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Thoughts on the bus ministry.

In a day when many churches are questioning whether the bus ministry is worth the time and money it takes to keep those buses rolling, this site is here to help you see that it is worth your time and money. I trust you will find the material located here helpful. Visit the forum and give your input or ask a question about bus mechanical problems, how to run a bus program, or other bus ministry issues. Post the problem and let's see if we can work through it together to get your bus ministry back in gear and on the road.

Most Recent to the Bus Ministry Basics Blog
April 10, 2019Bus MinistryIn 1988 I rode the church bus to Midland Baptist Church for the first time. I was 4 years old. And that started my years as a “bus kid.” For the next 12 years, off and on, I would ride the bus to church. I grew up in a home where Christ was never mentioned except as a curse word. My single mom did all she could to provide for her two boys and two girls after my father left when I was around 2 years old. She worked a lot. My grandmother, who also had been a single mom, tried to pick up the slack however she could. If it were not for dedicated and diligent bus workers, I’m not really sure if I would have ever known of salvation through Jesus Christ. Thousands of young kids with stories very similar to mine are picked up on church busses every year. The bus ministry is a wonderful outreach through which many are saved and baptized. This is exciting! I was led to Christ by a conscientious worker when I was 7 years old. Many young people start riding busses, and eagerly trust Christ. Unfortunately, many of them ride for a short time and then fall away, or seemingly lose interest. Thank God that my life was salvaged through the bus ministry, and I am serving God today. Because of my experiences growing up on a bus, there are some things that my bus workers did well that made a great difference, and your bus kids wish for you to know this too (these are written from a kid’s perspective): – Be Patient With Me: I’m used to doing things my way: what I want, how I want, when I want. Structure is new to me. I don’t know what is good for me. I may be resistant, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want structure or need it in my life. – Give Me Your Undivided Attention: I already fight for attention against the TV, the phone, the Internet, other vices, and other people – who seem to matter more – while I’m at home; I don’t want to have to fight for your attention at church as well. When I am on the bus, talk to me, not the other workers. – I Am Not A Number: I’m not a kid to fill an empty seat or to help you win an attendance race. I really do have feelings (even if I don’t show it). I want to be valued. I need someone to notice me. To care for me. To see me for who I am as an individual. I am an investment. I want to be encouraged, not just corrected. I want someone to enforce rules; that shows they really do care for me. – Don’t Allow My Family To Intimidate You: My family is rough and not always polite. But they need Jesus, too. Don’t avoid contact with them. If my parents get saved and become dedicated to Christ, my life will dramatically be changed for the better. Don’t forget about those whom I love. Never stop asking them to come to church or sharing salvation and God’s Word with them. – Don’t Assume That I’m Saved: This Sunday may be my last time at church. I may not hear the gospel again. Make sure that you ask me often and keep the gospel the focal point. Make sure I understand. Eternity is at stake. – I Want To Be Hugged: I know that there are rules against physical contact, and they are for safety and propriety; but I want to know that I am loved. Show it! – I Need You To Be My Greatest Influence: You need to be more of an influence in my life than my friends who are involved in sin. You need to be more invested in me than a teacher at school or the coach of my team. You need to be the most significant voice I hear: because I am going to be who or what my greatest influence is. So if I am going to be a dedicated, growing Christian, I need you to be dedicated to me. You need to have more influence in my life than just checking up on me on Saturday and taking me to church on Sunday. Come to my games. Come to my plays. Take me to the park. Send me a birthday card. I will follow someone, and it will be the one who takes the most interest in me. – Remember I’m In A Pit: Even if it’s not my own pit, I’m stuck in the mire. I live in a non-Christian home in an unchristian- world. My parents have not set me up for spiritual success. Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” – Remember I need direction: I need someone to point me to the Lord so that He can establish my goings and put a new song in my mouth. I need a new foundation upon which to build my life. I need you to know that I am a sheep among wolves. Sometimes even my family and friends are wolves; they try to devour me and squelch my excitement. I often have to choose between church on Sunday or going to do the one fun thing that my family wants to do this week; they are at the same time. If I’m ever going to go forward for Christ, I need someone to fight for me in prayer and be there for me in my darkest days. I am more than just a Sunday only commitment. Please don’t give up on me. I need you. [...]
January 16, 2019Bus Ministry TestimonialsI was a bus kid! My family never attended church but I began riding the bus. Gave my life to Jesus that very first Sunday! That was in 1987! Fast forward to now… I am married to a Pastor and ministry is our life! Of course we are involved in bus ministry to this day! [...]
January 15, 2019Bus Ministry TestimonialsThe bus ministry is one of the most rewarding ministries that a church can have; it teaches many different lessons to the bus worker as well as the bus kids. The bus route has increased my faith in God. One of my bus kids was convinced his dad was going to come to church. His dad had always gave me and his son excuses, but one Wednesday night his dad came!! I was very happy for him, but the verse came to mind “Oh ye of little faith.” (Matthew 6:30) How much did I doubt and I was a Christian! His son was not. Another thing God has taught me through my bus kids is why I should never give up the Christian life. My bus kids are watching my life and they will be influenced by the decisions I make whether they be small, trivial decisions like using my phone on Sundays or big, spiritual decisions like surrendering my life to God. With my bus kids or bus kids in general watching me, why should I be a bad influence? These kids will remember everything I say and do and I hope and pray that they will be able to look back and see why it is important to be a Christian. [...]
October 25, 2018Bus Ministry TestimonialsWhat a surprise! Bobby (Sylvester) Roberson and his wife came through Chesterton, Indiana unexpectedly. Bobby was saved at Fairhaven Baptist Church in 1980. His wife, who has never visited here, said that he’s always talking about Fairhaven, Fairhaven, Fairhaven! Bill Smith was his children’s bus captain. He said he used to close the blinds when he saw him coming because he knew Bill would talk to him about the Lord. Bill eventually led him to the Lord! All but one of his children were let to the Lord through our ministry and the other one, he led to the Lord himself. He moved away to Florida not long after that. Today, he was quoting sermons he heard from Dr. Roger Voegtlin. He said he loved his preaching! Back home in Florida, he is a soul-winner to some biking clubs. His wife said, “Keep witnessing – you never know what happens when you do!” Bobby still has preaching tapes from those old days. Praise the Lord! [...]
October 3, 2018Bus MinistrySo you have a bus and your bus ministry is growing and you want to add a second or third bus to your fleet.  I know it is not always possible to do but it would be worth trying to get a second bus that has the same engine and body that your current bus has.  There are many advantages to doing this.  I was reminded of this recently as we decommissioned bus 116 which served us faithfully for 12 years.  Seems like the problem of the ages that most of us fight with our vehicles is rust and it finally had taken its toll on this bus.  So the bus is ready for the junk yard, but wait!  Is it still worth something to us?  Yes it is.  Because all of our buses have the same type engine, we are able to fix other buses with parts that might still be good on this one. Over three weeks ago one of our other buses was humming down the highway on a Sunday morning heading off to pickup the children when out of nowhere a valve in the engine came loose and fell into the number 6 cylinder.  Sadly, we lost an engine.  Since the engine to bus 116 was still good we were able to pull the engine out and put it into the broken-down bus.  This took some time and though not an easy task, the effort was worth the money saved.  A brand new engine would have cost us at least $10,000 and a rebuilt kit with us supplying the labor would have cost about $4,500.  So now with some time and effort our broken-down bus will be back on the road again. So what other advantages could there be?  Troubleshooting a problem is very difficult in the world of manufacturers who love to put as many sensors on a vehicle engine as possible.   With these sensors costing over $100 most of the time, you can’t just throw parts at the bus and hope it fixes it.  If you suspect a sensor is bad and you have another bus with the same engine then you can switch sensors to see if it is really the culprit. Another advantage of having the same bus is that you begin to learn the problems that a certain make and model has.  Wait, can’t you just tell us which bus to buy that doesn’t have any problems? I wish I could, but it doesn’t matter what bus you end up buying. Eventually they are all going to break down.  Since some issues are easier to fix, it wouldn’t hurt to do some research and ask around to see which bus make and model might have the fewest problems to deal with.  We all are busy, and if we only need to learn one set of quirks and problems we will all be better off. Lastly, as you go to junk “old faithful,” stop and look over the bus to see what little things could be taken off and used on another bus in your fleet: a broken mirror, a heater switch, tires, or seats.  Now we all know that churches love to store stuff, but we can’t turn the church property into a junk yard saving every part and piece.  As you deal with the bus, you will learn what parts last forever and what parts are prone to failing.  Save those few parts and then haul the bus down to the scrap yard. If you are lucky, you might walk away from the scrap yard with $1,000 to put towards the next bus! Though having similar buses is ideal, it is not always possible.  Buses will be donated to your ministry. You may also find a deal that can’t be passed up.  In the end, pray about what God wants you to have and do your best to keep that bus rolling down the highway and hedges, compelling them to come in. [...]

"The reason why many churches are not growing today; the reason why many churches are not reaching bus parents; the reason why many churches are not even running buses; the reason why many churches today are stagnant and hotbeds of internal strife; the reason why many churches are not winning the lost; the reason why many churches are not getting the job done is simply that they (for one reason or another) have their priorities mixed up."

- David H. Sorenson

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