Dump Truck Church

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

Uber is the taxi service for the new generation. No longer do you have to stand out in the rain with your finger wagging in the air, waiting for a taxi driver to spot you so you can get a ride. Now, you just log in to the app and request a driver who will show up in minutes. 

Most of these drivers are regular people with regular cars hoping to make a little money on the side. To show that they are Uber drivers, their vehicles usually sport a sign on the dash or sticker on the windshield that displays the word “Uber” and the company logo. 

Annie and I took an Uber when we were in New York City and had a good experience. It was a nice, clean car with a good driver. 

Most Ubers are. 

Most. 

The other day, I spotted something out of the ordinary. Annie and I were strolling along the sidewalk in the downtown area of a city outside of Columbus, Ohio. They were repairing the road, so many of the cars that passed us were massive dump trucks that puffed black diesel smoke onto the street. 

As one approached us, I glimpsed into the cab to see a husky man with a grungy beard sitting behind the wheel. Perched on the dash was a large plastic sign illuminated with the word UBER. He honked his horn as he passed. 

I stopped in my tracks, not believing my eyes. That dump truck? An Uber? 

Imagine leaving a restaurant downtown, your stomach full, and eyes dropping. You load up the app and call an Uber to take you home. Fifteen minutes later, a lumbering dump truck lurches to the curb in front of you. You wave away the pollution issuing from the tailpipe and crane your neck to see the man with the grungy beard slouched in the driver’s seat, staring at you, smiling. “Hop in,” he says. 

It cracks me up just thinking about it. 

And maybe that was the point. I hope that the sign was simply a joke. But maybe it was real. We may never know. 

In many ways, I think the Church should strive to be more like that dump truck Uber. 

Hear me out.

Too often, the Church has blended in. Rather than remaining starkly different, standing against the hurtful narratives of the world, the Church has disguised itself under the veneer of believing simple things–just be nice, friendly, and kind and everything will turn out alright.

In the traffic of the world, the Church gets lost in the mix. Like a Toyota Prius Uber, there’s nothing striking. Nothing that stands out.

But the Gospel is radical! And a Church that claims to preach such a message should be revolutionary as well. Like a dump truck Uber, it should shock us! The Dump Truck Church should be a community that is attractive, different, challenging, and compelling.

By our words, our actions, and our love, we much show the world that Christ and the Kingdom he is bringing is not harmless, but instead, it’s a Kingdom full of grace, love, forgiveness, acceptance, and renewal. 

That’s good news! So hop in the cab of your dump truck. 

Leave the Prius at home. 

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