Holding Loosely

When my wife Nicole and I returned to her hometown of Sandpoint to start a church in 2001, I didn’t know anybody. I was eager to build some relationships and get to know some guys my age (I was 28 at the time). So Nicole got me in touch with a friend of her’s from high school that I had met in Seattle 7 years earlier. We set up a coffee meeting for the following week.

His name? Colin Moody.

Our first appoint arrived, and I stood him up! He was gracious, and we rescheduled a few days later…and I stood him up again! Ironically, I think I’ve missed two appointments in my life, and both with the same guy! The third time around, I finally showed up. We connected right away, talking about life, mountain biking, the local Young Life ministry he led, life in small-town Sandpoint, and the church we were starting. In an afternoon, one of my first North Idaho friendships was born.

That March, Colin wrote a press release for the Daily Bee about Cedar Hills Church—which had begun meeting in our (Nicole and I) living room. Then in August, Colin filled in as guest teacher at Cedar Hills when I was out of town one weekend. In October, Colin and I co-led a significant small group campaign at Cedar Hills. And by December, Colin joined our ministry staff, and we’ve never looked back.

It’s crazy to think that 17 years have passed since those two skipped coffee appointments. I have been honored to serve alongside Colin for 16 of those years. In the church world, 16 years working for the same church is close to world record status!

In just a few short weeks (July 29th), our church says goodbye to Colin as he heads to the mission field to join the staff at The Luke Commission…an amazing Christian medical missions organization serving the remote regions of Swaziland. It’s literally the other side of the world. For those of us who know Colin well, we see the fingerprints of God all over this. Yet in order for Colin to pursue this next adventure with God, he must be willing to let go…and so must we.


Many have asked me in recent weeks, in the wake of Colin’s announcement, ”Eric, this must be tough. What are you going to do?”  My answer...”I’m going to do what I’ve tried to do my entire life…hold loosely."

We believe everything we have belongs to God. Its not ours…we are just holding onto it for him for a while. We hold it, but not too tight, lest we begin to believe that it is ours. The secret is holding loosely. God gave our church an amazing 16 years with Colin. And now, with open hands, we release him to the adventure ahead. Goodbye?

I cannot be more excited for my friend and ministry partner.  Colin, we’re cheering you on!