by Lorie Lewis Ham
We have all heard of Drive-In movies, and drive through fast food restaurants, banks, and even pharmacies, but what about drive through, or Drive-In, prayer? That’s just what you can find at the Church of the Good Shepherd at 1445 N. Frankwood Avenue in Reedley every Wednesday during the lunch hour from 12:15 to 12:45.
A member of Good Shepherd felt God leading in this direction and shared the idea with the church, said Father Andy Watson, Pastor of Good Shepherd. “Our vision for this is to provide a safe, non-threatening place and time for people to come for prayer for their needs. Many people don’t have a Church home, or haven’t been to any worship for awhile, but do have needs they recognize can be best addressed by prayer. People are invited to literally drive up to the breezeway in our parking lot, tell us their need, and we will pray for them as they sit in the comfort of their air-conditioned vehicle. It’s as simple as that, with no pressure.”
According to Father Andy, the Church chose the lunch hour because people can conveniently drive in during their lunch break and be back at work on time. At present, they have four volunteers working each lunch hour—two to look after the drive up and the other two stationed closer to the street to be available to those walking by. “We have a lot of people who don’t regularly participate in any church, so this is a way to let them know that God loves them and is available to touch their needs. Also, we are communicating that God’s people are available and interested in their needs.”
Good Shepherd member and Drive-In prayer volunteer, John Roman, stated that our world is under a great deal of stress and duress at this time. “In our busy world what better way for instant relief, than Drive-In Prayer. They get quick relief of their burdens and perhaps a pathway to security, which is Christ. We do not judge or discriminate, all are welcome. If anyone asks about our church we will try to help and be the Good Shepherd.”
Another volunteer, Ruth Wood, was looking for something to get involved in and really felt like the country and the City needed prayer. “I felt like there are people with all kinds of needs who would like to be prayed for. There’s a need to be praying for people and reaching out.”
As far as Father Andy is aware this is the first of its kind, and since their start on August 4 the response has been good. “We are excited about being able to share God’s love in this way.” Not only do they offer Drive-In Prayer, but also they are also willing to provide house calls. If people would like prayer in the comfort of their own home, all they have to do is phone the church office and the church will arrange to get a team to visit them in their home. The phone number for Church of the Good Shepherd is 638-2424.
“There are a number of other prayer initiatives that are in the birthing stages at our church,” continued Father Andy. “These include the relocation of the Healing Rooms to our church beginning in September. This will be one Saturday a month from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This is part of our commitment to the community, as we just serve as host church at the present time. If you want more info about the Healing Rooms, you can contact Ataloa at email@example.com. We expect to begin Celebrate Recovery in the month of September as well on Thursday evenings. Contact for this is Sandi at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, a specialized Inner Healing Ministry also activates in September by appointment. Contact for this is Verna at email@example.com.”
You can learn more about the Church of the Good Shepherd on their website