Saturday, November 22, 2008

Who Am I Casting Crowns

Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome Snowbirds!

Just in case you needed a reminder of why you live in FL.  Enjoy!  I look forward to seeing you at church this weekend, and yes flip flops will be in order for Saturday Night Service!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Church Advances as the World Retreats

One of the things that is obvious in almost every segment of society is the new value of security against global economic collapse.  The papers and news channels are full of stories of layoffs and pullbacks and every church I know of is bracing for this coming economic earthquake.  I have to tell you frankly that churches cutting back right now really ticks me off.  I know that the economy is crashing, and that people who tithe will have less to give, but our trust is not in the offering plate.  Right now, as the ways of the world display their lack of ability to meet the real needs of people, the church needs to advance.  It has been our message for years that people not put their trust in temporary physical things of this world, and to store up for themselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt, and markets do not fall.  Now is the time when many churches, rather than pulling back, need to move forward.  I am not suggesting that they blow the bank account, but the church of Christ is the medic that runs against the flow of the retreating army to meet the real needs of people who have been wounded on the front line.  Here are some things that we can do:

1. Teach "Koinonia" Fellowship - The church exists to meet the needs of the body.  This is the time when the people can come together an meet one another's needs.
2. Show Some Love - Benevolent giving should increase to meet the felt needs of the community with the hopes that they will realize their true need for Christ.
3. Preach Heaven - We are not of this world, and in fact we were created for eternity.  Preach about the need to know we have a home in heaven and how this world will not satisfy.
4. Teach People How to Live by Faith - They are ready to listen.
5. Missions - Recession in America means going to basic cable.  Show them the rest of the world.

Cornerstone, we refuse to run.  This economic downturn and fear of recession means that church becomes more important than ever in our community.  I believe that much of the numerical growth we have seen in the last month is due to people returning to God, and we as a church must and will be ready.  We will not retreat just because the rest of the world is, in fact we will advance.  I believe that these may be dark days for our generation, but our community has never needed the church and its message of salvation through Christ more.  We need all hands on deck as we move forward. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I was listening to a good friend, Paul Heier, speak recently and he said his favorite word of worship was "wow." Wow, is a word you say when words escape you or they can do little to express how amazed you are.  In worship it is a response to catching a glimpse of how Great our God is and sensing for a moment how much he does love us.

Right now we are experiencing a "wow" moment in the life of Cornerstone.  In the past few weeks God has been blessing our church and records are falling by the wayside.  What is amazing is that all the growth indicators show that we are just beginning a new stage of growth as a church.  Attendance last weekend was up to 222 from 202 the week before.  A jump of 20 in weekend attendance is not much, but compared to our October average of 175 we are excited to see 50 more people worshiping with us each week.  What is awesome is that small group attendance is the fastest growing indicator on the list.  We are excited to see new small groups forming and it is our goal for everyone to find a group.

Here is what this means for us as a church.  
1. We must all adjust.
     - We are maxing out the 10:45 service so that means come earlier and sit up front filling every available chair.
     - Some of you can make the switch to attend on Saturday night or to the 8:15 making extra room at 10:45.
     - The room will continue to be crowded until we can move to the other auditorium in January.
     - Things will be changing in 2009.  As the church matures, our body will develop and change. Always for the better!

2. We must all go deeper.
     - Everybody needs to belong to a small group.
     - As the church gets bigger, it MUST get smaller.
     - Authentic relationships do not happen in rows.
     - Church is designed for fellowship and that takes place in small group.

3. We must all pray.
     - No question, what is going on has its source in God.
     - This is not a result of anything we have done, but what God has decided to do in and through us.
     - As the church becomes larger and more complex, we need to rely on Him even more for guidance and strength.

4. We must all step up.
     - This is what we prayed for in our 2008 elevate campaign.
     - We must continue to elevate our giving and our serving.
     - Existing ministries are being taxed more and more and now more than ever we could use some help.
     - If you are not volunteering, we need your help in every ministry are within the church.