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'Come as you are in the family car': Pewaukee church offers drive-in worship services

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PEWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Palm Sunday this year was observed not from a pew, but from a parking lot at True Life Church in Pewaukee.

Senior Pastor Brandon Ball said he knows many people are still looking for a spiritual connection during this time of great uncertainty.

"We wanted to create an alternative to be able to do church obviously not inside the building... This is what we came up with: drive-in church," Ball said.

Longtime church member Scott Groth brought his puppy, Bandit, with him as he watched the service from his car Sunday.

"I had to get my weekly recharge, had to get my Jesus," he said. "It's awesome. I wish we could do this all the time."

Ball said the idea of a drive-in church may be new to True Life, but the concept has been around for decades. His inspiration came from Pastor Robert Schuller who built a megachurch around the drive-in concept in the 1950s hoping to reach those looking for a more casual setting.

"Based on the population, he knew that it was such a reach to get them from where they were at into an actual church building. So he had the idea based off of a drive-in movie theater to kind of transition them. His theme was: Come as you are in the family car," Ball said.

Ball is now modeling his church off the same theme, and clearly, what he is doing is resonating with many people in the community. They rented a stage and have a full band.

"The response has been better attendance than our regular attendance," he said. "Everything happens outside that would happen inside."

"You can bring your dog, have your coffee, eat breakfast in the car and just get together during this time," said Kelly Neumann, who attended on Sunday.

The church is expecting a surge of people over the next two weeks. On Easter Sunday, the church plans to administer communion using prepackaged communion elements.

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