Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Re-Thinking The Sunday Chruch Service (Part 14) - Drive-In Church

Read the entire series here.

In Part 13 I described a disjointed body. One where all the parts were arranged in their proper places, but were not connected.

A few years ago I remember reading about a church in Los Angeles in the early 70's that met in a drive-in movie theater. Cars would park and hang the speaker from the car door so that they could listen to the sermon, then easily leave when church was over. I don't remember reading if girls on roller skates would dispense the elements of the Lord's Supper, but it would be a good fit.

Most all of us would ridicule such a notion. Obvious criticisms would be: that American culture would be superimposed upon the church. Congregants would be far too lazy to get out of their cars. Only in California. Individualism reigned supreme. With each family or individual being in their own vehicle, a disconnection would occur and members would be forced further apart as church members.

Would such criticisms apply only to the drive-in church, but not to churches where members are sitting next to each other with the same disconnectedness? Is the problem with the drive-in church model, or is there some already existing problem that is simply taken to the next step? It seems to me that a church meeting where there is interaction between all the members would help prevent (but not necessarily eliminate) such strange church models.

Part 13 .


  1. Steve,

    Sounds like a good comparison to me. I've made similar comparisons between "multi-venue" or "video-venue" churches. If you don't know the person that's speaking - I mean, in the sense of having a real relationship with the person - then you may as well watch a video screen - or even a computer generator image.


  2. It seems to me the venue of having a preacher preach and a passive audience watching is what creates such a scenario. When only one or two people are allowed to use their gifts (preacher and the worship leader) everyone else is left to passively participate and play "simon says" with the leaders.

    I Cor. 12 and 14 detail a church that everyone is a part of the church, that each and every person works together to form a body...not just one or two. Perhaps that is why everyone is passive...they aren't being used. I know for myself and most men I know, that just doesn't work. If I can't use my gifts, drive-in or sit-in, they both miss the mark.