Bus Ministry Launched Me Into Missions
By Cynthia Spruill
Bus ministry saved my life, and is ultimately what helped launch me into missions. I must credit my wonderful parents for their willingness to send me to church on the bus. I will forever be grateful to my dad for waking me and helping me get ready every Sunday morning to be picked up by a faithful bus driver. I know I would not be the woman, mother, or wife I am today if it were not for the bus ministry of Hyde Park FWB Church in Norfolk, Virginia.
When I was eight years old, I surrendered my life to Jesus. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life. During the Sunday School hour, I asked my teacher several questions about salvation. She helped me understand and then knelt in the floor with me to pray the sinner’s prayer. The next week, she sent me home with a Bible that had my name on it. From that point on, I was challenged regularly to memorize Scripture and Bible stories. Though I struggled to understand many things, I knew in my heart I was exactly where God wanted me to be, because He made it possible.
Today, we often note the challenges and problems a church can face because of bus ministry. But little is said about the challenges facing the bus riders. For example, I had no understanding of certain church terminology. I did not identify the Bible as a sword, nor did I recognize my friends as a youth group. I didn’t even know what a youth group was, much less that I had become part of one. If it were not for that bus picking me up week after week, I may never have known what it truly means to be “set apart.”
This is why I know bus ministry saved my life. Today, I have the honor of knowing the importance of hiding God’s Word in my heart and how to present it to others. I value the importance of true discipleship and taking interest in teaching others. I am passionate to reach out, because someone reached out to me.
When I grew old enough to obtain my driver’s license, I began to drive myself to church. And when I was old enough to date, I knew to seek a Godly man. But I never thought that I would be worthy to be a pastor’s wife because I was just a “bus kid.” But here I am—wife to a pastor and church planter. I like to think I’ve been raised in the church, by the church, and for the church, because the church taught me how to be morally and biblically right.
While bus ministry may seem like a thing of the past, it still works. I know this because of my experience. I think it is important to understand you cannot have a productive bus ministry without the support of the church. Bus ministry was simply the tool that took me to church. It was the church that taught me the importance of Bible study and accountability. It was the church’s responsibility to love me in Christ, lead me to Christ, and disciple me in Christ. Those were the keys that allowed me to return, stay, and grow as a Christian.
Today, I proudly share my utmost respect and appreciation for the church because of how it was presented to me in my youth. The core elements that made up the church were displayed for me week after week. I learned, because of the servant hearts and willing workers who stepped up, reached out, and loved a bus kid like me. They were willing to be used for my sake. I learned how to pray because of prayer warriors who prayed over me and with me. I experienced real, authentic love, because it surrounded me at church. I never felt alone or out of place.
Through that experience, I believe I experienced church as it should be. The church reached out to me and loved me the way Christ loves the Church. And, because I chose to receive that love, I am now responsible to extend it to others. And that is how bus ministry launched me into missions.
About the Writer: Cynthia Spruill and her husband Carl will be planting a church in Hawaii with team members Chris and Megan Davenport.
Learn more: www.FWBNAM.com.