Monday, February 3, 2014

On Carpooling

photo credit: CreationSwap

Today until Feb. 7 marks “Carpool to Work Week” in Toronto. Or at least that’s what I read on the digital highway sign yesterday. I’ve been an advocate for sharing rides for a while now, and not just because I don’t own a car myself.  I’ve been thinking about the concept of “serving” recently and I think that drivers have an advantage of serving in ways others can’t. With so many benefits to carpooling, I want to highlight just a few, to fellow church members in particular, as an opportunity to serve.

It serves visitors in our church.

One thing we discussed as to reserve the parking lot closest to the building for first-time guests. This means parking in the overflow parking section. But what happens when our overflow gets filled up? We have been blessed to welcome a dozen new members recently, but more people mean more cars. Instead of letting that be a hindrance, we can carpool and offer up more space to visitors!

It facilitates fellowship.

Outside of the Sunday service and scheduled weekly meeting, there aren’t too many opportunities to get deep with other church members. Obviously scheduling can be conflicting depending on each person’s availability, but I have found that a means of grace to catch up with someone often came in the form of sharing a ride. Whether that’s sharing a ride to Sunday service or another event. These conversations can go from the simple “how’s your week” to something more intentional like confession of sin and reconciliation. I’ve experienced both spectrums that wouldn’t have happened without carpooling.

Try getting a ride to church with a different person each week. Or offer a ride to someone new each week. You’d be surprised the conversations you’ll share.

It helps keep costs low.

For the rider it’s certainly cheaper than driving their own car, but for the driver it’s nice to have people pitch in for long drives to help cut costs.

It serves redeeming time for others.

As a transit commuter I know full well the value in accomplishing things on the go: reading, listening to an audio/podcast, meditation and even evangelism opportunities. The challenge is when the one thing you need is more time to reach the destination, not time to get things done. This could mean getting to a particular event on time,  or simply not knowing where you’re going so as to risk getting lost.

It helps develop personal skills.

Are you lazy? Do you have poor time-management skills? Navigationally-challenged? Driving others is a great way to develop core skills that carry with you your entire life. It’s one thing to drive somewhere on your own, and being responsible to helping get others there.

If you want to love others more, an effective way to do that is carpooling. It’s a great way to serve your church family and the community around you. Consider leaving the car at home and ask for a ride. Or better yet, call someone and offer them a ride. It’s not something you will regret doing.

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