As a small church that had become stagnant, they were unsure of reaching people in their Mormon-dominated community. But Cross Tower Church is now seeing firsthand the power of prayer and the results of intentionality.
What problem they needed to solve
It had been 2–3 years since they had stopped growing. In fact, attendance had declinined to as low as 90. They were doing all they could but were not gaining any traction.
What they thought of IC’s process
IC was the outside voice they needed to help them see their blind spots. What they liked best was that IC was not prescriptive but gave them the space to figure out what would fit their context in Utah.
What their biggest learnings were
1. Prioritizing first-time guests: Their demographic data showed there were single moms coming with their kids. They considered these women as first-time guests (the ONEs) and made it a priority to serve them from the moment they arrived.
Only 2 months after IGP was installed, they began the practice of saving 10 parking spaces closest to the church for guests. A VIP team was set up to make the building easier for guests to navigate and more welcoming.
They also shortened their services and started explaining what they were about to do (such as taking the Lord’s Supper), which they had not done before.
2. Power of praying for their reach zones: To be more intentional about reaching the lost, they encouraged their congregation to pray for their reach zones on their way home after every Sunday service. They would stop for a few minutes at city parks and pray for people in that area. They soon had first-time visitors saying, “I don’t know why but I thought I needed to come visit.”
3. Making the church relatable to the community: In 2017, Verizon approached them to put a cell tower in front of their building. The church (then called Southside Church) chose a bell tower design with four crosses. People then began to say, “Oh, you’re the church with the cross tower.”
As they started the IGP process with IC – learning about reach zones and being there for the ONE – they realized, “If everyone else is calling us ‘cross tower’ and that’s how they know it, let’s just call ourselves the Cross Tower Church of Christ.” They joke that IC is responsible for changing their name to make sense to their community.
Where their church stands now
1. Focused meetings: Going through the IGP process has changed the way their staff meetings work. In particular, IC’s tool ‘Four Helpful Lists’ is enabling them to have dynamic conversations about any program/offering by asking these four questions – what is right, what is broken, what is missing, and what needs to be corrected.
2. Engagement Pathway: Building a clear pathway for the ONEs to get connected to their church has led to an increase in baptisms. The pathway begins with First Steps, which is tailor-made for Utah because Mormons don’t believe in the Trinity. Then they go through Next Steps, which dives into what discipleship means.
The pastor personally goes to them and invites them to attend these classes. They’ve noticed that when invited personally, people are eager to say yes and commit to a deeper engagement.