Drive-ins are not something new to the United States. You can see movies or hear stories about drive-in theatres in the 50s, and it seems wonderful. Right? Because of the pandemic, churches have become more creative in making masses or religious services accessible to their church-goers so that they can worship together.
Going to church during a pandemic in our new normal is different for a lot of people. When lockdowns were eased, people were advised to sit at least 6ft apart, while in some churches in Brandon, Florida, they opted for drive-in churches.
Imagine a large parking lot where a lot of cars are filled with families attending service in front of a stage where a priest or a pastor is preaching. One might think that this is a peculiar way of doing church services, but this was done to allow more people to feel closer to God. It’s a compromise done by the church and its people to practice their faith despite COVID-19 still.
When this pandemic started, both the local and national governments and public health officials limited and even disallowed extensive group activities – everyone was advised to social distance. This is to prevent the spread of the virus among people getting together like in a mass. For most people, especially the church-goers and the religious, and even communal congregations, this is the time when it is most important to come together for worship and prayers.
You might have considered attending online masses through Zoom or other digital platforms, but for some priests or pastors seem to feel the need to gather their flock, hence, the drive-in church. The church-goers drive into the church parking lot, still following social distance from the next car, and then turn on their radio to listen to their pastor speak from their church steps or a make-shift stage. There are some drive-in theatres as well that were not allowed to show movies, so, instead, they opened their spaces for their local churches to have mass or service there, which made the people encouraged and inspired.
Are Drive-in Churches the Solution?
Compared to one person or a group of people looking at the screen for a Zoom Sunday service, pastors and priests prefer a drive-in mass because it feels more involved than when people are behind a screen. Of course, drive-in churches are not lasting solutions if you want that real church [mass] experience. Depending on your state, there are different stay-at-home orders – so, there are states that do not agree that religious activities like masses are essential services. Therefore, they are still ordered to consider online masses instead.
Why Are People Looking for a Drive-in Church?
More people are looking for a drive-in church because it feels more like a mass than when they do it online. They feel more in control rather than helpless or isolated. People dress up, go to their drive-in church, attend service, and then go back home.
You can also find a drive-in church in Brandon, Florida. Once you’re there, a choir will welcome you in song.