Will Drive-In Church Be the New Normal During COVID-19 Outbreak?

A drive-in service at Victory church. (Facebook/Paul Daugherty)

Several churches are trying a new kind of service—one that is completely safe during the coronavirus pandemic. They're calling it "drive-in church."

Paul Daugherty, pastor of Victory church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shared the results of his innovative church service on Facebook.

"Desperation is the breeding ground for INNOVATION- tonight our church rose up with creativity in the midst of a crises! THE GATES of HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL— WE ARE THAT CHURCH!!" he wrote. "As 4,000 people showed up tonight to sit in their car for an outdoor DRIVE-IN CHURCH SERVICE lot-- and another 36,000+ joined us online worldwide not including the thousands who joined us live on radio with @kxoj2 where i preached half on our roof and half from a scissor lift 35feet in the sky to reach both sides of the parking as JESUS was LIFTED UP hearts were forever impacted by the message of HOPE and VICTORY over the virus!

"Then after service we were able to bless thousands of people as we gave out boxes of groceries & frozen chicken in a drive through manner for 600 cars full of families!!! So much love and hope and victory and miracles happened tonight! GOD'S NOT FINISHED and the BEST DAYS for the CHURCH are truly in front of us! Don't lose hope!"

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Daugherty isn't the only pastor to have the idea of drive-in church, though. Rev. Nick Bruckner of Unalakleet Covenant Church conducted a similar service in the village of Unalakleet, Alaska.

Despite the strong winds and subfreezing weather, Bruckner preached outside through a microphone to his congregation of 35 while they were in their vehicles.

"Everybody who was in their car had the biggest smile on their face, just because we didn't physically gather for church the week before and everybody misses it," The Associated Press reports Bruckner as saying. "Being together, even though there is no physical contact, ... really warms people's hearts and encouraged everybody, including me."

Genoa Church Pastor Frank Carl preached to a larger crowd of 600 people in 300 cars in Westerville, Ohio. Carl tells the Christian Post that this is the first time Genoa Church has held a drive-in service.

"We decided to do this as an alternative way to allow people to worship collectively in a safe environment of their own car and to honor the guidelines of our governor," Carl said.

Could this trend last beyond the COVID-19 lockdowns? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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