In February of this year, Renton Adventist Church launched a new radio ministry featuring recorded sermons from Pastor Randy Maxwell on KNGW 820AM-The Word Seattle. The 30-minute program airs every Sunday morning at 8:00 am. The new program called “Hope for Today,” was going to be a key element in promoting the Experience Jesus evangelistic series slated for Easter week, April 5-12.
Then Covid-19 hit, causing the church to close in early March.
The leadership team then saw God’s hand in leading them to radio before the quarantine. Though they couldn’t have known about the virus when the contract was signed, God did and provided a tool through which they could proclaim the gospel to a potential audience of several hundred thousand each week.
In April the Experience Jesus evangelistic series became an online-only event with viewing audiences three times the size of the expected live audience.
In follow-up to the gospel series designed to appeal to former and inactive members, and those burned out on religion, Pastor Maxwell launched a virtual Bible study class called “Follow Jesus.” Every Thursday night at 7pm, Pastor Maxwell and Elder Brian Xavier, who facilitated a Q & A post-session each night during Experience Jesus, lead a class of 15 through the Lifting Up Jesus curriculum by Zoom. At least one class member is preparing for baptism.
Soon after the church closed because of the stay-at-home order, signs were posted offering prayer and help to the community.
Neighbors saw the signs, honked their horns, waved, and said thank you.
Renton live streams adult Sabbath School and the worship service every week to a growing audience that exceeds their pre-Covid attendance which was on the rise. The church has conducted a virtual communion and has Sabbath vespers by Zoom each Sabbath evening before sunset.
On Mother’s Day weekend, the church held a Drive-up Mother’s Day celebration organized by Women’s Ministries. Under the leadership of Suzette Maxwell, her team distributed customized gifts and prayed with each mother who drove through the church parking lot.
On the final Sabbath in May, members brought food, hygiene items, toilet paper, and filled 48 backpacks for distribution to the hungry. The “backpacks of love” each received a copy of Steps to Christ with the church stamp inside. Then volunteers took to the streets asking the Lord to guide them to the people who were most in need. Despite a pouring rain, the Renton missionaries made their deliveries and were most blessed than those who received them. This simple ministry of love was so impactful that Pastor Maxwell is studying how they may do it on an on-going basis.
“The building may be closed,” says Pastor Maxwell, “but the church is always open.”