So it’s been a little while since I wrote a blog on this site. For 40 days I wrote 40 in a row at another site called, www.dowhatHEsaid.org and so now I’ve take a little over 40 days off! But I’m back at it. Today I was realizing how blessed we, as a church are! I was writing a report of all that God has done in the past 4-5 months of this church and just wanted to share all the exciting things with you as well!
We’ve seen our worship attendance go from in the mid 70’s in March to averaging 112 over the last 5 weeks. For the budget we set for this fiscal year we are currently in we are already projected to be at self-sustaining, and God has continued to bless us in these first two months of the fiscal year by even beating our aggressive budget we’ve laid out thus far!
We had a really busy summer at theCross! We did a 40-day challenge from May 23rd to July 1st called “DoWhatHESaid.org“, where we challenged our people to literally do the words of Jesus for 40 days. If you go to the website you’ll see literal quotes of Jesus that we tried to put into practice. With that challenge, we had 6 different community events working with partner organizations as well. All in all, it was a great challenge and really motivated and inspired our church and helped us grow in the summer months when things slow down a bit in Florida! Here’s some stats and impact that we saw from it:
Stats: Over 40 people a day went to the website, our Facebook traffic increased by 1000 percent early on in the challenge, over 1600 check-ins to the website, our second most popular country of check-ins was the Bahamas, people visited our site from 27 different states, our second most popular was Nebraska, my home state, 3rd and 4th was New York and Pennsylvania, 65 people daily got a reminder, of which 17 of them I have no idea who they are and about 30 of them aren’t associated with theCross east lake church, over 120 comments posted on the website, 2 different people asked about our church and for more info from the DWHS website.
Impact: We filled 25 Baby Bottles full of change, 3 huge boxes full of food for the food pantry, 12 volunteers to build a Habitat home (over 1000 nails in the home from theCross), 18 of us painted Lake Cares Food Pantry, 25 of us got together and assembled 45 blankets that will help the needy in Mongolia, a number of us went bowling and had fun together, 40 devotions written, over 80 sections of Scripture read, over 60 ice cream treats served and 40 faces painted at Camp Challenge, more visitors and first-time guests in this 40 days at church than we’ve had since the first month we’ve gathered, more families and people in the core group have invited friends and have been successful at them coming to church than in this 40 days than ever before!
After this challenge we geared up and got ready for Vacation Bible School July 30th-August 3rd. We ended up having 40 different kids (about 25 of which were not connected to theCross at all) and had an amazing week. 4 of the families who weren’t connected have now shown up 2 or more times since then! We are seeing our church get younger and continuing to bring in young families which is what we are setting out to do.
On August 5th we celebrated our 1 year anniversary and had an incredible service. We had 162 people in attendance (the place was packed!) and celebrated our first year with testimonies and a pot-luck lunch after the service. In addition, the kids performed a VBS Song. The best part was that we celebrated 6 baptisms that morning! It was certainly a highlight in my ministry thus far! Since that service we’ve had over 100 in worship 3 times in 4 weeks with the only time not being over 100 this past holiday weekend.
Just this past Saturday we were one of the main sponsors and helps in creating a Can-struction project. We used almost 16000 canned goods and created a sculpture out of them (included a lighthouse, palm tree, alligator, turtle, sky, etc.). It got a lot of press from the Orlando news and local newspaper as well. All of the canned goods and food items will go to support Lake Cares Food Pantry after the structure comes down. Later that day theCross participated in a shopping cart relay race also benefitting Lake Cares Food Pantry and beat out Gold’s Gym in the Finals for the victory. That also landed us on the front page of the local newspaper.
Our kids program is now being led by my wife and we are seeing great growth there too. We have about 15 to 20 kids every Sunday now, even up to 30 on some of our larger Sunday’s! In addition, she is beginning a Mom’s Morning Out program this Thursday in hopes to meet a need in the community and continue to meet more parents in the community.
We are now turning our focus to L-Teams (of which we have more than 20 meeting now on a regular basis) and our next big project: Trunk or Treat the weekend before Halloween). We’re also redesigning our stage and setup in the space right now. Our worship leader Tom Kern is leading the charge on that!
We’re now up to 90 members and on my list I have another 50 to 60 potential new members or regular visitors! God had done incredible things and continues to bless theCross!
To see pictures, video sermons, or highlights of any of the things mentioned above you can see them both at our website and Facebook page:
Thanks for all who are a part of theCross. Looking for many more blessings from God in the future as we seek to continue to do His will!