Church Holds 'Drive-in Worship' in Response to COVID-19


Several creative United Methodist Churches in North Georgia have held drive-in worship. It's one way for some congregations to be together while keeping a safe distance. Rev. Stephen Matta shares about how he pulled off drive-in worship at his church.

By Rev. Stephen Matta

As we adjust to COVID-19 quarantine and social separation, I quickly realized that most of my senior congregation would not engage in a podcast or Facebook-based sermon in lieu of our usual worship gathering.  I came up with a repurposed use of old-school technology ... radio.

This past Sunday we had a worship service at Pleasant Grove UMC - Dahlonega. But instead of gathering in the sanctuary, we followed Bishop Sue's directive and had "drive-in worship." Participants filled the parking lot and were able to see me preaching from the front porch of the church. They could hear the service live through the FM radio in their vehicle. No one was exposed and everyone was engaged in worship!

We made use of a low-range FM transmitter to push the audio from our church sound mixer throughout the campus so that congregants could tune in. It worked wonderfully. Yesterday we had a member of the congregation attend who has a variety of health issues including mobility constraints. But because he could sit in the car and hear there service, it was his first opportunity to be present at the church in years!

After this success, we will likely continue simulcasting the service through the transmitter even after we resume regular worship practices. 

This was a novel approach for our tiny church, but those who participated thoroughly enjoyed it. For an investment of about $100, drive-in worship was well worth it. 

Stephen Matta is a part-time local pastor serving Pleasant Grove UMC - Dahlonega.