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Bus Ministries, a thing of the past?

 
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Post Bus Ministries, a thing of the past? Cojak
It seems that SS is a dying teaching tool. Is it?

I remember when pastors would run a bus thru mill hills and fill their churches. The theory was Bus and teach 50-60 6-8 year old kids for 12 years and keep half of them every year and you would have a thriving youthful church with sainted leadership. It was a good theory and worked for years.

Years ago many parents sent their kids to church and the kids looked forward to it for entertainment. Chalk boards, flannel graphs story telling plays etc. I am assuming there is plenty of entertainment now and the church is last in line.

And I know from childhood it is a tough job on a pastor to keep bus drivers (Many times dad would drive himself). Now the legal requirements are much tougher could be a restraint. I remember when members and dad's car was used to augment the loads.

Will it, or does it work now? Shocked
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3/12/18 9:27 am


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Post Cojak
I couldn't wait to get my driver's license. I then drove three families to church every service. I loved every mile of it, just to get behind the wheel! LOL Cool
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3/12/18 9:30 am


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Post We want a van... lesserpower
but honestly it would be for church trips more than picking up for church. I think you are spot on, the "entertainment" value of Sunday School and Children's Church is pretty much surpassed by sitting at home and watching YouTube/ Netflix/ video games. After many years of under performing, we finally cancelled our Sunday School program last year.
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3/12/18 10:01 am


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Post I asked a similar question of Larry McDaniel... Aaron Scott
Back in the 80s or so, Larry McDaniel was THE guru of Bus Ministry. A couple of years back, I contacted him and asked something similar (e.g., is bus ministry kind of dated, should it still be used, etc.?). He told me that if he were starting a church today, he would make bus ministry a top priority.

If anyone on earth should know, it would be him.
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3/12/18 10:38 am


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Post SouthFloridaman
I think more than anything fuel prices killed bus ministries. I reminder the 80’s and 90’s being the golden age of the church bus then in 2000’s gas hit 4$ a gallon. That was the death nail of the bus ministry. Even though I still funded it out of my pockets. I remember in the early days some weeks i would be choosing between food or the bus ministry, I would say it’s time to fast but God always provided food when I made that choice. I had a very successful bus ministry of over 200. Some weeks we would send out over 5 vehicles. I had a soft spot because I would drive some home after I ministered. I would take them out to eat. I miss it.

Last edited by SouthFloridaman on 3/12/18 4:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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3/12/18 12:54 pm


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Post Quiet Wyatt
In our very small town (pop 2200, with the nearest town to us being 20 miles away), we still drive a church van to pick up between 10-15 kids Sunday morning. We sometimes have to make two trips on Wednesday nights, since one of our vans is broken down and we don’t have funds available to repair it. The funny thing is, so far as I know (I have been here five years), our church has never really pushed the bus ministry here. Whenever I have mentioned going door to door and seeing if we can start picking up more kids, our children’s ministries leader has appeared frightened by the prospect of more kids. We are a bit short on space and on volunteers on Wednesdays especially.

I don’t think bus ministry is caput. I think it is just hard to get volunteers to commit long term to much of anything these days.
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3/12/18 3:22 pm


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Post Cojak
Quiet Wyatt wrote:
In our very small town (pop 2200, with the nearest town to us being 20 miles away), we still drive a church van to pick up between 10-15 kids Sunday morning. We sometimes have to make two trips on Wednesday nights, since one of our vans is broken down and we don’t have funds available to repair it. The funny thing is, so far as I know (I have been here five years), our church has never really pushed the bus ministry here. Whenever I have mentioned going door to door and seeing if we can start picking up more kids, our children’s ministries leader has appeared frightened by the prospect of more kids. We are a bit short on space and on volunteers on Wednesdays especially.

I don’t think bus ministry is caput. I think it is just hard to get volunteers to commit long term to much of anything these days.


Admiral QW and that is how I see it from the outside. I forget the vans, very logical. Cool
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3/12/18 11:23 pm


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Post Re: I asked a similar question of Larry McDaniel... Cojak
Aaron Scott wrote:
Back in the 80s or so, Larry McDaniel was THE guru of Bus Ministry. A couple of years back, I contacted him and asked something similar (e.g., is bus ministry kind of dated, should it still be used, etc.?). He told me that if he were starting a church today, he would make bus ministry a top priority.

If anyone on earth should know, it would be him.


Thanks, Brother. I know a couple folk who feel the same. I am glad to hear it re-enforced. Cool
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3/12/18 11:25 pm


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Post What is wrong with this picture? Preacher777
Most churches I know of have no problem finding people who want to go on short term mission trips. However, the lack of volunteers and money for gas (airfare seems to get covered) seems to be common problems that hinder bus ministries.

Is it God trying to do a new thing in this decade? Perhaps this is a necessary cultural adaptation for this generation? Do you think maybe it could be a good idea to let people wanting to go on a missions trip first develop a heart for souls and volunteer for children's church, youth ministry or a bus ministry in his or her own Jerusalem before flying to the uttermost parts of the world?

I am not saying every church needs to have a bus ministry and no we do not have one now. Many smaller churches do have financial limitations due to supporting missions, lack of vehicles, volunteers busy working without a salary on repairs, landscaping, cutting grass, cleaning, children/nursery, fundraisers etc.
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3/13/18 5:30 am


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Post Carolyn Smith
You don't just need buses or gas, you need committed people who will "pastor" the families on their bus. I think several of the reasons bus ministry has gone by the wayside in many places are mentioned in this thread.

Some people also do not want to bus in children of a different race. Sad, but true...

If you have a viable children's ministry, there are always children who are hungry for the love and attention that can be found in most churches. Some of them lead lives that are void of much love. You have to have people in place that have a heart for that, also.

When we were active in children's ministry 20 years ago, there was also a concept introduced of taking church to the children rather than bussing them in. With the right team, this can also be very successful.
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3/13/18 5:42 am


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Post bus ministries are alive and well wayne
If you will work the field, you can still bring in a boat load of children. I tell Pastors all the time, if they will go after the children their church will grow. Especially, with all the addicts and parents who are not involved in truly parenting their children. Our church still goes into the neighborhoods to pick up children.
We have a very large church in our area and the majority of their attendance is kids from the area.

This kind of ministry requires dedicated staff and I am of the opinion this should be a budget item for all churches. Parents don't want them or need a break for them and if they know they can trust you, they will gladly let you have their children for a couple hours a week.
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3/13/18 7:17 am


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Post Da Sheik
We don't have a bus ministry here, but I've had them at previous assignments. I think they're a great idea if the resources and workers are available. I hate to say this, but I think the reason some don't do it is because of the types of people the buses might bring! Acts Enthusiast
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3/13/18 11:01 am


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Post wayne
Da Sheik wrote:
We don't have a bus ministry here, but I've had them at previous assignments. I think they're a great idea if the resources and workers are available. I hate to say this, but I think the reason some don't do it is because of the types of people the buses might bring!



this is very true!!! usually, lots of work involved for these folks. FYI: my family would ride the church bus to church.
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3/13/18 1:31 pm


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Post Cojak
Carolyn Smith wrote:
You don't just need buses or gas, you need committed people who will "pastor" the families on their bus. I think several of the reasons bus ministry has gone by the wayside in many places are mentioned in this thread.

Some people also do not want to bus in children of a different race. Sad, but true...

If you have a viable children's ministry, there are always children who are hungry for the love and attention that can be found in most churches. Some of them lead lives that are void of much love. You have to have people in place that have a heart for that, also.

When we were active in children's ministry 20 years ago, there was also a concept introduced of taking church to the children rather than bussing them in. With the right team, this can also be very successful.


I just know you guys were dedicated to the kids. And as WAyne has mentioned many kids are looking for love. Crying for love. When we did an evening VBS (Or Children's Crusade) I preferred the title VBS. Church families would volunteer their yard for a public 'show' program for kids, to do some local PR and ads for the VBS.
As we worked with the kids, you would have been blind not to see they needed love and a hug. I truly enjoyed that ministry. I spent a few years trying to make up for the ones I lost outside HIS will. I loved to see them drinking inthe Bible stories so familiar to CHURCH KIDS, but unknown to them. Smile

PS:m The name VBS sits better with many no-church families than 'Kids Crusade'. To some that sounds like a 'brain washing' course. Wink
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3/13/18 9:43 pm


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Post Carolyn Smith
Cojak wrote:
Carolyn Smith wrote:
You don't just need buses or gas, you need committed people who will "pastor" the families on their bus. I think several of the reasons bus ministry has gone by the wayside in many places are mentioned in this thread.

Some people also do not want to bus in children of a different race. Sad, but true...

If you have a viable children's ministry, there are always children who are hungry for the love and attention that can be found in most churches. Some of them lead lives that are void of much love. You have to have people in place that have a heart for that, also.

When we were active in children's ministry 20 years ago, there was also a concept introduced of taking church to the children rather than bussing them in. With the right team, this can also be very successful.


I just know you guys were dedicated to the kids. And as WAyne has mentioned many kids are looking for love. Crying for love. When we did an evening VBS (Or Children's Crusade) I preferred the title VBS. Church families would volunteer their yard for a public 'show' program for kids, to do some local PR and ads for the VBS.
As we worked with the kids, you would have been blind not to see they needed love and a hug. I truly enjoyed that ministry. I spent a few years trying to make up for the ones I lost outside HIS will. I loved to see them drinking inthe Bible stories so familiar to CHURCH KIDS, but unknown to them. Smile

PS:m The name VBS sits better with many no-church families than 'Kids Crusade'. To some that sounds like a 'brain washing' course. Wink


We called ours Family Crusades & tried to get families to come, rather than dropping off their kids. This would also introduce the whole family to the church.

We had one church up in the mountains of NC that would start around 5:30 and bring in several van loads of kids for each service. It was a small church but they packed that building out! I always loved seeing so many kids there.

We did puppets at an outdoor event at our church back in August, the first one we'd done in years due to John's health. A young guy that is friends with our pastor came from over an hour away & brought his girls with him. Turns out he went to a crusade of ours probably 20 years ago & still remembered an illusion we did! I was shocked he remembered us.

It was probably the worst puppet show we've ever done, for a variety of reasons, but the kids still loved it and we had a lady that wanted us to come to her church. Amazing, huh? Smile
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3/13/18 9:57 pm


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Post Re: bus ministries are alive and well Carolyn Smith
wayne wrote:

This kind of ministry requires dedicated staff and I am of the opinion this should be a budget item for all churches. Parents don't want them or need a break for them and if they know they can trust you, they will gladly let you have their children for a couple hours a week.


And all we need is a little time and a few things to draw their attention so we can tell them about Jesus!
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3/13/18 9:58 pm


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Post Re: bus ministries are alive and well wayne
Carolyn Smith wrote:
wayne wrote:

This kind of ministry requires dedicated staff and I am of the opinion this should be a budget item for all churches. Parents don't want them or need a break for them and if they know they can trust you, they will gladly let you have their children for a couple hours a week.


And all we need is a little time and a few things to draw their attention so we can tell them about Jesus!


Amen!
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3/14/18 8:13 am


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