How did “I Heart Wyoming” start?
I Heart Wyoming can really be traced back to 2011 Pew Research study that showed Wyoming/Montana as the 9th largest unchurched “state” in America (The study combined Wyoming and Montana due to the small population density). Upon reading that study, God placed a burden on Pastor Jeff Maness’ heart, that Element Church needs to do something about that. The initial plan of action was to go multi-site around the state, launching video locations in each county. While the dream was admirable, the effectiveness and feasibility soon caused them to re-think their strategy. In 2015, Again burdened by statistics from The Association of Religious Data Archives (The ARDA), which showed that in Wyoming there were 340,552 people who claimed “none” as their religion, and potentially 466,774 people who were not in a Christ centered, saved by grace alone congregation, Element Church knew that something needed to be done. While on a prayer trip around the state, praying through how Element Church could effectively make a difference reaching these unreached people, God revealed to Pastor Jeff that; “The way to impact the state is not through producing video locations in every county, but by partnering with existing churches who already know the culture, DNA and people of each community.” While Element remains open to planting new churches or producing video locations as God opens the door, their primary focus is to partner with existing churches, offering financial, relational and ministry resources to help them make a tangible impact in the name of Jesus!
Where does “I Heart Wyoming” get its funding?
Right now, I Heart Wyoming gets its funding through the generous and sacrificial giving of the people at Element Church in Cheyenne. In 2018, Element has set aside $75,000 of available grant money for churches to request and use for an outreach event that meets a tangible need in their community for an individual or groups of people outside the four walls of their church. The funds are intended to serve the community in a way that will elevate, expand and reinforce the credibility of God’s Local Church in that area.
Who is eligible to receive funds from “I Heart Wyoming”?
The funds are designated to be used by a local church that has a heart to serve their community and can stand with Element Church in agreement on essential doctrines of the faith. You can view Element’s essential doctrines HERE and can request funds by filling out the request form HERE.
What’s the catch? What does Element Church get in return?
There is no catch and Element Church does not expect anything in return. We do ask that each partner church provide us with video or photos of their event, success stories and highlights so we can celebrate that with our people. We also ask that any partner church serves under the “I Heart Wyoming” banner as well. As a part of each grant, resources will be allotted for I Heart Wyoming t-shirts for volunteers, church invite cards that have the I Heart Wyoming graphic on the front and all the individual church information on the back, as well as other I Heart Wyoming resources and paraphernalia. This is bigger than any one church and we want to model to our state that we are standing together as God’s Church for the State of Wyoming. Wyoming does not exist for the Church, the Church exists for Wyoming.
What kind of outreach events can a church do?
The sky is the limit! More than anything, we want each individual church to know what their community needs and then meet that need. As long as the outreach event is seeking and serving a tangible need in their community, and/or providing a “no strings attached” serving opportunity outside the four walls of the church, we are for those events. These funds are not intended for evangelistic outreaches where the Gospel is presented visually, audibly or in print, but to model the Gospel by being the hands and feet of Jesus to the community. We want people in our communities to see the Gospel lived out and be open to hearing the Gospel at that Local Church. Obviously, if Gospel conversations happen that is awesome, but that should be a secondary outcome of the serving! Once a grant request is received, the I Heart Wyoming team at Element Church will be available to offer help, guidance or suggestions to the individual church as needed.
What are some examples of outreach events?
Click the button to take you to our Examples page where you can watch recap videos of events Element has done as well as read other examples of outreach events both large and small. The sky is the limit, but we’d love to share with you what we’ve had success in with events we’ve already done! Element Church will be available to offer help, guidance or suggestions as needed.