Published June 24, 2019

I Almost Gave Up, But God Was Not Done

It’s about not giving up.

I’ve been in ministry for most of my life, traveling the world as a missionary, leading discipleship training schools and planting churches. But when a motorcycle accident almost took my life, I was close to giving up. I was in a wheel chair and had my letter of resignation written and re-written, but God wasn’t done with me yet. He had more love to share through me, if I was willing. And today, I’m a campus pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Morrison, Illinois. The Global Leadership Summit (GLS) definitely played a part in my deciding to step into that role.

…since we became a host site in 2017, it has also impacted our rural community and surrounding towns and villages on an even greater level.

It’s about loving people.

What excites me most about ministry is people. I love the privilege of connecting people in community. Love is always relevant, everywhere and available to everyone. God is able and willing to supply love through us if we will give ourselves to share it. That’s one of the biggest reasons I’m so excited about the GLS. It’s about people. It’s about connection. Ultimately, it’s about God’s love for our community.

It’s about connection.

From the first time I attended the GLS back in the 90s until now, I’ve been challenged in every way. There is so much brokenness and so many “sheep without a shepherd.” The GLS reminds us of the clear message that we have to lead, and we must learn and grow as leaders in order to do that. Over the years the GLS has greatly impacted our church. And since we became a host site in 2017, it has also impacted our rural community and surrounding towns and villages on an even greater level.

GLS in Freeport IL

We see business owners, leaders from the Boys and Girls Club, coaches, teachers and pastors—even our small-town mayors come together to learn how to lead better as a community. The GLS provides a rare opportunity for all of us to be in one place to connect and relate. Being a host site in a local venue allows people to connect so that they’re not lost in the crowd.

It’s about inspiring growth.

Last year the GLS really solidified my desire to step into my current role as a campus pastor in a location that had experienced a 29% drop in attendance. There were unique problems to be dealt with and I felt prompted by God to take this role. The GLS helped me see some of the issues that lay below the surface and dig into them. God put me into this leadership role to help restore people’s confidence and now the bleeding has stopped—we have even seen growth as a result!

It’s about hope.

God has so blessed us to be a blessing.

In my travels, I see that the greatest hope for the world is the gospel shared in a community through the Church. Nothing builds community better than a healthy church where people are connected to God and each other, covering weaknesses and multiplying strengths as they love God and love people.

It’s about blessing others.

It is fun to share our small-town Midwest family values and faith with our neighbors near and far—for God’s glory. We’ve developed seven campuses in a rural area of northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. We planted a church in Denver, Colorado that went on its own and today has over 1,000 members. We helped plant more than 50 churches in Africa. We funded and established an online Bible college in Iran. Through Compassion International, we support hundreds of children. And we invested millions of dollars in missions to the least reached nations of our world.

God has so blessed us to be a blessing. I’m glad to share God’s love to His people through service. I’m glad I didn’t give up.

About the Author
Jon Eastlick headshot

Jon Eastlick

Campus Pastor

Crossroads Community Church, Morrison, Illinois

Jon Eastlick’s background in ministry started with working for Youth With A Mission (YWAM), where he lived in Africa, South America and the United States while leading discipleship training schools and helping to plant churches. After 12 years of ministry with YWAM, he became the missions and outreach pastor for the Crossroads Community Church rural church network. His current role is campus pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Morrison, Illinois.

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