Reflections On 5 Years.

Billy Lowe
4 min readJan 5


The night we left for Alpharetta

The line between success and failure is a step of faith. It’s not that successful people are more talented it’s that they are willing to take a step of faith into the unknown.

The phone rang and on the other line was the lender. It was Christmas Eve of 2017 and I was sitting up in the closet of our temporary house holding my three week old when I heard the words, “The underwriter isn’t going to process the loan.” We were supposed to close on our house on January 2, 2018 in Alpharetta, Georgia and now I am upstairs crying and wondering what the heck we were thinking.

I sat there and prayed, “God, you called us to plant this church and I need you to come through.” What felt like an eternity was probably five minutes but I needed to face the music. I went downstairs and told my wife that we weren’t going to get the house. It was a devastating blow but it was also an opportunity to practice the faith we believed.

That night I wrote a 70 page document proposing how we were going to secure the funds to make the loan attractive to the bank. On December 27th I received news that the bank was going to underwrite our loan!

Core Team Meeting In Roswell

Today I sit here celebrating our five year anniversary in Alpharetta. We went from 10 people meeting in a borrowed space in Roswell to having 250 people gather at our last worship service. We have sent out a full-time missionary, supported multiple church plants, and seen countless lives changed.

Looking back, the only thing we had to offer God was our willingness to go. Honestly, we didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t know what the outcome would be but we did know that God called us to go. Allison told me that night, “If one person came to faith because we planted City Church and the entire thing failed it was worth it.” She is right.

After five years I have learned that goals don’t matter, the process matters. Walking with Jesus in the middle is what shapes us. God cares more about the people we are becoming than the things we accomplish. The gap between success and failure isn’t achievement but the ability to walk by faith.

Like I previously said, countless lives have changed. The lives that I have watched change the most live in my house. Trusting the Lord to leave our friends, a great church, and the comfort of a city we loved has grown our faith more than words on a sheet of paper can express.

Taking that step of faith positioned us to be able to take a step of continued faith when it seemed the church wasn’t going to survive. It gave us the confidence to do the right things during COVID and it helped rally our faith during the most difficult time of our lives — when my wife spent the summer in the hospital and our son in the NICU.

The journey isn’t over but it’s worth reflecting on all God has done because we stepped out in faith. You are just one step away from God doing amazing things through you as well.

One last thing, when Jesus is walking past the disciples and he calls Peter to walk on water something incredible happens. Peter gets out of the boat and walks toward Jesus. At one point Peter sinks because he takes his eyes off Jesus. What’s remarkable is that Jesus never takes his off Peter. When Peter looks back up Jesus is standing there with his hand stretched out ready to grab Peter.

Too often we fail because we take our eyes off God in the middle of the storm. Over time we build a reluctance to even get out of the boat because we can anticipate the failures ahead. We make excuses like, “I need to provide for my family and that’s too risky.” We settle for the mundane at the expense of greatness.

Here’s what’s remarkable, the safest place in the storm isn’t actually the boat but it’s with Jesus in the middle of the storm. Are you going to fall? Sure. But every time you do Jesus is looking back at you with a hand stretched out to help you up. All you have to do is get out of the boat.

City Church



Billy Lowe