ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) ─ Dozens of Rockford residents pull up and park to take part in a unique church service. Parishioners came together in worship from the safety of their cars.
“That’s what the church is. It’s not a building,” said Stateline Church Associate Pastor Tyler Johnson. “It’s a group of people gathered together.”
Cars packed the parking lot of Stateline Church, 601 N. Perryville Rd., Thursday night as church members took part in a drive-in worship night.
“Our friend Lennox Barnett at Lennox Barnett Ministries was thinking about doing it. He ran it up to the mayor who ran it up to the governor’s office, they gave him the okay,” said Johnson. “Today’s the ‘National Day of Prayer’, so we wanted to get together, even though we can’t physically gather, we can be in cars together.”
Johnson jokes that people started showing up an hour early for the service.
“Which is awesome. I wish they would do that for church on normal Sunday’s, but they’re showing up early, which shows that people are pining for something like this,” said Johnson. “I think in a time like this, when people are looking for hope, looking for help, they’re desperate to just be able to latch on to that, desperate to be able to worship Jesus, and so we’re just giving people an opportunity to do that.”
During the service, no one was allowed outside of their cars. A band performed on an elevated stage, with speakers spread throughout the parking lot.
Instead of clapping, cars honked in approval.
“I never imagined our world to look like this at all, to have to do something like this is mind boggling, but we’re excited to do it,” said Johnson. “If you’re out there, which a lot of people are, feeling kind of the monotony of it all, feeling maybe some depression, some anxiety kicking in, just want you to know that there’s a Jesus that loves you, that wants you to have hope, wants you to lean into him in the season.”