Lyft driving ministers spread the word of love through rideshare gospel
One is an ordained minister in Brooklyn, the different a single mom and kids’s creator in New Jersey. Both drive for Lyft. Both share the word of God as itinerant preachers.
Pastor Kenneth Drayton and Tomika Reid attempt to encourage passengers through religious steerage on the highway as half of what they see as cellular Christian ministries.
“You don’t always have to go to a church or shrine to experience the restoration and the power of God,” says Mr. Drayton, a minister who additionally preaches at Mantels of Promise Ministries in Brooklyn.
He began driving for Uber in 2015 after retiring from a profession in the insurance coverage business. When he listened to passengers who shared their tales on the highway, he understood that his automobile might develop into an extension of the church.
“The car is such an ideal place to do it because it’s personal,” says Mr. Drayton, who now drives for Lyft. “I can share my faith and that’s so important, because that’s what I live for.”
On a latest day, he started by praying in his immaculately clear 2017 Toyota Camry, reciting Psalm 23 (“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…”). During a break from driving in Manhattan, he mirrored on how he reaches out to passengers.
He all the time performs classical music on his automobile stereo (his favourite is Mozart) to encourage a relaxed, nice temper. He begins with a greeting and a sort word. His precedence, he says, is to introduce passengers to Christ, however he’s respectful if they don’t seem to be receptive. They are sometimes Christians, however he additionally spoke to atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and Muslims. Instead of attempting to evangelise, he says he focuses his message on the love of God and tends to keep away from doctrine.
“It was the conflict, the antidote for healing and transformation,” Mr. Drayton mentioned. “These are discussions and debates that have caused holy wars.”
Ms Reid additionally steers clear of doctrine and focuses extra on sharing her private story, hoping it could assist others take care of their challenges. Like Mr. Drayton, she feels that the church goes past the bricks and mortar.
“It’s something God put me in a position to do,” she mentioned. “And I love it because I love to inspire people and encourage them to never give up.”
Losses marked her life, together with the deaths of her mom, sister and the fathers of her two daughters. She usually tells her story to passengers.
“I wanted to give up, but because of my faith in God I am still standing here,” mentioned the single mom. “And I just want to use my story to encourage others to never give up, no matter what you’re going through.”
In 2017, she began driving for Lyft to help her daughters, who at the moment are 14 and 20. In the backseat pocket of her 2019 Nissan Altima, she retains the 5 books she’s written, together with one for kids about dealing with the loss of a cherished one.
Passengers usually purchase her books or tip her generously and he or she proudly maintains a 5 out of 5 star ranking. She normally performs George Michael on weekdays and gospel music on Sundays when she works and might’t make it to church.
“When I hear people say: ‘You made my day’, I know that I can make an impact on people’s lives,” Ms. Reid mentioned. “It brings me joy. It’s like I turned my pain into a goal to inspire others.”
Evangelism specialists say ride-hailing could be conducive to speaking about religion. Lyft’s tips don’t expressly prohibit evangelism or conversations about faith, however they do promote inclusion and prohibit discrimination, together with on race, gender, and non secular grounds.
“It doesn’t come as a big surprise to me because when I think about Christianity, there’s a long tradition of using technology to spread the word of God,” mentioned Robert Geraci, professor of spiritual research at Manhattan College. mentioned.
He cited examples together with how – quickly after area flight turned doable – folks had been speaking about utilizing satellites to spread the Gospel and the way preachers had been utilizing TV for many years.
“Uber, Lyft is becoming a means of religious communication and not just a transportation strategy,” he mentioned. “It’s also a religious strategy.”
People in customer-facing professions, reminiscent of driving for ride-hailing apps, usually strike up conversations about life and its challenges, mentioned Ed Stetzer, government director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center.
“In a world the place interpersonal interplay is much less widespread – our financial institution tellers at the moment are all ATMs – perception sharing is much less widespread. So folks discover artistic methods,” says Mr. Stetzer, who is also dean of the school of Mission, Ministry and Leadership.
“That’s what Christians have been doing for centuries, long before ride-sharing apps.”
This story was reported by The Associated Press. AP faith protection is supported by the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely answerable for this content material.