God works in unexpected and mysterious ways sometimes; at least that’s how I often think. Throughout my life, God has shown up in various ways and has led my family on many exciting journeys. For instance, when I was in middle school, God called my dad to minister in Alaska. I remember being so bitter about our move that I told God there was no way I would ever go into vocational ministry or relocate my family halfway across the country. I think God sometimes laughs at our immature statements—14 years later, I am currently serving in ministry. God has continually worked in my heart, transforming and affirming me.
Not long ago, my family and I were serving at an amazing church in Kansas City, surrounded by family and close friends in a community we loved dearly. Yet we started to sense God leading us elsewhere and into something different from youth ministry, in which I had been serving. God was calling us to plant a church in the Tampa Bay area. I remember thinking as I wrestled with what we should do next, “God, this is exciting but absolutely terrifying.” We knew no one in Tampa Bay, and I had never planted a church before. How were we going to do this? Little did we know that we were going to move, trying to plant a church while in the midst of a global pandemic. Rationally, this didn’t seem like a wise choice. Yet when God calls you to do something, your answer should be “yes.”
If it’s God’s will, He will not fail, and He will make a way!
So in the midst of a global pandemic, we moved our family across the country—something I had said I would never do—to help plant a church in a city where we knew no one. And let me just say that God is so faithful. This journey has certainly not been easy. There have been times of serious doubts when we have asked questions like “Should we pull the plug?” “Will anyone show up on launch Sunday?” “What in the world are we thinking?” Even through our doubts and the challenges, we experienced God’s provision, and a new church has been planted. Nothing is too hard for God.
Along this journey, we have been so thankful and blessed to meet many people who have helped plant God’s church here in Florida. This past Easter, we were able to baptize seven people and have seen nine people accept Jesus since our launch date. We know without a doubt that God is just getting started with His work here, and we are so blessed to play a small part in His powerful, life-changing kingdom.
Josh Heer is pastor of Living Hope Church of the Nazarene in Largo, Florida, USA.
Please note: This article was originally published in 2021. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.