Rideshare Redemption

When Jeff Hickman has spare time away from his role as lead pastor of LifeSong Church in Lyman, South Carolina, he spends it in a surprising way—as a rideshare driver. This side gig has allowed him to learn about and meet the needs of his community.

It all began on a whim over four years ago when a friend who worked as a rideshare driver recommended that Hickman try it out. 

“It turned out to be one of the most incredible opportunities to connect with people that I have really ever found,” he says.

For example, one time he arrived at the home of a wheelchair-bound woman who struggled to get down the steps of her home. Subsequently, Hickman organized a fundraiser to have a ramp built for her. 

“While they were building the ramp, I had an opportunity to sit down with her and talk to her about the love of God, and what it means to have a relationship with him. She asked Christ into her heart,” Hickman says. The woman died just a few months later. 

Hickman also has arranged for passengers in need to get free holiday dinners courtesy of the Thanksgiving meal giveaway his church has organized since 2006. 

Another time, Hickman picked up a passenger he had baptized but lost touch with. When this man confided in Hickman that he had received a brain cancer diagnosis, the pastor prayed with him. 

“I just pulled the car over and was able to minister to him right there in that moment,” Hickman recalls.

On another occasion, Hickman gave a ride to a man recently released from prison who wasn’t sure how to have a relationship with God but wanted one desperately. Hickman says the passenger ended up giving his life to Christ in the driveway. 

Over the past two years alone, about 25 customers have accepted Christ, Hickman reports. 

“It started as a way to connect with people I didn’t know, and I’ve met people from all over the world,” he says. “I had no idea that it was the medium [for evangelism] that it is.”

Nadra Kareem Nittle
Nadra Kareem Nittletwitter.com/NadraKareem

Nadra Kareem Nittle has written for Outreach magazine since 2009. She has written about faith and other issues for a number of publications and websites, including the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, About.com's Race Relations website, TheLoop21.com, PRISM magazine and the Inland Valley Times. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles.