Congregation Update: 11AM Service Incident

wwilliams / March 2, 2020

Dear Redemption Tempe,

We hope you are having a great Monday and have already launched into a week of living “all of life, all for Jesus.” I (Jim) have already spent some time praying for you this morning, asking God to be at work through the various vocations and occupations of our congregation this week.

We wanted to write a quick note to address the interruption that happened during our 11:00am service yesterday. During the sermon, a gentleman walked up to the front of the room and began to yell. This lasted for about 10 seconds. He stopped and ran out the door once he saw our Campus Safety team approaching.

Our Campus Safety team is trained to handle these sorts of situations and responded immediately. They were able to assist the Tempe Police Department with apprehending the individual who was unarmed and doesn’t have any prior connection to our church.

Ultimately, we want to make sure you know a few key things:

  • You are safe. These types of things happen every once in awhile in churches. We have a strong Campus Safety team who is well trained to handle these sorts of situations.  
  • Please thank our Campus Safety team! They are amazing and do a stellar job of protecting our church. If you know anyone on the Campus Safety team, please be sure to thank them. You can also send us a note that we will pass along to them.
  • The Tempe Police Department does great work in contributing to the flourishing of our city. Please reach out to them by emailing tempe_police@tempe.gov and express your gratitude for the ways they have been a gift to our church and the city at large.  
  • Let’s keep our focus on Jesus. Yesterday, about 30 minutes before the 11:00am service, my (Jim’s) wife sent me a text message saying, “I am praying for protection today, as I know that Satan would love to discourage and distract you from speaking the truth.” On a day when we were proclaiming the supremacy of Jesus, it makes sense that Satan would want to distract. As soon as the person interrupted the sermon, I knew that this was the enemy who wanted to draw our attention from Jesus and divert it to a 10-second rant. Instead of focusing on that moment, let’s be sure to fix our attention on Jesus, the only one who can rescue us from sin, Satan, and death.  

Redemption Tempe, please know that we are deeply grateful for all that God is doing in our congregation. We love you, care for you, and are committed to ensuring that our church is a safe place to worship Jesus.

Jim Mullins and Josh Butler, Lead Pastors of Redemption Tempe