Next Sunday's double feature at the drive-in could be David and Goliath, or Samson and Delilah, or The Ten Commandments.

But only on Sunday morning.Through the efforts of Twin Falls' First Christian Church, the Motor-Vu Drive Inn Theater is transformed into the Magic Valley Drive-In Church at 8 a.m. every summer Sunday.

The Rev. John Parish of First Christian describes the weekly gathering as a "rare and unusual type of worship service."

Certainly, the pulpit and portable organ perched atop the theater snack bar are unique.

"You feel like you are on Mars up there," said the Rev. Parish, who leads the service several times a year. "You know there are people out there, but you can't see the whites of their eyes."

He added, "There is no response to the singing, and the whole congregation could be sleeping and you would never know it."

Most of them aren't, however.

Like First Methodist Church members Helen and Joe Boster, for example, who have been attending the drive-in church for several years now.

After Joe Boster developed health problems, the couple became interested in the services when they saw an ad in the local newspaper. They bring along their friend, Margaret Strickling, and her dog, Tiki. The trio say they enjoy their early mornings at the drive-in.

"I'll never forget the day when one of the pastors sang `Morning Has Broken,' " Helen Boster said. "It was so uplifting and perfect out here in the freshness of the morning air."

"The drive-in worship idea was made famous by (California Crystal Cathedral pastor) Robert Schuller," said the Rev. Parish, "but there are few drive-in churches across the country."

The Twin Falls version traces its roots back to 1956. It was the brainchild of the Rev. Paul Kenny, then pastor of the Kimberly Christian Church, in partnership with Twin Falls First Christian Church pastor Don Hoffman.

The Rev. Kenny was looking for a way to reach out to people who don't usually go to church. The Twin Falls Ministerial Association cooperated in the venture, until two years ago when the group disbanded and First Christian took on full sponsorship of the services.

"My church feels this service is very important," said the Rev. Parish, who will be retiring later this month after serving his church in Twin Falls for eight years. "Drive-in worship will continue after I leave."

The service generally draws 20 or 25 cars. Churchgoers listen to the service via speakers placed on the car doors. Parish terms the drive-in church "moderately successful."

He said a number of people come to the church consistently, noting that many of them are older people who have physical limitations and are unable to climb stairs.

Probably about half go to their own churches the other nine months of the year, he said.

"The informal setting is designed to attract ranchers and tourists," said Parish, who advertises the church by tacking up notes in motel lobbies and placing newspaper, radio and television ads.

On Aug. 4, drive-in worshiper Dorothy Sanborn brought her granddaughter, Karla Chapman, who was visiting from Virginia. Chapman checked out the drive-in church last summer and wanted to return.

Parked next to Sanborn's car were Bill and Patsy Thornquest, who often bring Patsy's mother, Ramah Sharp, to services at the drive-in. Bill, who works for the Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office, was dressed in shorts and had a mug of coffee in his hand.

"The informal atmosphere is a definite plus for us," said Patsy Thornquest, "but we do attend First Christian Church during the rest of the year because we miss the interaction with people when we are out here."

The services are Protestant and non-denominational. A regular order of worship includes scripture readings, prayers, hymns and a sermon. Volunteers from First Christian hand out communion supplies and bulletins.

No one receives payment at the drive-in church. The theater doesn't charge for use of the facilities, though the man who works in the projector room receives a small donation.

An offering, collected every Sunday, can be designated to any church or cause and often goes to the Salvation Army or some other Magic Valley organization that services the needy.

Ministers from various churches in the area deliver the sermons each Sunday at the drive-in. Most recently, the Rev. Parish preached a sermon entitled "You Can't Hide from God." His text was Mark, chapter 7.

Guest ministers are asked to bring along people from their churches to provide special music, which ranges from upbeat contemporary to traditional sacred. Sermons have lasted anywhere from seven to 24 minutes and the entire service lasts less than an hour.

A note in the drive-in worship bulletin invites the churchgoers to share needs with the guest minister. The Rev. Parish said people seldom do.

And yet, the services continue to fill a need, he said. And they continue every Sunday - rain or shine.

When the storms do come, the guest minister speaks from inside the snack bar - if he can get there in time.

"We often have to hold on to our notes to make sure they don't blow off the roof in bad weather," the Rev. Parish said.