by Scott Roth, Leadership Minister
Many of you know I have a passion for bicycles, fishing, and bacon. These have always been little hobbies of mine and throughout them I have put Jesus at the center. I know it sounds silly to say bacon and Jesus, but there has been fruitful ministry with bacon over the years.
There is an old phrase that I love, “When life gives you lemons…make bacon.” Well it seems this phrase has been rewritten during this season of COVID-19 to be, “When life hands you a pandemic…go ride a bicycle!”
There is a bicycle revolution happening right now in the United States. Bicycle shop sales are up 71% and inventory of new bicycles is scarce. People are out riding bikes in record numbers! We have not seen this transportation trend in our culture since the car revolution.
Bicycling ministry has been a passion of mine over the past five years. As the director of Bike & Sol and a pastor, I have been afforded so many opportunities to enter into people’s lives in deep meaningful ways. Bicycles can make someone very approachable when riding around. When someone rides a bike, they may be enjoying the natural high that happens when endorphins run through our body, letting us know we are having a good time.
Why do I promote bicycles so much? The answer: Church. If you want a really, really, really easy way to be missional and get to know people in your neighborhood, go ride a bike. Ride around and say hi to your neighbors. Find others that want to ride and go connect. Riding is such a safe and easy way to social distance and get around.
You can ride on trails, roads, or wherever makes sense to ride. This is a really low hanging fruit way of doing relational ministries. It’s really simple. You pedal and talk about your life and ask questions about the people’s lives around you. How was your week? What was work like? How’s the family? Listen and engage. Bicycles create such a neutral ground for us to interact.
What about discipleship ministry? Just as you can reach out missionally, you can also reach those who are within your own faith community. Pray for someone that God may be calling you to mentor and disciple and ask them to go for a ride. Just ride and talk and enjoy the nature around you. Maybe a peer of yours needs some time with you, or maybe there is someone in your congregation who needs an invitation to ride.
There are so many opportunities that are available right NOW for being Christ-like in a healthy, positive way with a bicycle. But what happens after the pandemic? We hope that we can keep this momentum going and keep on pedaling with our neighbors and folks in our communities at large.
However you choose to use them, bicycles are an opportunity. With our bicycles, there are simple ways that we as the church can be relevant and relational in our neighborhoods and our faith communities. If you have questions or thoughts or want ideas on riding ministries, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org