I wrote this list on a Facebook post in April 2015. I’m glad to see that it still applies two years later, so I adapted the post for this blog. I have treasured pastoring Cornerstone for what will be 10 years this October. These reasons are in no particular order.
- TRUTH: Our people love the truth of God’s Word. Several pastors, churches, and Christians over the years have made the accusation that we care nothing about church tradition. This is an unfair accusation being made by people who don’t know us. It may appear this way because we hold God’s Word above tradition, and the accusation usually comes from those who hold tradition over Scripture. The people of Cornerstone allow me to preach truth even when it is hard to hear. I think they fear offending God more than being offended by tough preaching. This makes my job much easier.
- FAMILY: The people of Cornerstone act like a family. I love watching people fellowship and worship together even through differences. You can observe rich and poor, black and white, elderly and young people spending time with each other. People see themselves as equals in God’s eyes. Those who want to belong to a community of people who treat each other like family.
- COMMUNITY: Our people care about the community and love outreach projects. They love getting involved in our city’s activities.
- MULTIPLE PASTORS: Our people understand that they are all ministers, not just myself as the pastor. They allow me to lead without expecting me to do all the counseling, visiting, studying, etc. Several of my pastor friends see this in Cornerstone and are jealous. Because I’m not the only one ministering, we can minister to more people.
- FORGIVENESS: Our people understand mercy and forgiveness. Some individuals have been rejected by other churches because of their past, even after they repented. This pains me. We have seen many restored at Cornerstone over the years. People see themselves as fellow sinners who are forgiven by the grace of God. They understand that we are not perfectly changed until Heaven and that spiritual growth takes time.
- GROWING: Our church understands congregational sanctification (spiritual growth). Our church is willing to continue to look to God’s Word to ensure that our theology is accurate. There is little to no kickback once scriptural truth is revealed.
- OWNERSHIP: People take ownership and responsibility. Many times at Cornerstone someone says to me, “I see a need and here is how I can meet it.” If you are not familiar with how some churches function, many say things like “Pastor, here’s a problem; fix it for us or do it for us.” The mindset of people who take ownership is very refreshing.
- GOSPEL-CENTERED: Our people are Gospel-centered. They understand that the unity of the Gospel is the most important part of theology. They appreciate the Gospel weaved throughout the entire church service.
- CHRIST-CENTERED: Our people are Christocentric, meaning that Christ, or Jesus, is at the center of all we do. Christ, not tradition, not their denomination, not themselves is the center of their theology and lives.
- LOVING THROUGH DIFFERENCES: They learn how to live with differences. For some reason so many people think that their church should be some cookie-cutter factory where everyone in the church looks exactly the same. Cornerstone has been a great example of people who can worship together no matter the political party, theological background,etc. They learn how to agree to disagree on the non-essentials.
- YOUTH: Young people come to worship. I know every gender and age is important. But youth is the demographic which is missing in many churches. We have many individuals and couples in their 20’s and 30’s. It is refreshing to see young people own and practice their faith.
Thank you to Cornerstone for allowing me to pastor this amazing little church tucked in the mountains of Northeastern PA. The people who are a part of it are the reason I have been able to continue to push through some of the struggles we have had over the years.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.