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Highway to Hell

Joe Riding's Story

When the band opened the Easter service in 2009 with AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” I felt uncomfortable. My wife and I looked at each other like “what are they doing? Why would they play that in church?” We’d only been attending a few months, and I began reconsidering our decision.

God has shown me that when we listen to Him and take our next steps with Jesus, He will blow our minds.

We had found NewSpring after having kids and deciding we needed to raise them in church. We first we started going to a Catholic church, since that’s the faith we’d grown up in, but we quickly remembered why we’d stopped going — we just weren’t getting anything out of it. I was ready to quit going altogether, but my wife kept asking her friends for suggestions, and we started church hopping.

That's when our friends Odie and Erin Woods invited us to NewSpring

The music was awesome, and for the first time I really enjoyed listening to Perry Noble. He kept my attention and made me laugh -- but I wasn’t sold yet because it was just so different. We visited a few other churches until one day when Kelly and I looked at each other and  confessed we both really liked. We asked the kids what church they liked the best, and they both said KidSpring

Uneasy Listening

We looked forward to Sundays and couldn’t wait to see what Perry would say next. Then Easter came and the band opened up with Highway to Hell. I was put off, but before the song was over I started thinking, “Why is it OK to listen to this outside of church if Jesus is in our lives?” Then I realized that Jesus wasn’t. We were on that highway they were singing about.

I felt empty. I needed a Savior. At the end of the service, Perry told us to come up front if we wanted to pray to accept Jesus. I just sat there feeling like I was having a heart attack until I couldn’t take it anymore. I burst into tears, stood, and walked up front. The peace of knowing Jesus paid for all my sins was the greatest feeling ever.

Months later, my wife gave her life to Jesus, and we got baptized, became owners, and started volunteering in. We started learning more from each service, and we even learned from the lessons.

Music to My Ears

Then one day, Perry spoke about the importance of a husband being the spiritual leader of the family. Jesus pushed me hard to start praying with my family, but I thought it would be awkward, so I put it off.

Finally one evening while putting the kids to bed, I told my daughter, Kristen, I wanted to pray with her and asked if there was anything we should pray for. She told me about some things at school and then said she wanted to pray to be a Christian! I was blown away and asked her if she knew what it meant.

She did, and we prayed that Jesus would take over her life. She became incredibly happy all at once. My wife was blown away when I told her.

The next day we bought Kristen a necklace with a cross and the date engraved on it. Our son, Will, saw her with it, and that night he told me he wanted to accept Jesus as well.

I immediately thought he just wanted a necklace too, but God reminded me it was between Will and Jesus, and that I couldn’t decide for him. We prayed and asked Jesus to take over Will’s life also! Nine months later, Will and Kristen were baptized.

God has shown me that when we listen to Him and take our next steps with Jesus, He will blow our minds. I’m so thankful the Woods family invited us to NewSpring. Because of their boldness, my whole family is saved. Our story is changed forever. 

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