Our church building is located on a Farm to market Road that is heavily used by motorcycle riders, especially on weekends. I would say that about a hundred pass by our church every Sunday, maybe more. (I am not pulling that figure out of thin air; it's basis is grounded in the number of people stopping at a new Icehouse a few miles down the road.
We have been burdened to reach out to these people whom God deeply loves. My first (satire) idea was to put up a roadblock and divert them through the church parking lot. I thought about trying to open up our gym as a place to stop and use the restroom or get a cup of cold water. I knew in my heart this would not work. We kept praying and looking.
Several months ago a new place opened up called Drifters Icehouse. We pass it at least every Sunday and every Wednesday on the way to church. Shortly after it opened we drove by around lunch one day and counted somewhere between 80-100 bikes there. We prayed and decided they were not going to come to us so we would go to them. Last Sunday Sweetie and I made our first trip to Drifters for lunch. We left our kids with another couple in the church and headed off to the new experience.
Our goal this first time was just to check things out (we figured we might stand out) and, if possible, to meet the owners and people working there. We did not stand out that much. We were not the only people in a car and most of the people were in our age range. many were dressed in the black and leather trappings of the stereotypical biker but some others were not. The truth is most of the people were from moderately upscale suburbs, white collar jobs during the week, black collar fun on the weekends.
We also met the owners. They were really nice down to earth folk and even hugged us when we left. I had a pastor friend who had a motorcycle ministry back in the 70's and 80's. He is in heaven and unavailable for advice. I do remember him telling me one time that bikers are very in to physical contact. They like hugging. I think he may have been ministering to a slightly different clientele but it seemed true for this crew as well.
To be completely honest I had some humanly concerns about this heavenly ministry. Jesus is THE role model. He hung out with prostitutes and tax gatherers. Most of the people I saw were just ordinary people. Nevertheless I had in my mind the question of what others would think when they saw us there. It is hard to overcome the pull of the flesh toward Christian legalism!
Our ultimate goal is to develop relationships, share the love of Christ and possibly start a Bible Study there before the regular opening time, even if it's just for the staff.
What do you think? What ideas do you have that might work for this ministry?