Our recent study in the adult Sunday school class at Rockville on the challenges of spreading the gospel reminded me of a cultural difference I observed when I first arrived in the United States. I grew up in a congregation where we went out as a group, once every month to preach the gospel from door-to-door. This practice is possible because the culture promotes unscheduled visits to people’s homes, and in most cases the host feels a cultural obligation to receive and possibly entertain the guest even if they are complete strangers. Our hosts usually felt an obligation to receive us, and this made preaching the gospel really easy.
On arriving here however, I noticed the culture isn’t the same, and I thought to myself ‘’how do Christians get the gospel to people around here?’’ As I interacted more with my new environment, I discovered that there is a huge level of technology dependence, which provided avenues for meeting and interacting with people, including complete strangers. I became aware of many new opportunities that I could never have imagined.
The one that intrigues me the most is the opportunity provided by ridesharing systems. Ridesharing could mean a few different but related concepts. I refer particularly to a kind of taxi service where intending riders use a mobile application to request transportation. The transportation service is usually provided by individuals using personal non-commercial vehicles to convey passengers around the city. There are a few such systems around the country, the most popular ones in the DC metro area are Uber and Lyft. You can either sign up to ride or sign up to drive. I think it is an excellent opportunity to meet and share the Word with people who live around us but who we may not run into as we go about our daily activities. As a driver, I have encountered all classes of people, including very high level executives who just want to get to the airport quickly and don’t have the time to deal with the inconveniences of airport parking. In twelve weeks I made over a thousand trips and encountered over a thousand people, most of whom were complete strangers, and some trips had multiple riders. I did not get the chance to speak to every one of them, but I had some very interesting conversations. Apart from speaking to people deliberately, I also tried to create a conducive atmosphere for godly conversation. Most conversations I had started from things happening around us, and somehow either I or the rider brought up religion and we get to talk about Jesus.
Apart from the opportunity to share the gospel, operating a ridesharing service also pays. Like I always say, no one is going to get rich driving on the Uber or Lyft platform, but depending on how many hours you decide to put in every week, you may get enough to cover all your costs and still have something to augment your income. And there are no set hours. You can drive 24/7 if you want. So whether you drive to preach or you preach because you drive, I think it’s an excellent opportunity to explore in case you seek additional opportunities to spread the word.
Cheche Agada is a brother in Christ who serves in the Rockville church of Christ in Maryland. He is originally from Lagos, Nigeria, and is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University.