If you get this before church on Sunday, this gives you a taste of what we’re focusing on tomorrow. If you get this after our church service, the letter serves as a great reminder of all that God has done in our church, and Lord willing, in our church’s future as we seek to plant churches to the glory of God.
I’m looking forward to worshiping with you tomorrow morning.
I asked Kent and Jan to answer two questions about their experience with church planting and Cornerstone Church. Here were their reflections to my two questions:
1) What are some keys and ideas and practices you hoped would be in the foundational DNA?
My dream with the core group was to start and build a different kind of church than we had attended in Marion/Cedar Rapids.
We hoped and prayed that Cornerstone would always be an outward focused church. A church that looks and sees poor, hurting, needy people who we could bring God loves and care. A church who looks out and sees the majority of our neighbors going to an eternal Hell and living an empty meaningless life. These people need us to bring them the Gospel/Good News.
We wanted to build the core values of Populating Heaven, Building Disciples and Planting churches into our attenders so they will be prepared, motivated and encouraged to bring the Good News to their neighbors and friends.
Plus we wanted to break the 10/90 or 20/80 problem which was in the churches that we had attended. This means only a very few helped/invested in the church and most came expecting to just take and receive from the church. We desired that every attender would know and use their spiritual gifts to help each other in the church.
2) Why do you believe church planting is needed and important to every church.
3500 churches close every year in the USA.
There are 2/3 less churches in USA than in 1900.
Just think about these facts. 50% of all “established” “old” churches never had one conversion this last year. SAD.
Older churches once they have enough people attending to survive – they stop reaching out and settle for whomever will show up at the church door on Sunday Morning Worship.
Today in America – we have “The field of dreams” mentality. Just build/buy a nice building and the lost people will come to us on Sunday mornings because of the nice building.I believe that the book of Acts models church planting as the key practice to Populate Heaven and fulfill the Great Commission. We need to keep the early church practice of going out to connect with the lost (Book of Acts). Younger churches are motivated to reach out to contact and connect with people to survive. It has been demonstrated that church planting is 30 times more effective at winning the lost.
After a church reaches 125 attenders, they then can send out 25 attenders to go to a lost unreached community and start a “Light house” church in a neighborhood. Light attracts wildlife and Spiritual life attracts lost people. Every neighborhood of 1000 lost people needs a “Light House” church of 100 believers. Do the math for how many churches are then needed in Marion, Cedar Rapids.
Pastor Matt = Greet all the saints at Cornerstone church for us.
Every time I read the Epistles and read about Paul’s feeling and love regarding his feeling of his church plants I think of Cornerstone church. Cornerstone has been a great joy in our lives. We have such great memories of all the people who helped get it started. We always have special feeling in our heart when we visit and fellowship with you. It has been so exciting to watch God work in his church and see how your lives have grown and matured to become more like Him. Truly you are a joy to us.
We are so sad being sick and having to miss this enjoying the celebration this morning. If you could only remember one thing from me – remember Keep Populating Heaven – people are the only eternal possessions that you can bring with you to heaven.