During the COVID-19 pandemic churches have had to get creative with ways that they can replicate the normal worship experience, while adhering to regulations that keep all participants safe. One of my personal favorite activities that has risen from this pandemic is the drive-in communion service.
As new forms of worship come into our lives it is difficult to reach the full level of connectivity that is normally present in a sanctuary. While it is tough to connect as usual, it is not impossible. After attending my churches second drive in communion of the pandemic, there were a couple of things I noticed that made it a great experience.
As a person who will show up to the 11 o’clock service at 11:03, this one is tough for me to write down, but it is very helpful for all involved to show up to the parking lot 10-15 minutes before the service begins. This helps parking lot attendees organize everyone so that they can have the best line of sight. It also gives time for greetings at the entrance with the pastor or volunteers. In a time where in-person small talk and casual conversation is hard to come by. Drive in services offer a good opportunity for a quick hello with a friend or the pastor (while safely distanced from one another).
Phone usage while waiting for the service to begin
Another thing I noticed while looking around the parking lot before the service began, was that a majority of the people waiting in their cars were on their phones. They could have been catching up on the news, scrolling social media, or playing candy crush, but either way this is what people reached for while waiting. If people are quick to reach for their smartphones, why not incorporate it into the service? This can be done simply, by providing a way to access the bulletin on the phone, or by providing a digital space for participants to chat with one another beforehand.
Not being scared to honk
In the sanctuary it is very easy to hear everyone say amen or mutter agreeance with what is being said. This verbal cue is none existent when everyone is sitting in their car blasting the FM radio and the air conditioning alike, so don’t be scared to honk! It is a fun way to show interactivity as well as let the surrounding area know that people are worshipping!
While drive in communion services are a completely new way to worship, it is a wonderful way to get close to replicating the power of in-person worship.