Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:4-7 ESV)
In church planting there are many lessons that Jesus teaches. One of the most recent and biggest lessons I have learned is to hold “my” plans with an open hand. I have learned that I must surrender my own designs, timelines and dreams of Redemption Church fully to Jesus. To not do this, is to sin against the Lord, by saying that this is my church and not His. Jesus is the senior pastor of Redemption Church, and that is something to rejoice in, the Good Shepherd is leading His flock. He is faithful in it. He is wise and full of grace towards us. This has been the lesson that Jesus has taught me recently.
How did He do this?
In November we signed a lease on a location on the corner of Southern and 528 in the Rio Rancho Shopping Center. The location seemed like a great location, that needed some work but not much. We had begun to paint and to make the place ours. We were planning and excited about a January 22nd launch date.
The week after we painted, we learned that this location would not work. We would not be able to have a occupancy needed for a small but growing church plant.
Jesus put us on our knees. Jesus was about to show us that in church planting planning is important, but not as important as trusting Him.
There was another unit in the same shopping center that was bigger, and in many ways better. However it did require more work. There was not another option though however. We couldn’t stay in our current location, and even if we were to move out of the shopping center there was not many other viable options in the area of Rio Rancho we wanted to plant in. So we went to the owner of the building, and he granted us permission to move into this space.
We really are excited about this move, because this space when the work is done will be great and allow us to grow. We are excited about the worship area we will have, where we pray many people will meet Jesus, and the kids area where our children will learn about our senior pastor, Jesus. We now will have space for training events, where we pray more church planters and gospel centered leaders will be raised up by the Spirit.
We now have plans ready to be turned in to the city of Rio Rancho. With this work, and with needing to wait on permitting we have pushed back our launch date from Jan. 22nd to Feb. 19th. We are bit bummed to not be starting sooner, but also realizing that a 4 week delay will be worth it for a great location for the next 4 years.
Jesus has taught me many lessons in church planting. That He is the Good Shepherd and Senior Pastor of Redemption Church, and that He will lead us in love and faithfulness, has been the most breath-taking and amazing thus far.
How can you pray for Redemption?
- Pray that our leaders and those going to Redemption will continually fix our eyes on Jesus and follow Him. That we would not worry or grow anxious in this, but trust him fully and completely.
- Pray that our permits will go smoothly and quickly through the city of Rio Rancho. The only thing that would delay this launch more would be if the city would require more work to be done something we won’t know until we start on the renovations.
- Pray that people even in this delay would meet Jesus and be transformed. We are praying for 4 baptisms on our 1st Sunday! We are excited about a new location, not because we want a comfortable space, but because we are excited about the opportunities for more people to meet Jesus, that’s why we exist.