Pull-up church service

Church from your car, in worship center parking lot this Sunday at 11 a.m. with pastor Joshua Chiles of the Life Center in Abbeville.

The Life Center in Abbeville is hosting a “Pull Up Sunday Service” in its church parking lot at 11 a.m. Sunday. The address is 763 S.C. 28 Bypass.

Pastor Joshua Chiles, 37, was getting some fresh air Friday afternoon with his family when he talked with the Index-Journal by phone about the idea.

“Every pastor at this time is trying to figure out creative ways to meet and creative ways to reach their people and take care of their people,” Chiles said. “Right now, everybody is a virtual pastor But, you want to be able to see your people. ... So, we began to think about how we could congregate without really touching. We began to think about the drive-in movies.

“Millennials are like, ‘Just pull up.’ Let’s have a pull-up service,” Chiles said. “We are planning on having speakers so people in their cars can hear the message and to have a DJ. Of course, we will continue to have our online service.”

Amid new and changing protocols for social distancing, Chiles said it’s important for people to not break with their routines, including those who regularly attend church.

“When we can get back to normal we also have to be ready to get back to church,” Chiles said. “This can also be an evangelistic tool. It’s different and this generation likes different...It’s crazy the reaction we have gotten from millennials. ... After I posted this and shared it, I heard from young people who tell me they haven’t been to church in two to three years. They are sharing it and saying things like, ‘We are going to pack the parking lot out.’”

Chiles said it matters not to him how many turn out.

“We have to learn how to move within the parameters of all we are dealing with,” Chiles said. “We have talked with people in health care and to law enforcement in the city and county, to make sure we are not in any violations. They told us it was similar to how people are doing drive-thru pickup for food right now.”

Chiles said there will be parking attendants wearing gloves and people will be encouraged to stay in their cars and using the church’s livestream for the service’s audio, instead of cracking car windows.

“We have to continue to show faith over fear,” Chiles said. “I’m not telling people to not be precautious. I think it’s better to show wisdom than to show worry. We have to believe we are going to be OK.”

Chiles said the message will be about 20 to 30 minutes long.

“I threw out this idea Thursday and the response has been crazy,” Chiles said. “I’ve got a pastor friend in Virginia talking to his staff about doing something similar, but you have to make sure you cover all your health, safety and law enforcement bases. We have to have these ideas and to be able to come together to navigate through these times.”

Contact St. Claire Donaghy at 864-943-2518.