You’ve probably seen the commercial on TV in which one of the private transporters extols the virtues of logistics.  Ahh! In special needs ministry, we know logistics and logistics can either be our best friend or our worst enemy.  Most of our programs are not like Wayside Baptist Church in Miami, Florida, which has 150 members.  Almost all of them attend the weekly services.  At Wayside, they run no vans or facilitate any other transportation. 

However, each week at Special Gathering we transport as many as 100 people from their homes to the various places where we have worship services.  Then our staff makes sure they safely get home from there.  Occasionally, we facilitate the transportation of people from our 2 Sunday morning programs to an event sponsored by the Brevard County Recreation Department.  We don’t ever provide transportation home from the party.

We do this for three reasons.  Without this transportation, some of our members would not be able to attend these events, if they came to Special Gathering.  Rather than make our members decide between our chapel programs and a party, we work to make sure they get to the party from our program.  Second, on these few Sundays, this time helps parents’ of our members.  It gives parents a few additional hours of respite time.  Third, our members enjoy the parties.  If the transportation we provide makes it easier for them, we try to make it happen.

Yet, there always seems to be an interesting bletch in my logistical planning during those extra events.  While we have our regular transports running smoothly, it is those extra times that makes me want to pluck a few eyebrows to relieve the pain.  Getting our members to the party is always easy, whether I personally transport them or we use a public conveyance.  It is getting them home safely that becomes the problem.  We say that we don’t provide transportation home from the party but someone always gets confused.

Over the years, I’ve called each member’s home to ask if they would be attending.  This was a great way to have personal contact with all our members.  However, this year, I put a notice in our monthly newsletter that said, “If you desire to attend the rec social, call Linda Howard.”  Only five people called and each of the parents assured me that they would be picking up their children.  These were also my more reliable parents. 

In all, there were more than 35 people who came from our program to the rec social.  But I was only responsible for five of them.  To insure that nothing went wrong, I was at the party at the end, making sure that all Special Gathering members had transportation home. 

It worked.  Everyone left with the person with whom they were supposed to go.  Logistics.  I love it.