47 thoughts on “Bus Ministry Redux”

    1. And, firsties get one of my very own sanctified butt cushions for your spot on the pew.

      (just don’t move mine)

      :wink:

  1. I wonder if whoever did this video got the proper permission to use the clips (at least 2 that I recognized) from The Blues Brothers?

    1. You have to give it some credit I guess. There were references to 2001 and Blues Brothers in that short video. Maybe even Revenge of the Nerds?

    1. It does, except that I remember the busses being blue. Or green… I think green for the college and blue for FBC.

  2. So glad I was never in the bus ministry. Though to the pastor back in Michigan that was THE ministry to be in. Nope, if I had been, I’d be a screaming maniac… :twisted:

    1. The worst ever quote I heard was at a Youth Conference when the speaker told the assembled teens that if they didn’t work in the bus ministry, they “had no reason to live”.

      I always hoped that no teens took such a comment seriously and went home and committed suicide.

  3. I think it is HAC stuff, I remember seeing the white suited guy in the videos at pastor’s school one year. I thought it was pretty funny honestly.

  4. The problem with the unsafe buses can also be from the top down. I had one “pastor” just about every time I tried to get something fixed on my buses would tell me that the church didn’t have the money, and then would try to guilt trip about the kids needing to get to church to hear the gospel and etc. I almost told the pastor one time, “Well, as unsafe as the buses are, they might go to hell on the way to church.” In retrospect, I wish I had.

  5. I really believe that the bus ministry is what soured me on the entire “fundamental” movement. I don’t know what kind of parent would just send their kids with people they didn’t even know all the way across the state lines to a church they had never been to on a bus that was too crowded to be safe even if it HAD brakes in the winter time when it was snowing so bad you couldn’t see out of the windshield… and I don’t know what kind of people would ask them to. Oh, yes I do. And the driving motivator was NOT to get those kids saved. It was to fill up your bus, write down the numbers and look good to your *superiors* in your activity reports. Building he World’s Largest Sunday School required a lot of sacrifice. Little pieces of my soul are all over various neighborhoods in Chicago.

    1. “Little pieces of my soul are all over various neighborhoods in Chicago.”

      This is a GREAT line. See my post above for outrageous Youth Conference quote.

  6. Hahaha my dad made this video!! It is from fbc it was made for a pastor’s school skit. They changed the color of the busses a long tome ago about 10 years or so now. Not trying to stand up for them but they do have a pretty rigorous process that you have to go thru to drive a bus. You do have to get your cdl license with the state. I have heard horror stories of busses in the past but now they are actually pretty safe.

    1. When my dad was a bus driver there, getting a CDL was a joke. I grew up hearing stories about all the college boys being sent to drive around the parking lot under the supervision of a FBC church member who was also a DMV person with the authority to give out CDLs. They go the CDL, but they had minimal training or skill. Of course, this was about 35 years ago, give or take.

      1. It was about the same in Chattanooga (Highland Park) in the early 80s. I drove a bus to the license office, expecting a road test for a CDL. The examiner looked out the window at the bus and said, “You made it here, so I guess you know how to drive” and proceeded to issue me a license.

      2. Some of the bus drivers at my church didn’t even have CDL’s. The church’s reasoning was “Who would pull over a church bus full of kids on a Sunday?”

        1. That’s the wrong question. The right question is, “Who would sue the church if their kid got hurt in an accident where the driver was not licensed to drive the bus?”

          Answer: Most parents.

  7. I drove a fifteen passenger van to pick people up at our Fundy U. They liked to use fifteen passenger vans since one didn’t need a special license to drive them. Anyway, my ministry leader had some of the most awful brats on the planet who were NEVER to be corrected or the ML would get very angry. One day I was driving a van full of people and getting ready to make a left turn. The ML’s child was running ape in the front seat and grabbed the shifter and tried to put the van in park while we were still moving. The van screeched to a halt and stood on its nose. We came really close to rolling over. A bunch of kids got thrown from their seats and against the benches in front of them. I was scared to death and I am glad noone was seriously hurt.

    1. Actually, the 15 pax vans can be more dangerous than the buses. The high center of gravity and additional weight make them prime candidates for a rollover in a tight turn. Couple that with inexperienced volunteer drivers who think they’re driving a car and not a truck and it’s a disaster looking for a time and a place to happen. I ran the transportation ministry for my former church and with my aviation background, I was a stickler for maintenance and safety rules. I could not in good conscience pile kids into a death machine. However, over time, I did witness a couple of pretty egregious safety violations by others including one ministry head (completely unqualified to drive a bus) who took it upon himself to drive the bus home from an event because the relief driver didn’t show up (I hear it was a pretty scary ride). Another one piled all of the luggage for a trip in the back of the bus, totally blocking the emergency exit. One fellow from another church claims to have packed 187 kids into a bus once. Not sure that’s physically possible but I know that some bus ministries aren’t too particular about load limits. I used to get grumbling from ministry heads for sticking to the seating limitations or taking the bus out of service when it needed inspection/work but I didn’t want a fatal (or non-fatal, for that matter) accident on my conscience.

      Jim K.

    2. I worked at a summer camp during high school. My second summer there, I arrived 3 days after turning 16, having passed my driver’s test on my birthday. One of the first things my supervisor said to me was “you have a driver’s license, right?” I didn’t give any details about WHEN I got it, and was immediately assigned to driving the [very old] 15 passenger van for canoe trips. Fully loaded van + 8 canoes on a trailer + what I know now was a very inexperienced driver…I’m glad we didn’t have any problems. I didn’t think twice about it at the time, but what high school guy would?

      As a side note, the next summer when I showed up, their insurance company had gotten a bit more strict and no one under 18 could drive a camp vehicle, passengers or not. I couldn’t even drive a lawn mower. :grin:

    3. I worked at a summer camp during high school. My second summer there, I arrived 3 days after turning 16, having passed my driver’s test on my birthday. One of the first things my supervisor said to me was “you have a driver’s license, right?” I didn’t give any details about WHEN I got it, and was immediately assigned to driving the [very old] 15 passenger van for canoe trips. Fully loaded van + 8 canoes on a trailer + what I know now was a very inexperienced driver…I’m glad we didn’t have any problems. I didn’t think twice about it at the time, but what high school guy would?

      As a side note, the next summer when I showed up, their insurance company had gotten a bit more strict and no one under 18 could drive a camp vehicle, passengers or not. I couldn’t even drive a lawn mower. :grin:

  8. I actually enjoyed that. I have been part of a bus ministry at two churches. One, a super Fundy “bribe them in” church with old, worn out equipment. The other, a few years ago in my current church. (I’ve been here 19 years, so my current is history for some of you young fellers)

    Even at the old church in Fundystan, toward the end of my time there, my bus partner (who is also an escapee) and I began to operate with a different goal and mentality. It was actually a lot of fun to see our riders, kids and adults, as people and not just seat filling numbers.

  9. Ah, yes the bus ministry. Where kids are offered cotton candy, extra treats or a Big Mac if they’ll repeat the prayer and get baptized… for the umpteenth time. To gollydoodlewadday be the glory! :roll:

  10. I heard plenty of horror stories growing up (holes in bus floors, no brakes, etc) so when I went to my IFB college I was quite surprised at the condition of the buses.
    The church/college (not sure who ran who) had a lease agreement with the city to use their school buses. So there were tons of new buses and we rarely ran into the “danger zone” so to speak.
    But I did enjoy visiting my bus kids, and waving hello to the two or three other churches canvassing our neighborhoods as we all sought to get the kids to ride OUR bus.
    This was in a town with a couple hundred Baptist churches trying to reach the unreached.
    Yes, we did see some good results. But the EARLY MaNdAtOrY Saturday morning meetings whipping us into a frenzy to go out and bring people in got to be a bit much. It was all copying the Hyles mentality anyway, and I recognized it and just dealt with it, but it wasn’t fun.

    1. I’ve seen that before too. I can understand it if they want to secure buses that sit unattended for extended periods of time, but it might be good to unlock it before driving…

    2. Actually, the part that locks with a padlock has a moving part that can be moved out and the padlock can be locked back on, while allowing the door to open. My church/school did that all the time.

  11. The guys in the bus video were disciples of Hyles. Here’s Hyles going crazy back in 1983 at the Sword of the Lord Conference.

  12. i use to like the bus minsitry with my non fundy YP. a lot of great memories.. unlike my time at hyles anderson where i nearly froze to death and got shot.

  13. Bus ministry was a life forced upon me throughout my entire childhood through high school. One of the reasons I chose to attend PCC was because of no bus routes! The other reason was the beach. My only other choice was HAC. By the way, that car brings back horrible memories of my college graduation present.

  14. Our church had a bus driver that smoked and cursed on the bus. Since he was the only person who would volunteer to drive, the pastor would never challenge him, even with emphysema and a major heart attack. In fact, he’s probably still driving, if he hasn’t killed anyone yet. I guess its okay to “compromise” if it means you get to artificially inflate your church attendance.

  15. Rawhide was played because there are no drums and electric guitars. Hence that is why Hyles condemned CCM music and TBN. The guy in the white suit was in a Pastors School video picking on the pastor/director of West Coast Bible college. The guy in the white suit is a poor man’s Andy Kaufman.

  16. Don’t know why, but the frame that YouTube “picked” for the still looks like that driver is probably going to have to pay for a replacement for the rear bumper on that Ford Tempo (that ended up getting run off the road).

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