Month: January 2018

Pastor Post: A Year in Review and Three Updates

18 months ago on our church’s 15th birthday, the Elders presented a hopeful 5 Year Vision of “Growing Up in Christ.” Our vision was to focus on four key areas of ministry so that we would move from being a “Teenager Church” into an “Adult Church,” that we would Grow Up in Christ together. Teenagers take care of themselves and are entering into the adult world. Adults take care of others, bring children into the world, and labor long and hard for the betterment of the world. 18 months into this vision, I see encouraging results…

Broadcast the Gospel: Through evangelism training, recentering ourselves on the Gospel through the book of Galatians, and calling our small groups forward to be on mission together, I’m thankful to see us taking steps toward greater faithfulness in this area. (May the two baptisms in December grow to dozens and dozens in the years ahead!)

Mature Believers in Christ: We added two small groups this year and we have seen stronger involvement in our adult Sunday School. Even more exciting than this (for me at least), I’ve become aware of several informal gatherings of believers for the sake for discipleship and encouragement in the Gospel. We have people hungry to lead and provide for more opportunities; pray for them as they take steps of faith to make disciples in 2018.

Equip Saints for Ministry: I’m so thankful for all the new faces that have joined our body over the past 18 months. Many have come equipped and ready for service; others have been willing to receive apprenticeship and training. (Keep on the lookout for more opportunities in 2018).

Plant Churches: Lord willing, there is a day when Cornerstone Church sends out its own church plant into the world. Until then, I’ve been so encouraged by your serious commitment to bless Harvest City Church in Iowa City. Adult Churches serve the kids. Adult Churches labor long and hard for greater kingdom works. You are doing this; glory to God!

Three Updates:

#1: The Building: Our building and decor people are getting together soon to finalize designs to build some walls and classrooms in our front room. Lord willing in 2018, we update our front room, build some ceilings in our Children’s Church and Nursery, and get a facelift on our exterior (we may even to update our sanctuary a bit too). The prices for these projects have not come in, but we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars. Would you and your family pray about giving to our building fund in 2018 so we can take necessary steps to get this building into better shape for ongoing ministry?

#2: “Six Hours for Us”: Registration is open for our February 10th Marriage Event. Click on this link for more details…

#3: “How to Pray”: Adult Sunday School is underway, and it’s exciting to see you all wanting to grow in prayer. I was asked to send out the schedule. Check out this link:

(By the way, though I am thrilled that so many are in our adult Sunday School and new faces in our Worship Service, know also we have needs for volunteers to step into our Nursery and Children’s Sunday School classes. Would you consider serving this rising generation of Christians on Sunday mornings?)

Thankful to serve beside you,

Pastor Matt

January 14, 2018: Galatians 4:21-31 “Listening to the Bible Well to Be Saved”

Big Idea:  Just because you know what the Bible is doesn’t mean you are using it properly.

Kids SS – Jesus and John the Baptist

Jesus and John the Baptist

BIBLE PASSAGE: John 3:22-36
MAIN POINT: Jesus came from heaven to earth.
KEY PASSAGE: John 14:6
BIG PICTURE QUESTION: Who did Jesus say He is? Jesus said He is the Messiah.
This week we are talking about the special relationship Jesus had with John the Baptist, and how John’s followers should respond to Jesus. They were confused at first. Who should they follow. John said to follow Jesus. He must increase, and I must decrease.
When you are discipling your children, do you have that attitude as well. Are you making “good little Christians” that will be obedient to their parents? Or are you striving to have your children follow Jesus. He must increase, I must decrease.
So how do you do that. Focus on the gospel transformation of your children, not on the “right” behaviors. There is a great book I highly recommend: Grace Based Parenting ( that does a wonderful job talking about how to reach your children in love and not fear.
God bless you as you make disciples of your children.

Marriage Enrichment Event: “6 Hours for Us”

Would you invest 6 hours into your marriage on February 10, 2018?

“6 Hours for Us” is open to anyone who is married or preparing for marriage regardless of faith or background. Our speakers will discuss the various trials and turning points in their marriages. One couple has three children still at home; another couple are near empty-nesters who have also navigated marriage through 20+ years in law enforcement.

Cost: $35 per couple (includes lunch and conference materials)

Time/Location: 9:30AM-3:30PM at Cornerstone Church Facility

Online registration at Eventbrite:

Click here for the brochure & more information: “Six Hours for Us” Brochure

January 7, 2018: Galatians 4:8-20 “The Slow Fade and the Sorrowful Minister”

Big Idea: Walking with Jesus and helping others do the same is no light affair.