Good morning, Y’all! I want to start out with a disclaimer, because I don’t want you to think we have this topic in the bag. I have never been in charge of a bus route…and still am not. I have become the behind the scene worker who plans/prepares for Saturday and Sunday. About four weeks ago, we had four on the bus route. Please understand we are learning as we go.
I am writing this post to give you some ideas, a motivating thought or maybe the Lord will lead you to seek counsel about starting a bus route, in your local church.
My time at church consists of many ministries, but the bus ministry was not one of them. In July, my parents and I attended a conference in NJ. The Lord spoke to me during the last service. He impressed upon my heart the bus ministry is something that He wanted me to get involved in again. On the way home from the conference, I started a list of things that I needed to do. The first thing was to let the bus captain know that she was stuck with me, until the Lord led differently.
That Saturday we visited the entire route which lasted all of 15 minutes. We finished and headed to a restaurant to get planning We planned promotions leading up to the Fall Festival coming in October. I decided to get in contact with three people I knew were great with children, and were involved with the bus ministry.
Getting counsel from people that have wisdom on the area is the best way to go. Don’t go to a friend who sits in the nursery and ask how to grow the bus ministry. You have to go to the people that have gone through the ups and downs of the bus ministry. They are the ones who have wisdom! Glean all that you can from them.
Let me throw some of their wisdom your way.
“Kids don’t come for prizes they come for the person that’s inviting them.”
“They don’t want something as much as they need someone!”
“Use kids names as much as possible. Often kids are attention deprived of adults and having an adult remember their name and use it shows love and care. Really though…just show love.”
They’re great, right? That was my thought too. These statements drive me to give my all so that I can truly be there for each and every kid.
This past Sunday was our first week of the fall program and God came through in some amazing ways. We had a goal of 14 children and we had 15 riders on the bus. 7 of those riders were brand new. PRAISE THE LORD!
Starburst Sunday was a great start.
We got the idea from my sister’s old bus route. They did the exact same promotion and they had a great turn out so we decided to kick our program off with Starburst Sunday.
We had a few decorations but not many. As the weeks go on, the plan is to continue to add to what is already up. We made small starburst posters to put on the walls of the bus. The balloons on the ceiling were let go when we hit our attendance goal. Here are a few pictures from on the bus.
Putting hours into the decorations is BIG, but there is something else though that you need to have equal time in or even more. That is PRAYER. I told myself so many times saying “Danielle, I can spend hours decorating and getting ready, but if God is not the center…this is all pointless.” I can’t over express that prayer is so important.
Three things that I learned to have a successful day on the bus route. Success isn’t a number.
One thing I put into practice while praying for our bus ministry was to pray for others. I knew I had a desire for God to show up in a mighty way for our bus route. With that desire, I want God to work in a mighty way in other churches also.
When I pray for our bus route, I include three other churches. Each church is in need of helpers. I can’t overemphasize enough that churches are in need of people to get involved. It is so sad to see that Christians are okay with getting saved, and then sitting in the pews for the rest of their lives. They don’t realize how much joy they are missing out when they don’t get involved.
Ask the Lord to bring a church to mind for you to pray for along side of your ministry.
Visiting is hands-on work. You cant expect to have a great day on the bus route and not visit children. If you want new riders, you need to knock on new doors. Get your riders involved on Saturday visiting. Go around and visit their neighborhood friends with them.
Get the songs, games, and time killers ready to go so that the bus ride is exciting and fun.
Then plan decorations. Putting time into how the bus looks is a great way to get them excited. It also gives the children something to look forward too.
Have a great day serving the Lord!