The Secret to Growth of Your Bus Ministry
By: Ryan Thompson
Would you like to know the secret to seeing consistent, continual growth on your bus route? I have been involved in the bus ministry for nearly a quarter of a century. I have been a bus worker, a bus captain, and now, for more than a decade, our church bus ministry director. In that time, I have seen individual bus routes bring hundreds to church on a single Sunday. I have been a part of special days where thousands rode church buses to our ministry. And, in that time, I have learned a few "secrets" about thriving bus routes.
Would you like me to share the shortcut to having a full bus every week, with regular riders growing in grace, visitors coming every Sunday, and people making decisions for Christ on a regular basis?
I'm going to share with you the "secret" and "shortcut" to blessing in your bus ministry. Here it is. Are you ready? There is no shortcut to success in the bus ministry!
While there may not be a shortcut, or an easy path to effectiveness in this eternal endeavor, there are most definitely attributes and characteristics in every bus route that I have seen God use to impact an area.
Here are four "secrets" to a successful bus ministry.
1. Line Up Your Route
Plan your Saturday. You should spend time each week "lining up" your plan for Saturday bus visitation. I have said for years, "Great Sundays are a result of great Saturdays." Each week, spend a few minutes planning when you will visit, how long you will visit, and where you will visit.
Plan your Sunday. Will there be any special programs or promotions on your route this week or this month? Will you encourage your riders to memorize Scripture, to bring their Bibles to church, or to invite friends? The truth is that very little of this will happen if you do not intentionally plan for it.
Great bus routes are organized. Great bus captains have a plan, a vision, goals, and a purpose for which they are striving. Do you?
As Christian leaders, it is vital that you rally others around you to join you in the work. You and I can only accomplish so much on our own. God did not intend for any of us to be "Lone Rangers." Rather, he wants every one of us to multiply ourselves in His harvest field. Are you training anyone else?
Do you desire to see more accomplished for God through your life and ministry? If so, you will have to be willing to invest more of your resources to see that happen. So, the question is not "Can God use me to accomplish more?" The question is, "Are you willing to work more so that God can use you to accomplish more?"
No matter what kind of personality or programs we have, if we don't have love, we have nothing. It has been wisely said, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Regarding the bus ministry, I have heard it said, "People will visit because it is fun. They will keep coming because they are loved."
Without a Christ-like love and compassion in our hearts, we cannot make the difference that needs to be made. We cannot reach the people that need to be reached. And, we will not see God work in the way He wants to work. Do you truly love those that God has called you to serve?
So, the secret to success is that there is no secret. God wants to use you. God can use you. God will use you. But, it is going to take some organization, a lot of work, a commitment to train others, and a huge dose of true compassion for those you serve.
If you will implement these four ingredients into your weekly ministry, you will see the supernatural blessing of God.
Ryan Thompson is the administrative pastor of North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California. He is also the church bus director.