Lately, we’ve seen some great stories about communities banding together to help people get cars. Cars may not be the first thing you think about when you think “ministry opportunities” but cars are a big deal in the U.S., especially in less metropolitan areas where public transit isn’t an option. A lot of people have a hard time finding work if they don’t have an affordable way to commute to their jobs. And a lot of churches are starting to pitch in.
Religion News Service profiles the growing trend in car-care ministries, where churches run a volunteer auto shop on the side for people who can’t afford to take their cars in for checkups and repairs. It’s a trickier ministry to run—there’s more knowhow involved in fixing a busted carburetor than there is in repainting the fellowship hall, but the need is big.
There’s Wheels4Hope in Raleigh, Durham, and a car-care ministry out of McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church in Powder Springs, Georgia. A few of the profiled volunteer mechanics say they’d like to see a nationwide network setup so that people can find the help they need, since so many of the people they end up taking care of are from out of state. “We’d like to find out who’s out there so we can make sure that everybody’s getting taken care of,” says Tony Pucci, manager of Powder Springs’ car care ministry.
Houston’s First Baptist Church in Texas is taking the trend a step further, offering introductory mechanics courses to men so that they can fix their own cars and hopefully be more helpful neighbors to people in their local community who aren’t able to afford to take their cars in for repairs.
Sounds like a good opportunity for any mechanic-minded people out there looking for a way to get involved in their local communities.