. The areas you will do the most good in are on the "other side of the track."
Yes, somebody needs to reach middle class kids. You can reach them, but I prefer to get the most return for my efforts. This is especially true for when just getting started. Once you get a route off the ground and then devote some time to these areas.
Slow Growth Is Most Common and Probably Best
When a route takes off like wildfire, it is just about as wild and crazy as a wildfire. Slowly building a route lets kids get plugged into your program. It is very hard to even run a program if there is a large percent of new riders.
Your Attendance Will Fluctuate
Do Set Goals
Someone once said to set goals on the effort you put in and not on the results. That does go very well in the Bus Ministry. You have no control over who get on your bus on Sunday morning, but you do have control over who many new houses you stop on Saturday morning.
Nevertheless, I do like having a goal set for how many riders I'll have ride. A general rule of thumb is that each hour of visiting supports 10 riders.
This information is courtesy of Baptist Basics University, an online source for free Bible and ministry courses, www.baptistbasics.org.