Why Church Staff Members Shouldn’t Drive a Bus

Why Church Staff Members Shouldn’t Drive the Church Bus

I’m a youth ministry volunteer. One of the things that I see all the time that drives me crazy is youth leaders driving the bus for the their own events. It is a common joke that the youth minister is the church’s jack-of-all-trades. The one who can and does everything. Pastor. Teacher. Counselor. Worship Leader. Custodian. Mechanic. Bus Driver. This is only funny because it tends to be true in many churches. The bus driver isn’t always the youth minister. Sometimes it is the music minister, the senior adult minister, or the children’s minister. I have a crazy idea, a policy I would like to see churches adopt: No staff member may drive a church vehicle on a trip for which they are the responsible party for the event.*

Here’s why:

     1.     It involves more people in ministry.

Churches of any size should have plenty of people who can volunteer for this type of ministry. There are people in your church with the gift of service who would jump at the opportunity to use their gifts, passion and abilities. Whether it is a retiree, a shift worker, or a stay-at-home mom, it is not the minister’s job to do ministry alone. The minister’s job is to equip individuals in the church for ministry. And guess what. Sunday School isn’t the only way for laypeople to minister in the church.

     2.     It promotes intergenerational ministry.

Churches tend to be some of the most segregated environments in our culture. The teenagers only see other teens and young adults. Families with children tend to hang out with other families with children.  Senior adults congregate with other seniors. Imagine a younger adult shift worker using his week off to drive the bus for a senior adult trip. Think about what would happen when a retired senior adult drives the bus to youth camp. Picture a teenager driving . . . no, wait, don’t do that. Everyone one involved gains the benefits and blessings of interacting with a different group within the church body.

     3.     It is safer.

Your bus or van driver shouldn’t be distracted by other details of the trip. Leading a trip and dealing with the all the details and surprises that happen along the way is enough responsibility. The trip leader doesn’t need the added job of driver. Having driver who isn’t distracted by the details will make everyone safer—her passengers and everyone else sharing the road.


*Churches may want to discuss exceptions to this rule such as, another staff member may drive if he is not the primary person responsible for the trip, in-town trips, et. al.

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