God has no problem changing our plans.
Like many churches, Redemption Road Church in Phoenix, Arizona, had to pivot the grand opening of their church. Lead Pastor Andrew Puett, his family and team conducted their preview service last December, hoping to launch on Easter.
“Everything with the pandemic hit while we were on spring break. Initially, we were pretty discouraged and were trying to figure out what we were going to do,” Puett explained. “We had to take a step back and cancel a lot of things.”
Like many churches, Puett and his team were forced to adjust their plans and trust that God was doing something greater than they could presently understand.
“There was some initial discouragement from all of us, but we decided to go ahead and go to online services every week, and it has turned out to be one of the biggest blessings that’s ever happened to us. We’ve been setting up Zoom meetings for people who have been tuning in and sending us messages through Facebook. And on May 17, we decided tried something different. We did an online grand opening for our church. We had a great response.”
PUTTING A SMILE ON FACES
Even though Redemption Road Church is close to Phoenix, the church’s community of Waddell is quite rural.
“We’re unincorporated here in Waddell. There are no businesses, and there’s one general store in the whole community. But it’s very much a growing community. We went out and met people at the park and found out people were very discouraged, and we began to wonder what we could do to put a smile on people’s face.”
Few things can put a smile on people’s faces in the middle of a desert like ice.
“My neighbor, who’s a Christian, had a Kona Ice truck come to her house. A bunch of kids came out, so we just bought them for all the kids right there. We realized then that if we sent this around, we’d bring smiles to people’s face. We gave away about 500 cups of Kona Ice, and it spread all over Facebook.”
Children lining up to get their free Kona Ice, payed for by Redemption Road Church.
God will do whatever it takes to propel His people on mission and ensure His redemptive mission continues.
“We wanted to keep the momentum going, so each the following times we gave away Kona Ice, we passed out cards about our online service, and we invited people to our online grand opening. Through all this, we’ve seen it’s really sparked an evangelistic spirit among the people in our congregation.”
While everyone has been forced to redirect their plans and their lives, we still move forward. We can’t manipulate or force God to readjust to our plans, but we are graciously invited into His plans and purposes to redeem the world.
“The biggest thing I would take away from all of this is that God has a timetable, and it may be different from ours. We get discouraged when our timetable doesn’t work like we thought, but God’s got something better we probably wouldn’t have thought of on our own.”
Published June 12, 2020