Six months after the founding pastor of Cross Point Church resigned, attendance and giving have taken a hit at the Nashville megachurch.
Both have dropped about 20 percent since Pete Wilson, the church’s senior pastor, announced in September that he was leaving Cross Point because he was tired and broken, said Chris Nichols, the pastor of the church’s Bellevue campus. Nichols addressed the decreases during the church’s March 12 service.
Fewer people — about a 21 percent drop — are showing up to services across Cross Point locations, Nichols said in a video recording of the recent Sunday service. The church has six campuses in the Nashville area, including Bellevue, Dickson, Franklin and Mt. Juliet.
“How much you feel that kind of depends on what location you’re at and what service you attend. Some places feel it more than others. We’ve definitely felt it here at the Nashville campus a good bit,” Nichols said. “It’s been difficult to see friends go.”
Cross Point still serves an average of at least 5,600 people each week, Nichols said.
Some who’ve left have found new church homes, which Cross Point staff supports, Nichols said. However, they’re concerned about those who left Cross Point after Wilson did and are no longer connected to any church.
“That I’m not OK with. I hate the idea of what we’ve experienced turning someone away from the church and writing that off. And so I hope we’ll continue to pursue those people not just as a staff but even the ones you know, the people that you’re connected with,” Nichols said. “I don’t want to see those people lost.”
Financial contributions to Cross Point have dropped about 19 percent, or about $400,000, since Wilson left, Nichols said. He said some of the decrease in giving can be attributed to those who left as well as those who still attend but have “pulled back or disconnected.”
The church is not in “any danger” of shutting down and can operate at its current giving levels, Nichols said.
But it will be “difficult” to continue to do other efforts the church is known for, such as church planting, partnering with and financially supporting other organizations, and serving foster children and single mothers, he said.
Source: The Tennessean | Holly Meyer, USA Today Network