Ministering To Mobile People -- By: Charles R. Munson

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 04:0 (NA 1971)
Article: Ministering To Mobile People
Author: Charles R. Munson


Ministering To Mobile People

Charles R. Munson

Consider these headlines:

  • Camping fever strikes millions
  • There may be a camper in your future
  • Campers put gals in trucker’s seat
  • The Gospel goes to the marketplace
  • Four-day work week seen on way for U.S. labor
  • New concept-7 days work 7 days off

These headlines can not be ignored by the twentieth century church for they illustrate what the church is facing—either in gloom or in opportunity.

Sylvia Porter, the well-known economist, says the shape of the future is to a four-day 30-hour week, or a four-day 40-hour work week. While the beginnings in these areas are small the trend is abundantly clear. Still a new venture is working with success, a seven day 70-hour work week with seven days vacation following. Workers are pleased with it because it gives more time with the family and more time to travel. Add to these ideas the new long week end vacations. This year many will get at least seven or eight long weekends. Americans are getting more and more time to travel and they are doing it.

There are approximately 45 million family campers in America, or about 18 million families, a typical family spending $25 to $30 dollars a day on the go. Last year $989 million dollars were spent by Americans for recreational vehicles such as travel trailers, tent trailers, truck campers and other motorized shelters.

There are about 2.5 million of such vehicles registered with 80 per cent of them travel trailers costing on the average—$2,467. In addition approximately 700,000 tents were sold annually costing about $70 million dollars.

These travelers are primarily dwellers of the suburbs, small cities and towns who own their homes and about 50% of them own two or more cars. They traveled to some 587,342 campsites in the U.S. and 92,699 campsites in Canada and to many more unregistered sites.

What does all of this mean to the church? Think about these true illustrations: John approaches his pastor in April and says pastor, “Please do not get excited but I’ll not likely see you again until November; we are going to be in our travel trailer over the weekends until then.” Take another example. Jim and Jill leave home immediately after work on Friday and travel some 25 or 30 miles to a trailer where they stay until late Sunday evening, getting back home just in time for bed. They live each week for the weekend away from the city. These people in the illustrations are not at all unreligious or lacking in spiritual depth; they simply are part of the growing interest in travel and camping. Obviously there are many who are part of the mobile soci...

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