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Church uses drive-in service as outreach

Wed, 23 Sep 2009 - 2:14 PM CST

Westgate AG drive-in service
Westgate Assembly uses a unique approach to attract new people to its doors -- offering a "drive-in" 8:30 a.m. Sunday service. Those attending the outdoor service tune in on their radios. A traditional indoor service is held at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday worshippers at Westgate Assembly in Salem, Oregon, this summer have been honking their horns and flashing their lights in lieu of clapping.

Westgate added an 8:30 a.m. drive-in service in addition to its 10:30 a.m. indoor worship service.

As cars enter the parking lot, attendants direct occupants to a drive-through for free coffee and doughnuts. Churchgoers receive a packet with song lyrics, sermon materials, a portable Communion container and, if needed, a kids' Bible story and activity with crayons.

The vehicles then park facing a stage according to size: trucks in the back, vans in the middle and cars in the front. Radios are tuned to 100.7 FM.

The church owns a radio transmitter that broadcasts the service into the parking lot. The service consists of three worship songs, special music, guest interviews or testimonies and a sermon by Pastor Bob Swope.

The service has drawn a variety of people including chemotherapy and radiation patients who shouldn't be exposed to others, elderly people unable to walk and those normally uncomfortable in a church.

"Half of the people aren't church people at all, but they want to check out what God's all about," Swope says. He hopes such newcomers will give the regular service a tryout after staying in their vehicles for several weeks.

Some local residents have criticized the stay-in-your-car service for fostering isolation, but Swope sees it as an outreach.

"We are trying to make it as a bridge where people can be introduced to Jesus," he says.

The drive-in church also resolves a common noise complaint some people make.

"They can't say it's too loud or too soft, because they control the volume in their car," Swope says.

For more information about Westgate AG, see its Web site.

 


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Westgate AG drive-in service
Westgate Assembly uses a unique approach to attract new people to its doors -- offering a "drive-in" 8:30 a.m. Sunday service. Those attending the outdoor service tune in on their radios. A traditional indoor service is held at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday worshippers at Westgate Assembly in Salem, Oregon, this summer have been honking their horns and flashing their lights in lieu of clapping.

Westgate added an 8:30 a.m. drive-in service in addition to its 10:30 a.m. indoor worship service.

As cars enter the parking lot, attendants direct occupants to a drive-through for free coffee and doughnuts. Churchgoers receive a packet with song lyrics, sermon materials, a portable Communion container and, if needed, a kids' Bible story and activity with crayons.

The vehicles then park facing a stage according to size: trucks in the back, vans in the middle and cars in the front. Radios are tuned to 100.7 FM.

The church owns a radio transmitter that broadcasts the service into the parking lot. The service consists of three worship songs, special music, guest interviews or testimonies and a sermon by Pastor Bob Swope.

The service has drawn a variety of people including chemotherapy and radiation patients who shouldn't be exposed to others, elderly people unable to walk and those normally uncomfortable in a church.

"Half of the people aren't church people at all, but they want to check out what God's all about," Swope says. He hopes such newcomers will give the regular service a tryout after staying in their vehicles for several weeks.

Some local residents have criticized the stay-in-your-car service for fostering isolation, but Swope sees it as an outreach.

"We are trying to make it as a bridge where people can be introduced to Jesus," he says.

The drive-in church also resolves a common noise complaint some people make.

"They can't say it's too loud or too soft, because they control the volume in their car," Swope says.

For more information about Westgate AG, see its Web site.

 


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AG Centennial to Have Strong Overseas Representation

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 - 9:33 AM CST

Centennial logo

With the U.S. Assemblies of God Centennial celebration two weeks away, being held August 5-10, in Springfield, Missouri, registration for the event continues to build. Yet, even though it's the U.S. Assemblies of God celebrating, the overseas AG members are coming in significant numbers to join in the celebration as well as participate in the World AG Congress, being held concurrently.

According to Sheila Mixer, AG Convention Services Group registration coordinator, for those who have pre-registered, so far more than 43 percent are coming from overseas, representing 118 countries!

Mixer expects that by the time the Centennial events begin, there could be as many as 2,000 or more overseas AG representatives attending the events, which include the Centennial celebration, Global Church Planting Summit, and the World AG Congress.

"It's exciting to see such enthusiastic support from Assemblies of God churches overseas," says U.S. AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. "This gathering will truly be a global, once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Wood says there will be nothing like attending the event in person — worshipping God and experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit while standing side-by-side with AG brothers and sisters from around the world - and he encourages all AG members to make every effort to attend. However, for those who are unable to attend, all of the Centennial services will be live-streamed from the event website.

The AG Centennial is being commemorated through a new book that identifies 100 significant moments in AG history. Titled "Moments That Inspire Us to Greater Things," the book is a collection of 100 stories that demonstrate God working in and through the people who make up the Assemblies of God. Included in the book are key missions stories — missions that have resulted in more than 64 million AG overseas adherents, and whose representatives are now coming to help the U.S. Assemblies of God celebrate its centennial.

For more information about the AG Centennial events, including registration information, resources, event schedule and more, see 100.ag.org. To preorder the AG Centennial book, "Moments That Inspire Us to Greater Things," click here.

 

Authors: Dan Van Veen

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