Month: October 2018

Church Multiplication Week – Pray for Cornerstone

Luke 10:1-4

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

Please pray with us today at 9:38 AM or PM and use Luke 10:1-4 to pray for Cornerstone Church.

“the Lord…sent them two by two” – Just as the Lord sent his disciples together to share the truth with their community, he sends us together. May we be bound in unity as a church to see people presented with the love of Christ.

“Ask the Lord…to send out workers” – God is the one working in Cedar Rapids/ Marion. He cares about this community. So ask Him to be working specifically here in our community.

“Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves” – The harvester that you’ve been praying for this week is YOU! Jesus sent his disciples then, and He is sending His disciples now.

From Cornerstone:

Pray that the members of Cornerstone church will have a passion for reaching lost people in Cedar Rapids / Marion.

Pray that God would raise up a way for us to participate with Him in planting a church to reach more people in our community.


October 7, 2018: Luke 22:19-20 “The Lord’s Supper as a Sign and Seal: Part 1-New Covenant”

Big Idea:  The Lord’s supper is a proclamation of forgiveness.


Church Multiplication Week – Pray for Central District

John 4:34-38

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Today at 9:38 AM or PM would you join us in praying for the EFCA Central District. Use John 4:34-38 as a guide.

“open your eyes and look at the fields” – pray that we would open our eyes to the world and see what God is doing.

“they are ripe for harvest” – pray that people would understand their need for a savior and would understand the truth of the gospel

“so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together” – some plant seeds of the gospel, some water those, some get to see it come to fruition. In all cases, God gives the growth. Pray for the faithful witnesses of churches around the Central district that continue to be a lighthouse of love. And pray for the new churches that are being planted that are harvesting growth.

From the Central District:

see http://www.efcacentral.org/planting/

The mission of “multiplying healthy churches among all people” demands a strong commitment for planting new churches in the Central District. Our vision is to plant all kinds of new Evangelical Free Churches in every part of our district to reach all kinds of people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Associate Pastor FAQ and Synopsis of our October 7th Family Discussion

Dear Cornerstone Church,

As we continue to consider whether to hire an Associate Pastor to lead up Leadership Development in 2019, a number of great questions came up during the October 7th family discussion. Thanks for sharing your questions, concerns, and hopes. If you have further questions, creative ideas, or suggestions, please reach out to theelders@cornerstone-marion.org and we’ll add them to this FAQ.

Where can I find the job description?

You can find it here.

Why has the job description been left with less specificity about job tasks and activities?

We hope to focus more on the who than the what for this position. We know we need someone to focus on leadership development, but the temperament, passions and skill set of the particular individual will really guide how that will be accomplished. We want someone who values what we value as a church and is willing to partner with us in what God has for us.

We would rather not set a specific plan or program in place and then be forced to find a person that meets that narrow requirement. With our limited financial resources, we want to have the widest pool of candidates available and trust that God will lead us to the right person to carry out this objective of training leaders.

That being said, we do want the new pastor to champion, oversee, and coach both formal and informal leadership development. Leadership development done well in our context is disciple-making. We want a culture of disciple-making and spiritual mentoring. We believe this is already happening in some areas, but this is also a huge growth area. We must prayerfully raise up laborers (people who can make disciples).

In addition, we will need to develop leadership skills (communication, leading meetings, teams, etc.) among those in our congregation. Many of these sorts of skills fall in the category of common grace (that is, skills learned in any workplace or leadership setting), but still as a church, we do have a responsibility to develop leadership skills and administrative gifts for our own programs and ministries (Psalm 78:72).

Do we have someone in mind already?

Pastor Matt believes that there are a number of individuals in transition in ministry in our community that he has or will encourage to apply. So too, there may be people willing to come into our area because of a family connection or a strong desire to be near Cedar Rapids.

Are we hoping this person will lead a particular ministry (i.e.: church planting, women’s ministry, discipleship, counseling)?

We believe that God calls the church to ministry and He provides certain leaders to equip all of the saints for that ministry (Ephesians 4:12). We are not planning on hiring to serve a particular ministry at Cornerstone. Rather, we feel it is best to have this paid staff position focus on training leaders who will then lead those ministries. We are not hiring this position to oversee any one ministry at Cornerstone.

Certainly this person will be have leadership qualities and will come with a certain passion or set of skills for participation in the body, but no other particular skill set will be in view for this position. The primary qualification is their ability to develop leaders.

Can we afford this position?

Pastor Matt noted in the meeting that he personally was more confident in July than he is today. To hire this person our budget would go up to ~$195,000. Last year (2017), we brought in $183,000 to our general fund. $12,0000 is a “manageable” faith goal, and we did have money in savings if we did not meet budget.

That being said, we’re on pace currently in 2018 to bring in $148,000, already $14,000 less than our current $162,000 budget for 2018. Currently, we have outspent $20,000 over giving in 2018, leading our non-designated savings to $105,000. A six-month of reserves for 2018 would mean we do not want our savings to drop below $81,000. If we went up to a $195,000 budget in 2019, six-months of reserves would be $97,500.

Pastor Matt offered two recommendations on how we move forward:

#1: When the LORD is not speaking directly to a congregation, a congregation should act in accordance with Biblical prudence and wisdom. We should prayerfully make wise financial choices. In that case, Matt felt if the financial picture does not reverse course before November 1, he personally would not feel comfortable adding $30,000 to a 2019 budget. It would be disappointing to bring someone on staff and have to let them go in short order because the funds were not sustainable.

#2: Still, if God calls us as a congregation to take a step of faith, then we should act even if the numbers do not “work.” Though Matt shared this, he said personally he has not heard any specific Word from the Lord. He invited us to pray diligently to God and share together in the coming weeks on what we feel the LORD is asking our church to do.

Others shared that there may yet be another creative model or concept that would allow us to move forward. An agreement to call on the LORD and to listen to Him was made.

 


Church Multiplication Week of Prayer – Pray for EFCA

Matthew 9:35-38

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Will you join us at 9:38, either 9:38 AM or 9:38 PM, or both, to pray for harvesters for his fields. Use Matthew 9:38 as your guide. Pray for the following things:

“The harvest is plentiful” – the reality is that God is working in the world to bring people to himself. There are so many people that are ripe for the harvest. They are ready to hear the good news of Jesus and to turn and be saved.

“The workers are few” – even though God is working, He works through people who faithfully witness to His work in their life.

“Ask the Lord of the harvest” – remember, God is the one working. He is the one that calls, He is the one that convicts, He is the one that saves. God is not calling us to save the world, he is calling people to participate with him as He saves it.

“to send out workers into his harvest field” – God works through people. People that are willing to share their story and to share their life with a world that desperately needs to know the truth.

Today, would you pray for the national work of the Evangelical Free Church in America.

Please pray for the Lord to raise up a new generation of leaders who would champion the cause of planting new disciplemaking churches throughout our nation and world.

Pray for the national team of leaders working to develop systems and resources for planting. Pray that those systems and resources would fuel a culture of multiplication that would not only resource new church plants, but create a culture of multiplying disciples and leaders in all churches.

Pray that we would see a growing movement of ethnic and multi-ethnic congregations planted in response to the rapidly changing demographics in our country and out of obedience to our mission to make disciples of every tribe tongue and nation.