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Leading people to be the church not just come to church

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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3-2-B

Had a great time this past weekend landing the series that we’ve been in for the last few weeks at Cornerstone, “3-2-B”! We’ve been walking through three very simple, but very key words to our culture at Cornesrtone, “Worship, Grow, and Serve.” This past Sunday we landed on the fact that it is possible for us to come to a weekend worship service, be in a small group, have right theology, and still never look like Jesus. And that maturity is not what you know, but what you do with what you know. I’ve put in the trailer for the series below too, just because our Creative Arts Team did too good of a job to not post it! Enjoy!


Posted in Creative Arts, Spiritual Formation

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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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Why we killed our church bulletin

No one will ever confuse me with an avid magazine reader…in fact I’m not sure if I’ve ever met one of those before. The only magazines you’ll catch me reading are Bass Pro Shops or Gator Country and perhaps the occasional issue of ESPN or Sports Illustrated. All of that changed about year ago. A little before that moment our Creative Arts Team started a conversation about doing away with our weekly bulletin in order to refocus their time and resources towards producing a magazine that would take it’s place. At first it seemed a bit fantastical. I mean how many local churches are producing a magazine that is worth reading? But the designers and entire Creative Arts Team believed deeply in this endeavor. So after a few presentations and winning the hearts of the decision makers, (it doesn’t hurt when the organization has a built in culture of risk) we were all in. Below are some of the nuts and bolts that it takes to make this happen and some of the major wins that we’ve experienced.

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Posted in Creative Arts

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The boring world of church announcements

People zone out when it comes to announcements in church. The reality is, unless you’re a stand up comedian, your church announcements are boring and usually become nothing more than the half-time show in the worship service. What makes it worse is that there is no other avenue where the average person in America actually assimilates information by sitting down and listening to someone verbally rattling off bullet point information in a never ending series of announcements. In a day when people are addicted to sound bites, 140 character limited communication, and customized news sources and information the old school church announcements need to be put out of their misery. Understanding this, a couple of years ago we decided that instead of fighting reality we would start using the media tools that were available to us. We began prerecording announcements via video through out the week and showing those in our services, similar to the ads that you would see prior to a movie. The payoff has been worth the investment. Here are the top 6 wins we experienced by moving to video announcements:

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Posted in Creative Arts
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