St. Andrew was venturing into uncharted territory.
The church was taking a risk—but not one that the affluent suburban church urgently needed to take. Founded 26 years ago, St. Andrew had grown rapidly in its first two decades, building a beautiful building with a gleaming steeple on its sprawling, grassy campus. Average weekend attendance now hovers around 1,600, making St. Andrew one of the 100 largest United Methodist churches in the U.S. Financially, it’s healthy.
In the last five years, however, growth leveled off. While there are young families on the membership rolls, many weren’t showing for worship. In fact, the average age of worshippers is 57—same as that of the denomination. ...
After a year and a half of research and planning at St. Andrew, things started happening.
In February, a proposal was put before St. Andrew’s charge conference to add a new contemporary worship. The meeting was unusually well-attended, with 350 people present.
Mr. Nixon spoke to the gathering and shared the story of The Loft. Mr. Rasmussen shared his experiences by way of a video.
“When we launched Cornerstone, we had to make some hard decisions,” Mr. Rasmussen told the St. Andrew members. “One was, how much of your energy and resources are you going to invest upfront to support this? And we just made the decision that we were ‘all in.’ We were going to put our money where our heart and our passion was. And it has certainly borne fruit.”
At St. Andrew, the vote was taken. Not one person voted “no.”