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The Day I Almost Gave Up!

Element Church almost didn’t even get started because of the day in 2007, when I almost gave up.

As my final week at Element is underway, my heart and mind are flooded with all sorts of emotions.

Joy and praise for all that God has done.

Thanks and appreciation for all the people who have loved and supported us.

Pride in all the people who partnered with us to expand God’s Kingdom.

Sadness for all the relationships we are leaving behind.

But one emotion I’m feeling is relief:

When I think about that day in 2007, when I almost gave up, I’m just so relieved that I didn’t. Who knows where I, my family, Element Church, or our next church would be right now if I threw in the towel.

We had just moved to Cheyenne to start Element. At the time, we could count on one hand the number of people we knew here.

We didn’t have a church yet, as we were months from our scheduled launch. No events to organize or lead. No people to minister too. I was a “shepherd without a flock.” Those are the words my church planting coach used as he walked me back from the ledge of quitting.

I was angry, scared, anxious, and depressed. I knew we were called to plant the church, but I had no idea what my next step should be. I remember telling Sabrina, “If we quit now, no one gets hurt.”

We didn’t have a church yet. No one was relying on the church for income or spiritual care and direction. If there was ever a time to leave, it was then. I figured I could get a job at an established church or outside of ministry altogether.

That’s when a phone call with my coach arrived at the perfect time. I shared with him all those emotions, and he said, “Jeff, you’re a shepherd without any sheep to lead. This is new territory for you. Let’s figure out your next step.”

Instead of being overwhelmed by the weight of everything that needed to be done, he helped me walk backward from our launch date, all the way to that specific day, and one next step I could take to move us forward.

That phone call saved my ministry and saved Element Church.

I know that God is sovereign. I know He’s big enough to figure out how to reach all the people Element has reached and care for all the people we’ve cared for the last 14 years without me, but I’m so thankful…so relieved that I didn’t throw in the towel that day.

All the memories of salvations, baptisms, restorations, healings, outreaches, etc. etc. etc. We would have none of that, or at least I wouldn’t if I had given up.

Thank you, Jesus, for choosing me! Thank you for calling us to plant Element. Thank you for ALL the people we have worked with and helped lead over the years. We are eternally grateful.