- Trucking Topics
- Keeping The Faith: A Guide To Church Services For Truckers
Most statistics about the trucking industry peg the number of big-rig truck drivers at around 3.5 million. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting that up to 40 percent of these drivers hold to some kind of faith belief.
To mutilate a phrase often used in a different context, when truck drivers climb those steps and enter through the door of their trucks it doesn’t mean that they have to leave their faith behind in the parking lot.
For many drivers, however, in addition to saying goodbye to their spouse and children at the end of home time it does actually mean saying goodbye to the spiritual and emotional support offered by the family’s church.
But it turns out that because of today’s technology and the generosity of those with a gift for ministry there are many options making it possible for a driver on the road to reconcile that loss of church and fellowship. It’s possible to not only keep the faith while on the road but to continue to grow in it as well.
While it might be inconvenient or impossible to exactly duplicate the kind of quiet Bible time and church fellowship on the road that one is able to experience with a home-based existence, there are a number of options that can help a driver keep the faith while on the road.
- Bible apps for cell phones, tablets or laptops
- Streaming audio and video
- Truck stop ministries
Bible apps for cell phones, tablets or laptops
One of the most convenient ways to use technology to keep in touch with The Word is through the use of Bible apps. Here are some of the most popular:
You Version – Bible App for IOS & Android
According to a Life.Church press release:
"YouVersion was created by Life.Church to help people engage with the Bible. The team designs and builds experiences that make it easy for people to integrate the Bible into their everyday lives. Since 2008, the Bible App offers a free Bible experience on smart phones, tablets, and computers.
Inarguably, YouVersion’s Bible app is the most popular in the genre. Already installed on more than 300 million devices around the world, people are reading, listening to, watching, and sharing the Bible using this app, completely free.
What comes with the Android or IOS installation are more than 1,400 Bible versions, in more than 1,000 languages, the ability to listen to audio Bibles, and to explore thousands of reading plans and devotionals in more than 40 languages.
This Bible app is highly customizable with highlights, bookmarks, and public/private notes. Everything is accessible online, or by downloading select versions to use offline.
Bible.is, which is available for Android as well as IOS, claims to offer mobile access to Scripture in more languages than any other Bible app, and includes access to hundreds of dramatized audio Bibles as well as the Jesus film. With this app, drivers can read the Bible, listen to the Bible, and see the Bible, all for free.
Bible.is features include access to the Bible in more than 1,800 languages; the ability to listen to beautifully dramatized Scriptures in hundreds of recorded languages; plus searching for Bible passages by language or by country.
Of particular interest to drivers, users can download text and audio for offline reading and listening anytime, anywhere. Keywords, book names and specific verses can be searched and, once found, can be bookmarked, highlighted and have notes added.
ESV Bible by Crossway
This Bible app is more limited than the others mentioned, but it would still be useful for dedicated ESV Bible version users. Crossway claims it is the only free ESV Bible app available for cell phones.
Features include verse searching, cross-referencing and footnotes. Users can scroll through the entire Bible in landscape or full screen modes and enlarge or shrink font sizes to fit your needs. The ESV Bible App emulates the same unique typography users encounter with print versions of the ESV.
Blue Letter Bible
Widely used for many, many years on computer platforms and claiming millions of users, the Blue Letter Bible is also available for cell phone users.
This app is geared more toward those wishing to do in-depth Bible study and expositions. Its Bible-study tools include a lexicon for studying of the Hebrew and Greek, performing word study searches using the many available dictionaries and encyclopedias, using the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge for an in-depth study, and reading or listening to the more than 8,000 text commentaries by over 40 different authors.
The Blue Letter Bible app is more appropriate for leisurely Bible study once the day’s driving is finished and the driver is relaxing in the sleeper. Other powerful features include taking notes while organizing them into notebooks, tagging favorite verses and collect them into custom folders, highlighting verses in unlimited customized colors, showing or hiding footnote and verse markers, showing or hiding words of Christ in red, and viewing side by side, parallel Bibles.
Salem New Media claims that its Daily Bible app is the "most-liked Bible app on Android."
They say that with Daily Bible users can start their day by reading or listening to a daily Bible verse in many different versions like KJV, NIV, ESV, etc.
Users can choose from a wide range of Bible reading plans and easily search any verse of any topic.
These are just a sample of popular Bible apps available. With one of these apps and any smart phone, tablet or laptop drivers need never leave the Good Word behind while they are on the road.
Drivers who miss out on hearing their pastor’s Sunday church service sermons might be surprised to discover that many churches now post their sermons as audios or videos on their church websites or make them available on YouTube.
Many churches also provide real-time streaming of their sermons.
But, drivers who are in churches that do not provide any of these services have a wealth of recorded sermons and Bible expositions available for downloading or streaming from a huge variety of popular pastors, speakers and teachers. Some of the most popular include:
Chuck Missler’s Koinonia House on YouTube
Chuck Missler passed away at the age of 83 in May of 2018, but he has left behind a huge wealth of Bible expositions and topical studies.
One highly, highly recommended gateway to Mr. Missler and learning the Bible is to watch his video series titled, "Learn the Bible in 24 hours," available on YouTube. For on-the-road audio-only streaming it can be accessed at this SoundCloud link.
Once the appetite is whetted by this comprehensive exposition of the whole Bible, the diligent Bible student can further explore Mr. Missler’s gifted teaching at KHouse.org, or by doing further searches on YouTube.
John MacArthur’s Grace to You
The Grace to You website features sermons, Bible expositions and topical studies.
Paul Washer’s Heart Cry Ministries
The Heart Cry website is ministry website features this popular evangelist’s sermons and teachings.
Those seeking traditional preaching on audio can find Charles Spurgeon sermons read by contemporary speakers. Known as the Prince of Preachers, this 19th Century preacher/pastor is credited with being one of the most influential preachers ever.
There are many others that can be searched, with audio offerings that can be downloaded, and either played directly from a smart phone, or via Bluetooth through the truck speakers, and/or copied to a thumb drive and played via the truck’s USB auxiliary port.
Ministries Specifically for Truckers
- Truckstop Ministries, Inc
- Transport for Christ
- Trucker’s Christian Chapel Ministries
- Association of Christian Truckers
Truckstop Ministries, Inc
Probably the most recognizable because of the number of locations where they host a chapel Truckstop Ministries, Inc. has been around in one form or another since 1981. Today, the ministry has more than 80 chapels in truck stops in 29 states.
Truckstop Ministries was founded by the Rev. Joseph Hunter, known as Pastor Joe, who passed away in 2018.
Before his passing, Pastor Joe told how his ministry came about:
"I was an over-the-roadtruck driver for approximately 20 years.I learned to drive a truck shortly before going into the U.S. Army. During my two years in the military, I drove truck in Viet Nam for one year then back to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, driving there my last six months in the Army.After the Army I became a commercial truck driver.
During the next 20 years I was in many cities across the United States on Sunday morning wanting to worship, but no way to get to a church.When I reduced my trucking to regional running in 1979, God began to deal with me about ministering to the drivers who were stuck in Atlanta for the weekend.In March 1981, I went to the (then) Truck Stops of America in Conley (Atlanta), Georgia on I-285 and Moreland Avenue and was given permission to conduct a Bible study and see what would happen.Thirty-three years later, to the glory of God, and by His grace, we are still trying, and are now in over 82 truck stops in 29 states."
The website provides a map with the states that host chapels. Clicking on the state, and then clicking on the truck stop, will bring up a page showing the chapel chaplain, the location of the chapel, and hours when the chapel is open.
Transport for Christ, International
Transport for Christ claims to have 89 active locations, which engaged with more than 67,000 drivers in 2017, and saw more than 1,000 drivers make professions of faith.
In their own words:
"Transport For Christ started in 1951 as the effort of a young Canadian, Rev. Jim Keys. He wanted to help truck drivers and build bridges of opportunity to talk to drivers about Jesus Christ. It didn’t take long for Jim to gather a team of men to travel by automobile throughout the Ontario province looking for drivers stopped along the Royal Canadian Highway and other routes. In time, a small modified step van that allowed drivers to visit inside was put into service."
"Robert Thompson, a truck stop owner near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, persuaded TFC to park a chapel permanently at his plaza in 1986. At that location, 150 drivers professed faith in Christ the first year. This move changed the way TFC did ministry. Christ-following truck stop owners and others who observed the decline in prostitution and crime at the truck stops requested a chapel and a chaplain team."
An interactive map is available to point drivers to the nearest chapel.
Truckers Christian Chapel Ministries
Truckers Christian Chapel Ministries says their goal is, "To provide as many Chapel Locations as the Lord allows, within a truck stop setting familiar to the road drivers. We provide chapel services, Bible studies, prayer, counseling, and just plain old fellowship."
In their own words:
"TCCM is a growing number of separate yet united truck stop chapels that are independent in scope of autonomy, by administering materials and supervision over their respective co-laborers, and part of a larger vision of presentation of the Gospel and continuity of Bible studies that impact and affect the professional driver and their families as they travel. We also minister to travelers who stop in. Each ministry is an outreach of the local church and is maintained, encouraged and supported by the local church. TCCM is currently comprised of over 100 such church ministries, working in truck stops located in 33 states. TCCM, Inc. itself was a local church ministry operating out of the First Baptist Church of Enon, Ohio, (SBA). It was formed to facilitate the establishment, development, expansion and growth of the local church truck stop ministries."
TCCM chapels can be found by visiting the Chapel Locations page.
Association of Christian Truckers
The Association of Christian Truckers has a limited number of locations, only three in fact, but its expansive website provides a number of services for its members. Their locations include one in Brownstone, Illinois, one in Milton, Pennsylvania, and one in Montgomery, Alabama.
They say their vision is to:
"Reach the truckers of America showing them the love of God, and sharing the good news of the gospel. Being there for them in their time of need.
"Develop our 33 acre mission’s base and headquarters with excellence to provide an oasis of love showing truckers, and all that come in the love of our Lord. We will encourage and pray that each one that comes in will leave better than they were when they came in.
"Make truckers our priority and, as such, we develop, train, and send forth a body of Christian truckers that want to reach the lost world in their day to day operations -- to associate as our name says with other ministries in and out of trucking whose goal it is to reach the lost for God through his son Jesus.
"Focus our vision in ministry and love to the truck driver, and all activity should be measured against this goal."
Visit the ACT website for more information and the exact locations.
Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route. A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard. State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them. Operating While Intoxicated When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.
Department Of Transportation
Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver ManagerThe primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Hours Of ServiceHOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.
A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.
State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.
Operating While Intoxicated
When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.