GREENFIELD — Members of the congregation at Evangel Christian Church in Greenfield are offering an alternative to a traditional Sunday worship ceremony this weekend.
The church will host a drive-in prayer service. Those who attend never have to leave their cars. Members said they hope the effort will inspire more residents to participate in the church’s faith.
It’s a simple concept, said the Rev. Larry Fannin, the church’s lead pastor. People will drive up to the church, say a quick prayer with a group of well-meaning Christians and continue on with their day.
The event is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday at the church, 1221 E. Main St. in Greenfield.
Fannin said members planned the event to target residents who aren’t comfortable in church settings.
“We feel it’s a way to reach people who might be intimidated by a regular service,” Fannin said.
“Everyone is welcome.”
The drive-in prayer service was the brainchild of the Rev. Patty Franklin, associate pastor at Evangel Christian Church. The service joins a long list of outreach programs the church offers in Greenfield and around the world, she said.
Because the church sits on Main Street, a main highway through town, organizers decided it’s in the perfect location to offer the unique service, Franklin said.
Whether it’s a family that missed their regular Sunday services or just a holiday-traveler looking for a blessing, the church is happy to provide prayers on any topic for anyone, she said.
Members of the congregation will stand along the roadway with signs inviting drivers into the church’s parking lot. Once the car is in place, a group of intercessors will gather around the vehicle.
About 10 members of the congregation have volunteered to participate Sunday.
Church elder Onda Moran believes the drive-in prayer service will be successful because similar outreach programs through the church have been well-attended in the past, she said.
Members of the Evangel family have participated in random acts of kindness days, Moran said. Those projects are always met with positive feedback from the community.
Anyone who participates in the drive-in prayer service Sunday will be invited to take part in a free potluck dinner that afternoon at the church.
Members didn’t plan the event as a way to increase membership, Franklin said, but those who participate will receive an information packet from church members.
The goal, instead, is to connect folks with God, Moran said.
“It doesn’t matter how many people are in your church (on Sunday); how many people have you brought to the Lord?” she said.
Group prayer seems to bring those praying closer to God, Fannin said.
“Prayer invokes God’s actions,” he said.
“When someone prays with you, it seems greater.”