ANNUAL REPORT YEAR NINE
MAKING HEAVEN FULL YEAR 9
ROCK CITY CHURCH COLUMBUS, OH USA
TABLE OF CONTENTS 04
Beyond Our Walls
ANNUAL REPORT YEAR 9
Life is full of interruptions. As a church, we have learned in our 9+ years of ministry that we need to be ready for anything. From movie theater leases, to Sunday weather patterns, to new buildings and renovating old buildings, we’ve experienced firsthand that not everything goes exactly as planned, and that every time, GOD’S plan, no matter how different from OUR plan, is infinitely greater and far surpasses anything we could have ever asked, dreamed or imagined. Enter 2020. Year 9 of our church has been different than any before it. It certainly seems that our entire world has gotten quite used to interruptions, and like the businesses, governments and families that surround us, we too have navigated these uncharted waters brought about by a global pandemic. Our 9th year began much like every other year. We saw thousands of salvations and tremendous attendance growth. And although the second half of this year has looked much different than we thought it would, we have experienced the incredible faithfulness of God, and we have witnessed the people of Rock City Church rise to the challenge of the season in ways we could have never imagined—moving our weekend worship experiences to platforms that our city and beyond could experience from home during the COVID lockdown, seizing opportunities to expand our prison locations, and championing local and global relief efforts. It has been, undoubtedly, a difficult season, but it has also been a season of incredible growth, of only-God momentum and of unparalleled Kingdom expansion. Together, we have continued to live out the mission to which we’ve been called—to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a world in desperate need, to serve the least, to save the lost and to make heaven full. In years past, we have released this Annual Report to coincide with our church’s anniversary, April 3, 2011. In this 9th year, we have adjusted the timing to coincide with our fiscal year, which runs from September–August. Its format is the same and is intended to provide a moment for us all to celebrate God’s incredible faithfulness, to recognize the hard work, dedication and impact made by the thousands of people who call Rock City Church home, and to record and tell the miracle story of what God has done in us and through us this year. Our hope is that you will be inspired by these pages and the story they tell. God has used this church and its people in extraordinary ways! With confidence, we know that we will look back on this year and stand in awe of how God sustained us and continued to bless us. With confidence, we also know that the best is yet to come! There are still people who need Jesus. There are still people in our city and beyond who have yet to experience the love and the hope of Christ through His church. And there is still much work to be done. We can’t thank you enough for choosing to run this incredible race with us. Together, we are making heaven full!
Pastors Chad + Katie Fisher
THE NU 06
UMBERS WE CELEBRATE EVERY NUMBER HAS A NAME, EVERY NAME HAS A STORY AND EVERY STORY MATTERS TO GOD.
9,109 Total decisions for Jesus in Year 9
23,389 Total decisions for Jesus since launch
WE ARE LIVING IN ONLY GOD TIMES AND EXPERIENCING ONLY GOD MOMENTS.
JAN - FEB
Average weekly in-person attendance 5500
HILLIARD | SHORT NORTH | WESTERVILLE 4,988
2,100 2000 1,749
2020 VIRTUAL ATTENDANCE
AVERAGE WEEKLY VIRTUAL ATTENDANCE
TOTAL VIRTUAL ATTENDANCE
54% 29% 11% 6%
TAYLER-JO’S I felt God tugging at my heart for a while and calling me back to church during a time of change and transition in my life. Through Google, He led me to Rock City. It was the closest church to where I lived, so I went one Sunday and kept attending by myself. After a few months, I decided to attend Growth Track, which happened to be on the night of the Super Bowl. Because everyone was watching the game,
I didn’t feel like I was worth them staying for just me.
I was the only one who attended. I felt so bad at first and wanted to offer to come back another Sunday, so the people serving could also go watch the game. I didn’t feel like I was worth them staying for just me. But they told me that one of their values as a church was, “we do it for the one.” In that moment, I was the one they were leading to Christ.
While I was going through Growth Track, I also participated in the 21 days of prayer and fasting. It was during that time of prayer that I decided to rededicate my life to Jesus. So, in one month, I completed Growth Track, started serving on a team on Sundays, joined a Freedom Small Group, began volunteering at the Dream Center and started tithing regularly. I wanted to do anything I could to grow closer to Jesus and serve His church. God used Rock City Church to bring me back to Him and to bring a community of believers into my life. I realized Jesus was what was missing from my life during the years that I stepped away from my faith. Iâ€™m living proof that He is happy to chase after the one sheep that is wandering, even if He has 99 others safe at home (Matthew 18:12-14). Rock City welcomed me with open arms, and I am so excited to be able to give someone else this gift by serving here.
People serving on a volunteer team
People participating in small groups
3,220 In March, 125 virtual small groups launched in response to the COVID-19 lockdown
People who participated in Growth Track
TOTAL IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE
30,433 FIRST-TIME KIDS
1,806 TOTAL VIRTUAL ATTENDANCE
TOTAL IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE (Small Groups + Youth Nights)
TOTAL VIRTUAL ATTENDANCE
YEAR 9 BAPTISMS
WE ARE FOR THE ONE JESUS CAME TO SEEK AND SAVE THE LOST AND WE TOO WILL PURSUE EVERY LOST ONE UNTIL EVERY LOST ONE IS FOUND.
3,064 BAPTISMS SINCE LAUNCH
CHRISTMAS 2019 ATTENDANCE 19 WORSHIP EXPERIENCES | THREE LOCATIONS
UP 44% from Year 8
EASTER 2020 A
792 online + on ABC6
PRISON UPDATE At the beginning of the year, Rock City Church was proud to have three of our locations within the walls of prisons around Columbus. Each week, volunteers provided a full worship experience at each facility. When COVID restrictions prevented our teams from being physically present with inmates, they got busy ensuring these locations continued to have access to the weekend worship experiences. After receiving great feedback from many inmates, guards and prison chaplains, the team began reaching out to other Ohio prisons to see if they would be interested in offering our services at their facilities. To our surprise, dozens requested Rock City services, and, pretty soon, we were not just in three prisons, but we were in nearly 30 throughout Ohio! Additionally, in May, we received a call from Prison Fellowship, the largest prison ministry in the U.S. Hearing of the impact we were making in Ohio, they invited us to provide our weekly worship experience to the hundreds of prisons they serve in 45 states. In fact, currently, more than 500,000 prisoners in America have access to Rock City Church each and every week. And each and every week, we hear stories of salvation, healing and transformation taking place behind bars through the life-giving message of this church. For us, this truly is one of the biggest miracles of this incredibly challenging COVID season. Only God!
IN-PERSON OHIO PRISON LOCATIONS (MARCH 2020)
VIRTUAL OHIO PRISON LOCATIONS (AUGUST 2020)
AVERAGE WEEKLY ATTENDANCE (MARCH 2020)
PRISONERS WHO HAVE ACCESS TO ROCK CITY WORSHIP EXPERIENCES (AUGUST 2020)
FIRST-TIME IN-PERSON GUESTS
DECISIONS FOR JESUS
A MESSAGE FROM
STORY Two years ago, I had just gotten to Franklin County Community Based Correctional Facility (CBCF). I was miserable, and I was sad. I was hurt, and I was embarrassed. Every awful feeling. I had a friend who was in there first. She mentioned that a church group came and invited me to come. I didn’t want to go. I loved God, but I felt bad about myself. I felt bad about everything and didn’t believe I deserved to go. I was just sitting there in my misery. But I wanted to hear some music, so I went. It was Rock City’s second night there. I kept attending. They would make it feel like we were coming down a red carpet when we got there. It was a little overwhelming, but every time you would come down that hallway, you’d see and hear people cheering—for you! Everyone was so excited to see you. They came back every week, and they cared. Last month was two years since I was released. I wish I could say it’s been a smooth road, but it hasn’t. But the one thing that has been smooth and constant is Rock City Church. Anytime I wasn’t certain of things, I knew where I could go and feel home. When my mom passed away, it brought back some of the anger from my past. It was a strange thing, because the people around me started helping me. I’ve always been around people that look out only for themselves.
When I got to CBCF, Rock City Church was there waiting for me. When I got out, Rock City Church was waiting for me still—literally with donuts and coffee! By the grace of God, I have been given so many second chances. No one had ever taught me to look inside. No one ever asked me how I was and really wanted to know. God is the only explanation of why I’m here. When I wake up, I’m happy. It takes work, but I know I have a foundation in God. My God rose from the dead, and His Spirit now lives in me!
explanation of why I’m here.”
UR WALLS WE ARE CONTRIBUTORS NOT CONSUMERS THE CHURCH DOES NOT EXIST FOR US; WE ARE THE CHURCH AND WE EXIST FOR THE WORLD.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE SERVED BEYOND OUR WALLS
2,135 UP 33% from Year 8
March 2019 - February 2020
PAIRS OF SHOES PROVIDED TO CHILDREN
LOADS OF LAUNDRY PROVIDED
SERVE DAY VOLUNTEERS
WINTER COATS PROVIDED
GUESTS SERVED AT TIM TEBOWâ€™S NIGHT TO SHINE PROM
TEACHER APPRECIATION LUNCHES SERVED
FROM YEAR 8
LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS Bed Brigade Chick-fil-A Columbus Restaurants Columbus City Schools Cross Sports Donatos Homeless Families Foundation International Friendships, Inc. (IFI) at Ohio State Intervarsity Mid-Ohio Foodbank NBC4 Out of Darkness Reeb Avenue Center SON Ministries Tree of Life Christian Schools Westerville Area Resource Ministry
GLOBAL PRE-COVID IMPACT March 2019 - February 2020
PEOPLE WHO WERE SENT ON A MISSION TRIP
MISSION TRIP LOCATIONS
CHILDREN SPONSORED BY THE PEOPLE OF ROCK CITY
PASTORS FUNDED AND SUPPORTED
FROM YEAR 8
Through our year-end Legacy offering, we were able to support church planting, Bible translation and sign language education for a deaf community in North Africa, allowing an entire unreached population to experience the message of Jesus for the first time!
GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS Alpha Ministries Association of Related Churches Convoy of Hope Feed the Hungry Great Commission Latin America Harvest Bridge Heart of Mercy OneChild RUN (Reaching Unreached Nations) Samaritanâ€™s Purse The Tim Tebow Foundation Total Health
COLUMBUS DREAM CENTER The Columbus Dream Center is the local outreach arm of Rock City Church. Powered by thousands of volunteers and partnerships, the Dream Center helps to meet the most basic needs of those in our city.
PRE- COVID IMPACT March 2019 - February 2020
FROM YEAR 8
DECISIONS FOR JESUS
THANKSGIVING BASKETS PROVIDED
CHILDREN WHO RECEIVED GIFTS + CLOTHING AT CHRISTMAS
2020 DEALT OUR WORLD SOME BLOWS. WE GOT TO WORK, BECAUSE THATâ€™S WHAT WE DO.
ROCK CITY COVID-19 RELIEF SNAPSHOT 34,536
SENIOR MEALS PROVIDED
POUNDS OF FOOD DISTRIBUTED THROUGH COLUMBUS CITY SCHOOLS
TEACHERS, FIRST RESPONDERS + PRISON STAFF SERVED
DONATED TO RELIEF EFFORTS IN KENTUCKY + LOS ANGELES
DONATED TO RELIEF EFFORTS IN INDIA
4 semi-trucks with 125,000+ pounds of food empowered 15 partner organizations and fed thousands of local families.
DREAM CENTER COVID-19 RELIEF
As soon as COVID hit and our city and our schools began to shut down, we sprang into action. We quickly made phone calls and sent emails to our partners, asking them what they needed. Within days, our team was supplying students with free meals that they were no longer receiving at school. Our already-strong relationships with Columbus City Schools and Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, as well as with local administrators, teachers, apartment complex property managers and families, allowed us to immediately serve our communities when they needed us most.” – Abi Marrah, Columbus Dream Center Staff Member
MEAL DISTRIBUTION SITES
CONTINUOUS DAYS OF MEAL SERVICE
LEARNING EXTENSION CENTERS
In late summer 2020, Columbus City Schools announced that students would not be returning to physical school buildings in the fall. Instead, students would learn remotely until schools determined it safe to reopen. This left thousands of families without many of the resources that schools provide, including internet, technology devices, meals and learning assistance. Recognizing the challenge that parents and guardians were facing— many of them trying to manage work and school from home—we acted quickly and developed a system to serve families and students. With a commitment to open 20 “Learning Extension Centers,” we are providing a safe environment for students to learn and grow. Every student receives tutoring, a meal and access to mental health services and experiences the love of Jesus through committed volunteers and leaders. In addition to Rock City’s 20 LEC locations, we established a model for other organizations to replicate in order to establish their own LECs, which has led to the opening of hundreds more both locally and nationally.
LEC LOCATIONS EQUIPPED BY OUR MODEL TO OPEN THEIR DOORS ACROSS THE CITY
SITE LEADERS HIRED
I grew up reading the Bible and praying a lot. But I was also born with asthma, which got progressively worse. By the time I was five, I couldn’t lay down to sleep. I was never mad, angry or upset, because I didn’t really know anything different. My mother tried everything, including changing my diet, and would constantly pray over me to be healed. I believed alongside her. She took me to be prayed over by the pastors at our church, and I was miraculously healed of my asthma. I went on to be a successful athlete and played college sports. I even joined the Army. Then, I battled partial paralysis from 2005–2018. After much prayer and determination, paralysis became another diagnosis that He allowed me to beat. During that time, I was praying that the Lord would put me in a place where I could help and pray for other people. I ended up going to Rock City Church in Westerville. I had apprehension at first, but I immediately fell in love with the church. I kept attending in the midst of my final surgeries. They kept talking about the Columbus Dream Center, and the Lord told me, “you need to go to the Dream Center and sign up for everything.” So, I did. Now, not only am I healthy, but God is using my story to bring healing to others. I work with middle school and high school kids through a student program there, I serve meals every week, and I’m at the Dream Center nearly every day. I’m so grateful for the opportunity the Dream Center gives me to impact the lives of others. When I’m at the Columbus Dream Center, it’s the best part of my day. And that’s saying something, because my days are pretty good.
The Association of Related Churches (ARC) works with church planters and leaders to provide support, guidance and resources to launch and grow life-giving churches. As one of the original supporters of Rock City Church, we are committed to “paying it forward” by helping ARC fund new church plants around the world.
$156,800 GIVEN TO ARC BY ROCK CITY CHURCH IN YEAR 9 TO PLANT NEW LIFE-GIVING CHURCHES
$782,222 GIVEN TO ARC BY ROCK CITY CHURCH TO DATE
ARC AT A GLANCE
ARC CHURCHES PLANTED TO DATE
ARC CHURCHES PLANTED IN 2019
TOTAL LAUNCH DAY ATTENDANCE IN 2019
TOTAL LAUNCH DAY DECISIONS FOR JESUS IN 2019
MOURN WITH THOSE WHO MOURN.
ROCK CITY WALK OF MOURNING AND PRAYER â€“ JUNE 2020
A CHURCH THAT NEVER STOPS GOING IS A CHURCH THAT NEVER STOPS GROWING.
ROCK CITY WEEKLY WORSHIP EXPERIENCE RECORDING DURING LOCKDOWN
DR. BERNICE A. KING
JIMMY ROLLINS TIM TEBOW
GREG + EDEN’S
Six years ago, we moved to Columbus to embark on a new adventure. We had never been to Columbus before, but I (Greg) accepted a promotion to run the Columbus market for my company. Eden was beyond supportive, and with her career allowing her to work from home and travel throughout the month, we packed up and headed to Ohio. We were focused on finding a church to call home. Between the delicious smell of popcorn and the morsels of wisdom from the weekly message, we quickly started regularly attending Rock City Church at Lennox. Like many, we worked to balance a busy lifestyle of business travel, non-traditional work schedules and the overall pace of life. However, we still wanted to prioritize being connected and involved in furthering God’s Kingdom. We found time to volunteer when we were home and took the step of leading a small group as well. Then COVID-19 hit! The quarantine completely altered our lives, our schedules and how we operated. We suddenly found ourselves transitioning from “road-warriors” to “home-bodies.” We felt some peace in slowing down, which allowed us to hear God’s voice more clearly. And for us that meant asking ourselves, “how do we foster this time wisely?” Since then, we have worked to put that extra time to good use. We recently stepped into the role of Small Group Directors for Rock City Short North. Knowing the role our small group has played in growing us closer to God, we seized the opportunity to help others experience genuine community. While change has come quickly and certainly taken us out of our routine and comfort zone, we are realizing that God is always moving and that there are always opportunities in every season that He presents us. Our job is to draw close to Him in prayer and allow Him to lead through us.
3,991,071 WEBSITE VIEWS 15,205 FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS
4,333 TWITTER FOLLOWERS 21,000 INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS 3,353 YOUTUBE SUBSCRIBERS
Rock City Church has been recognized as one of the Fastest Growing Churches in America for the eighth consecutive year and one of the Largest Churches in America for the second consecutive year by Outreach Magazine.
Fastest Growing Churches in America #17
Largest Churches in America 055
ROCK CITY WORSHIP
STREAMS ON SPOTIFY
NCIALS WE LEAD THE WAY IN RADICAL GENEROSITY IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO OUT-GIVE GOD.
OPERATIONAL BUDGET Ministry Operations 33.6%
Beyond Our Walls 22.7%
$3,670,254.44 FUTURE FUND + SAVINGS, ADMINISTRATION, ACCOUNTING SERVICES, YOUTH + MIDDLE SCHOOL MINISTRY, KIDS’ MINISTRY, WEEKEND WORSHIP EXPERIENCES (PRINT MATERIALS, LOCATION SUPPORT), SMALL GROUPS, GROWTH TRACK, CREATIVE ARTS (WORSHIP, PRODUCTION, GRAPHIC DESIGN, WEB SUPPORT), CARE MINISTRY, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
$3,151,221.93 PT/FT SALARIES + BENEFITS FOR PASTORAL AND NON-PASTORAL STAFF *NATIONAL AVERAGE OF STAFFING EXPENSES FOR CHURCHES IS 40% - 50%
$1,627,434.61 WORSHIP + OFFICE SPACE, DEBT PAYOFF, FACILITY UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE, UTILITIES, OTHER FACILITIES (TRAILERS, STORAGE, ETC.)
$2,477,497.49 LOCAL + GLOBAL OUTREACH, DOMESTIC + GLOBAL MISSION TEAMS, OUTREACH MARKETING, CHURCH PLANTING (ARC), MISSIONARY SUPPORT, CHILD SPONSORSHIP, LEGACY INITIATIVES
ROCK CITY CHURCH OPERATES WITH AN OPEN BOOK POLICY OF FINANCIAL INTEGRITY, WORKS WITH HARN & ASSOCIATES, CAPIN CROUSE, THE CHURCH LAWYERS AND THE ROCK CITY BOARD OF DIRECTORS, AND CONDUCTS ANNUAL FINANCIAL REVIEWS BY AN OUTSIDE AUDITING FIRM TO ENSURE THAT ALL FUNDS ARE BEING USED FOR MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY AND WITH THE UTMOST INTEGRITY. THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, WHICH INCLUDES PASTORS OF RESPECTED CONGREGATIONS, INCLUDING CEDAR CREEK CHURCH IN PERRYSBURG, OH, MEETS ANNUALLY TO DISCUSS AND APPROVE THE ANNUAL BUDGET. THE FINANCIALS PROVIDED IN THIS REPORT ARE BASED ON THE FISCAL YEAR OF THE CHURCH [SEPTEMBER 1–AUGUST 31]. THE BUDGET ABOVE DOES NOT REFLECT GIFTS IN KIND.
TOTAL REVENUE BREAKDOWN $9,152,133.64
IN YEAR 9
$295,673.15 COVID RESPONSE
I HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING WITH MY FAITH FOR THE LAST FEW MONTHS. I WATCHED ONE OF ROCK CITY’S POWERFUL MESSAGES AND SOBBED. I FELT THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD JUST DROP AWAY. I WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL.”