The Good, The Bad and The Ugly all wrapped up in one of the most exciting, rewarding and outright crazy ministries of the local church is none other than the bus ministry. Certainly there are times of great challenges and difficulties from the weather to vehicle issues — the list is immense! However, with great challenges often come wonderful times of rejoicing! What do you mean the bad? At times you experience a broken heart because of the overwhelming need in the community both physically and spiritually. As well as, witnessing every week the results of the sinful heart. It’s ugly! It can be frustrating because, let’s just be real with each other, you’re dealing with people. Resources are often limited because of finances, materials and a lack of workers. Loving on people is costly at times. I once read, “Ministry that costs nothing accomplishes nothing.” If we hope to ever have a high-impact ministry in this community, it will be because of the effort to push through these obstacles.

Nevertheless, the good of the bus ministry comes in different ways. Personally, I find myself almost weekly wishing that other families could experience the happiness of serving together in the bus ministry that I get to experience with my family. Are there days of frustration? Absolutely! We have already established that, but the reward far outweighs or exceeds those bad days. By the way, I don’t need to tell my kids that or try to convince them because they experience this wonderful truth weekly. The bus ministry done right will impact your family in ways you could have never imagined. I don’t know of any other ministry or methods in the local church that will have this kind of lasting impact in your children’s lives. Just recently, my 15-year-old teenager told me how awesome it was that an older teenager finally sang a bus song and participated. That’s awesome! However, what would come next would melt my heart and cause me internally to worship God for His grace, His mercy and goodness that He has abundantly given to my family through the bus ministry, and that was to hear how she loves her kids! What?! She is only 15 years old. Yes, she loves her kids. Now that is priceless! I have started to encourage bus workers to journal and write down things that happen in the bus ministry and to turn them into me weekly. Below is what I received from Oksana (my daughter):

“To begin my story, you have to understand my bus rider, Savannah. She is a fourth grader on my bus that wants to be a bus worker. She helps lead singing, passes out snacks, and begs to knock on other riders doors. Last week, I told her that she could be a bus worker in training if she obeyed, rode faithfully, and, when she is in sixth grade, came the Barnabas Sunday school. She agreed to the terms willingly and began to take her role as a “bus worker in training” very seriously. Its takes a lot of patience, kindness, and understanding: something that she is beginning to experience.

Well, this week, she brought little bags of Takis for every bus rider. She also sat down beside me today and gave me a bracelet, not just any bracelet, a BFF (best friend forever) bracelet, a bracelet that you give to someone really special. Today was one of those days that you get an earthly reward for a heavenly duty. All the money, time and prayer paid off. All the missing out on teen Sunday school and “Big Church” paid off. When one of the riders you’ve poured your heart into is reading their Bible daily, loving the bus so much they actually want to work on it, and singing to Jesus all throughout the week; you realize it’s all worth it. The bus ministry is not pretty, but it definitely has its beautiful moments.”

The bus ministry truly is an amazing tool that God has given us in the local church to utilize in evangelizing our Jerusalem. Through this single method of reaching our community, families have found faith, love, and life. Not in a method, prayer or church but in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. What a wonderful testimony this church has in the community for bringing children, family and the elderly to Jesus week after week. The testimonies of families’ lives being transformed by the Gospel for generations to come will always surpass any difficulties and frustration that is inevitable. May we never lose this heartbeat for reaching our community with the Good News as we endeavor to serve others for the sake of the Gospel!