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9 practical steps you can take to teach your children that life is not all about them

This past Sunday in the middle of almost 3,000 people from Cornerstone serving all over our community, my family made their way over to a hangar with about 500 other people to be a part of packing over 140,000 meals that are shipping to Haiti right now. We tossed Lincoln (our 2 year old) on my back in one of those hiking back deals for kids and Lisa, Kennedy, Mia, and I started cranking out the meals. The moment absolutely melted my heart as a dad, because it provided a brief snapshot of what could be. I mean just think, my kids might actually grow up thinking that it is normal to serve God and put other people first in life. That’s something I can get a little excited about.

If you’re a parent you know that teaching your children that life is not all about them and building a culture of servanthood in your family is no easy task. Kids naturally think that life is all about them, and by the way, most adults that I’ve met do too. This innate idea gets reinforced by the messages they receive in our culture through media, advertising, sports, and education among other things. Not to mention that most of us lead our families in a child centric fashion.

So in an effort to change the trajectory of our families, below are a handful of ideas and practical steps that we can take to integrate an attitude of service into our families. And who knows, we might be surprised by what could happen if we simply live an others oriented life and invite our children into that.

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Posted in Family, Spiritual Formation, Volunteers

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Leading people to be the church not just come to church

Serve_Day

Today was one of those moments that most pastors dream about. Today at Cornerstone almost 3,000 people got a taste of what it felt like to live an others oriented life. We conducted abbreviated services and sent people out all over to serve our local city by cleaning up parks, doing landscaping for the city, hanging door hangers for Iglesia Vida a Hispanic church that has been meeting on our campus that is launching in our community, and packing over 140,000 meals with Stop Hunger Now that will be on the ground and distributed in Haiti in 3 weeks by Food for the Hungry Today was one of those moments where people didn’t just come to church; today the people of Cornerstone took a step towards being the church. I was humbled and thrilled to serve along side the people of Cornerstone today and proud to have the honor to be on Staff here. We took a real step towards maturity together today.

This was one of those moments that reminded me of how the average person who doesn’t know Jesus could care less about if we are orthodox in our theology, have strong air tight arguments for our convictions, or even if we’re right in our views. Because people aren’t impressed by what we say we believe, but by how we live our lives. And what they’re waiting for is to see if there is a church that is actually willing to put their money where their mouth is. A church full of people who don’t just speak in a self righteous lingo about receiving the forgiveness of Christ, but learn to live out and offer it to others. A church that isn’t going to just talk about Jesus but be like Him, and put the needs of others before their own. They want to know does following Jesus make any real tangible difference in our lives and they want us to show that difference by they way that we live. And I must confess it’s a pretty good request. So let me remind us of a passage of scripture that we’re all probably a little too familiar with.

Ephesians 4:11-13

“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”

In this passage, among other things, the Apostle Paul directly links maturity to doing the work of the ministry. Now while I don’t believe that serving necessarily makes you and I mature, it’s impossible for us to be mature without it. And if people who don’t know our Jesus are waiting to see a church that is radically committed to living out what they say they believe then churches are waiting for someone to lead them to a life of sacrifice and service. So if you and I are serious about leading the church toward maturity, we’ll be leading our people to live others oriented lives. You see the church doesn’t exist for us, we are the church, and we exist for people who have not yet met our Jesus.

So the idea of shutting church down for a Sunday and serving your community may be better stated as actually finally opening your church up. And who knows, it might just be the best sermon you’ll ever preach.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Volunteers

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Exploits from India

The team from Cornerstone just got back this weekend from India and here is some of the footage from their trip. They helped lead a conference for over 600 Pastors, cared for the orphans, the elderly, and the sick.  I can not tell you how proud I am of this team for representing Cornerstone well, but more than than for literally being the hands of feet of Christ.  I love to see people “get it” and spend their lives for the sake of the Gospel!


Posted in Spiritual Formation, Volunteers

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Cornerstone Team arrives in India

After 40 hours of traveling the Cornerstone Team finally arrived in India.  You can follow the team and learn how to pray for them at the Cornerstone Missions Blog or Jeff Gokee’s Blog.


Posted in Spiritual Formation, Volunteers
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