What to Expect

In coming to Cornerstone, you might find things to be a little bit different than you would expect, so we’ve tried to answer some common questions that come up. All of these things are grounded from our understanding of God’s word and the receiving of His Grace, through which we seek to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves.

“What’s the point?”

For what purpose do we meet together? This question may seem easy enough but as a guest you might be surprised to find our use of music and the teaching of God’s word is directed towards the community of faith (Christians who have placed their trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior), not necessarily the lost. This does not mean we are not interested in the lost nor sensitive to their needs in our times of study. In fact it is the exact opposite. Evangelism is one of the three primary purposes of the church (edification and exaltation being the other two).  The question is, how are we supposed to evangelize? For many congregations, the morning worship has been the primary place to evangelize the lost, which sometimes can create a “bring them to us” culture.  Our desire is to come together for the purpose of equipping and encouraging one another in order to make disciples that can deliver the lost through the good news of the gospel, develop those believers in the faith with the intent on deploying them as disciple makers. We believe this is God’s good plan for the covenant community, for by it the church will always be relevant, for the people will understand that they are the church, being salt and light in the world each and every day.

“What about the Music?”

As the pastor of this church I desire that our approach to music be sacrificial oriented rather than consumer driven. God uses music to move the spirit of man. It is very subjective to the individual and highly emotional which is meant to be a good thing. However, often times that which was given for good has turned out bad. Music has become one of the most controversial and divisive subject’s within the church, often driven by a spirit of “Me-ism”. This spirit has often led to the fallout between a younger generation, who likes more contemporary music, and an older generation which believes in traditional music. I find no grounds in Scripture that indicate one is right and the other is wrong, assuming both are theologically sound and presented appropriately. It is, however, a sin to allow music to become divisive and create factions within the church. Three things govern our use of music, what talent has God provided for this particular church, what is appropriate for the social context, and everything should be to the glory of God which might require a sacrifice on one groups part. When you come to our corporate worship service you will find our current music style is traditional using hymns and the piano, with some specials that are more modern. This falls under the talent God has given. It could be said that in this context the younger generation is being asked to sacrifice their desires in honor of the older generation. However, in our youth and children ministries you will often find that contemporary music is the style used. Often this is accomplished through the use of technology, although it may require the sacrifice of what the older generation’s desires.  In this way, the whole church is able to glorify God through praise of song they prefer, but also through sacrificing their desires for the sake of one other. I am grateful to God that it has never been an issue of conflict for Cornerstone.  Scripture teaches that our love for one another is the means by which the world will know that we are God’s disciples and the expression of that love is through sacrifice. Through these expressions we can offer true worship to God.

“Why not have an offering?”

For most Baptist church’s, taking up an offering during the morning service is a common practice. We don’t believe this is wrong, we have just chosen not to do it that way. Rather, we have provided a place in the back of the sanctuary for you to drop off your offering, prayer cards, and visitor information. It’s not that we don’t believe giving is important, we do, it’s just that we believe it is an attitude of the heart, a reflection of one’s view of the greatness of God and don’t desire to make it an issue of obligation whereby you feel “pressured” to give because the church “wants” your money. The fact is, God desires us to personally give from a cheerful heart, which requires each individual to recognize the way in which God has provided for them in the past and trust Him with all of their finances today and in the future. When that happens, giving will result from an attitude of gratefulness, an act God will receive and reward. We therefore trust that God, not man, can consistently remind you of His goodness which will result in your giving from a heart of gratitude.

“What about the invitation?”

When you attend our service you might be surprised to learn we normally don’t have an invitation. Again, it’s not that we are condemning those who do, we just have chosen not to. Invitations can be good or bad. When done right, the invitation can be an opportunity for individuals to come forward, speak to the pastor, pray, or accept Christ. These are all good things. However, an invitation can also be used to work on a person’s emotions and have them make a decision based off of that emotion. This can be bad because emotional decisions are just that, emotional, rarely grounded in long lasting conviction and repentance. While emotions are not bad in and of themselves, (they are in fact God given indicators for self-examination) they were never meant to be the driving force for action. For example, fear can be a good emotion, but fear in overdrive can lead to a locked up spirit. Anger can be righteous, until it goes beyond what God intended and it becomes hatred. If the lights go down, the music plays softly, and that heart wrenching story carries you down the aisle, you may find your motive to move was an emotionally driven decision, not the conviction of the Holy Spirit and within the week, back to your old ways. On the other hand, if we hold that God is the one who enlightens our hearts to hear and understand the word, if He is the one who convicts, saves, and ultimately sanctifies us. Then we believe that God can and will continue to convict that person long after the service is done and they then can be secure that this conviction is not based on emotion but God Himself who is leading them to make a decision, seek counsel, or prayer. With that said, we want you to understand that the staff, deacons, and members seek to be available to you at all times to provide help, comfort, and prayer for any hardship you may be struggling with. Some of our greatest stories have been from those who have come to us for counsel, long after the service is over, but still under the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

How do I become a member?”

If God grants authority to the church, whereby He works through the church, then how a church is governed is incredibly important. In Scripture we see principles for leadership and governance without one particular model. We believe this is so that the church can stay true to the Word of God while meeting the needs within any particular culture. Currently, Cornerstone relies on the Pastor, Deacons, and men of the church, who are members, to help discern God’s direction for this particular congregation. This includes carrying out our values, principles, mission, and vision. In many ways this makes the members of this congregation a core part of its leadership which requires commitment and accountability. For this reason we do not push membership, rather, we rely on God to lead each particular family to us, directing them to desire a deeper commitment to Him through this congregation. As such before accepting members, our desire is for you to have the opportunity to get to know us and allow us to get to know you. If you sense this is the place God is leading you to join, we would love to sit down and visit about that opportunity. To do so, ask any member and they will be sure to get you connected with our pastor.

Finally,

In doing things different, we don’t seek to undermine or condemn what other congregations are doing, we just believe this is the way God has called us to carry out His plan for this congregation, at this time. If you have any questions feel free to contact us at any time.