Kyle Hogg came to pastor the Crossover Church of Rosedale (Bakersfield) in September 2018. The church was struggling to survive and running about 50 people at that time. In November 2018, Pastor Kyle attended a Count the Cost event. He heard about the tool and process of following seven targets month by month to connect with potential members. He filled out the application with eight pieces of data that enabled the CSBC team to complete his Count the Cost Report. In January 2019, Kyle and his team began rolling forward with Count the Cost targets.
I called Pastor Kyle and asked about the growth they had experienced over the past 26 months with Count the Cost.
“The numbers indicate that God is doing something with you and your church,” I started. He agreed.
Here’s what Pastor Kyle said:
“I’d have to say we had a solid core at the beginning. That is, we have a group of people who are committed and faithful to see the church survive. We knew we had to do something to get it going, or all future ministry would be lost. We averaged 79 in worship during 2018.
“I, as a pastor, was challenged to be a better delegator. I assigned jobs or enlisted individuals to a task and let them complete it or fail. It was up to them to follow through and get it done. I couldn’t run behind and make sure the task was completed.
“We were blessed to have a faithful children’s leader come and help us set up a new kids program. She helped us staff the program and get it running. She really has been a heartbeat of help in 2019 and will continue to be as we come out of the pandemic. We owe a lot to her wonderful servanthood, as she helped and trained us to do it right. In 2019 we averaged 115 in weekly worship attendance.
“During the 2020 shutdown and pandemic, we had stretches of time where we didn’t meet in person. We kept in touch by phone, email, and other technology. We posted devotions, went online, and met as we could. People were still getting saved, and God was providing for us. I noticed that our members had a mind to attend – they wanted to be here at church. The counts were not as low as I thought they might be. In 2020 we averaged 95 each week that we met together.
“We started something new in 2020. A free sports ministry focused on wrestling training. We could do this indoors since we have a gym. The wrestling coach at Bakersfield High School came to me and asked if he could invite families to train since the schools could not have the sport during the pandemic. We agreed that with safety measures in place and being careful to mask, check temps, and sanitize properly, it would be a good ministry to families. We had 18 students go through that first round of seven weeks. At each training event, I had an opportunity to lead a short devotion and share the gospel—several families connected with our church during those weeks. The next round is about to begin and we have 50-60 students interested in joining us.
“As we come into 2021, we are beginning to meet again. I have noticed the attendance jump up a bit. We are averaging 120 each week for the first two months, and we even had 140 at church one Sunday in March. As I look back I see it really is the work of God in every little thing along the way. I believe God also has made me a better communicator during this time. It started with recording video devotions and continued through sending out service promo text messages encouraging people to attend on Sunday. Everything we do works together to help reach potentials for Christ and the church.”
Pastor Kyle was quick to acknowledge that he feels completely unequal to the task God has placed before him. But each week they pray and ask God for direction and leadership to reach the Rosedale community.
Keeping track of attendance will help you see the hand of God at work with your church and reveal His work in the ministry. It may even reveal that your dependence upon God’s work is not as fully vested in Him as it ought to be.Roger Byrd | Church Revitalization Team
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