As hard as it is to believe, today marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of what has come to be known as Cornerstone Presbyterian Church. Our mother church, Parish Presbyterian Church, was (and is) committed to being a church planting church. From the very start, the leadership of Parish Pres. were convinced of Christ’s call to be and make disciples, and that the primary means for accomplishing this call was through the multiplication of churches (Matt.28:18-20).
Though many different types of churches are used by God to produce many different types of fruit, Parish Pres. was particularly committed to the multiplication of parish styled, community churches where the ordinary means of grace—Word, sacrament, and prayer—were central and where the local cultural setting (the parish) was the first and primary sphere of a church’s mission.
To carry out this Biblical vision of church planting, Parish Pres. called me (Nate) almost two years ago as assistant pastor for church planting. After nine months of joint ministry with Parish Pres., what eventually came be known as Cornerstone Presbyterian Church gathered on January 16, 2011 for the inaugural worship service.
What a difference a year makes! As I look out on Sunday mornings a year later, I’m amazed at what the Lord has done. Seeing so many new folks join our church, and seeing new leaders and volunteers raised up to serve, and many new outlets for discipleship established, I’m reminded of why church planting is absolutely essential to who we are and what we do as the church.
On this day, I’m thankful to God for the vision and foresight of Parish Pres. and the strong support of the Nashville Presbytery to resource and train church planters for the establishment of gospel-centered churches committed to Christ’s mission. What we are experiencing as a church right now is the direct fruit of God’s faithfulness to work through the church to grow the church, to establish Christ’s Kingdom on earth even as it is in heaven.
This reminds me of something. On January 22nd, the Foundations Sunday School Class will retell the story of Reformed and Presbyterian church, if you’re interested in learning about our forefathers gospel vision and valiant efforts to serve Christ’s Church. On the 29th, the very next week, the same class will host a panel discussion with some of our elders and deacons to retell our local history, share some stories, and trace the foundations of Presbyterianism in the Nashville area. We’ll discuss in some detail the relationship between the PCA churches in our area, so you can better understand what being connectional is all about. If you’re new to Presbyterianism, and a good number of you are, set aside time to join us for those weeks.
Have a great week in the Lord, brothers and sisters.