A healthy bus ministry consists of more than providing transportation between church and home. Volunteers and riders will flock to buses that offer programs that meet their needs. Volunteers need to know what to expect and how they can help. Riders are counting on you to set the tone, teach them how to behave, and introduce them to God’s kingdom. It sounds like a tall order but hundreds of bus ministries do it every week—you can too!
When creating a bus ministry program, remember that your program will consist of two parts, one before and another after children’s church. Also, keep your ministries focus in the cross hairs at all the times. Generally, bus ministry should prepare children’s hearts for receiving the gospel message. Never assume that soul winning and ministry occurs only in the kids church. Kids get saved, connect with God and understand Bible truths on the bus too.
If you want to create a program that meets your specific needs, you’ll need some basic information.
- First you’ll need to know how long the bus ride is to and from the church. Time the trip making notes about how long the trip is, including each stop. Knowing the transit time will help you plan a program that’s long enough to keep everyone occupied.
- What are the general ages of your riders? If your bus carries a wide swatch of ages, you’ll have to plug in material that is appealing to a wider audience. Ask each rider’s parent or guardian to fill out an information card to gather this information.
- Personalize a program by celebrating birthdays and recognizing children’s personal achievements like making the Honor Roll. Include announcements or the birthday song in your regular program.
- Separate the trip into small time segments. Keep the Minute Rule in mind when planning your segments. For example, if the general age of your audience is seven, don’t go over seven minutes per segment. Rotate segments like object lesson, game, song etc. Keep the program moving along.
- Give bus ministry assignments to volunteers as far in advance as you can. Create a program that involves all your volunteers but don’t embarrass anyone.
- Stick to basic principles like salvation, forgiveness and love. The bus ministry should provide a platform for ministry and complement the children’s church lesson.
- Stay in contact with children’s church leaders. Pool ideas and talk about how you reach kids with a unified message.
Over time, your bus ministry will evolve and you may have to make changes to your program. Review your program regularly and make adjustments if children begin to misbehave or seem disinterested.
Read more about Mimi by visiting her blog at Encouragement for Christians or read her new book, “The Prophet’s Code.”