'God is Speaking in a Fresh New Voice': VA Church Offers Drive-In Sunday Service
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As COVID-19 continues to overthrow every aspect of our lives, churches across the nation are adapting to new restrictions and finding creative ways to worship together.
Great Bridge Baptist Church in Chesapeake, VA, has modified its Sunday service into a drive-in experience - providing music and a message from the church's rooftop.
Churchgoers sit inside their vehicle in the church parking lot and tune their FM radio to hear Pastor Will Langford deliver the sermon.
Pastor Langford told CBN News that he heard about drive-in services from a church in Texas. The church staff prayed about the idea, then announced it to the members, and launched their first outside worship service last Sunday.
"This gives people the opportunity to still maintain social distancing and be a part of a live service from their car...while in a safe environment," he said.
Church members are grateful for the opportunity to unite and worship as a group.
Worship Pastor Jonathan Lowery said it's encouraging to see people worshipping together again.
"It's great to see our church family come back together - it's an encouragement," he said.
Lowery explained that our normal routines have been disrupted so we can get back to the heart of the matter - reconnecting with Christ.
"We are never alone from the Lord. We've been stripped away from the norm so our hearts can become in tune with Him."
Christi Briggs, who is a member of the worship team, views the drive-in service as a gift to the community.
"We are providing a way to still have an opportunity to worship," she said. "It's a gift to the community from our church."
Years ago, Briggs and her husband were married at Great Bridge Baptist Church. They were overjoyed for the opportunity to celebrate their wedding anniversary last week with their church family.
"To be able to worship with my husband and church family was amazing," she said.
After attending the church's first drive-in service, Ramona Painter emailed Pastor Langford to share how moved she was by the experience.
"Though I was intrigued and excited by the opportunity to gather as one, I didn’t expect to find myself crying like a baby in the middle of your sermon. I don’t know if it was the Holy Spirit moving through me as I received the message or if I was feeling real peace for the first time in a couple of weeks, but those tears just kept flowing," she said." And they started again as I shared the experience with family and friends."
"Thank you for the decision to gather together even if it’s within the confines of our car. May we as Christians feel moved to share God more than ever and may we take the time to reflect on our own lives and influence in these trying days."
Pastor Langford said he will continue keeping people connected to the church - even with a drive-in worship experience for as long as he can. "We evaluate the situation every week, but the plan is to stay on this path," he concluded.
Despite the disruptions COVID-19 has created, Pastor Langford believes these were intended to draw our attention to something bigger.
"Disruptions can get our attention and God is speaking in a fresh, new voice," he said. "I hope that He will use these disruptions so we become more dependent on His power and this will lead to a spiritual awakening."
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