Whenever I teach the Exploring Cornerstone class, I unpack in detail the vision and mission of the church. To do that, I first summarize and then dissect this one sentence: “Cornerstone exists to glorify God in the gospel together as disciples who make disciples.” Embedded in that single sentence are these four priorities: worship, discipleship, fellowship, and mission. Let me break it out for you by italicizing the specific words that relate to these four areas of the church’s mission.
- Worship – To glorify God in the gospel
- Fellowship – To glorify God in the gospel together
- Discipleship – To glorify God in the gospel together as disciples
- Mission – To glorify God in the gospel together as disciples who make disciples
Whenever new folks enter Exploring Cornerstone, I ask them what drew them to our fellowship. It’s very common to hear that our Sunday morning worship service was a big draw. The quality and approach to music, the gospel-centered expository preaching, and the ordered intimacy of the service are regularly noted. It’s also not surprising to hear that folks are attracted by the warm and welcoming fellowship at Cornerstone. There’s a holy buzz on Sunday morning and a genuine friendliness and intimacy among the flock that’s often evident to those who visit. Many visitors also appreciate the breadth and depth of the discipling ministries. The quantity and quality of different discipleship offerings communicates to them our commitment to grow in the knowledge of God and be equipped for the work of ministry.
These comments are always encouraging, for they reveal that our ministry vision is not just on paper but is actually taking root in and radiating out from the life and ministry of the church itself. One distinctive, however, almost never gets the kind of commendation that worship, fellowship, and discipleship gets. Can you guess it? That’s right—missions. Why do visitors rarely mention being drawn to Cornerstone because of missions? We generously contribute financially to five campus ministries, eight church plants, and six missionaries (both foreign and national). We also have a host of members actively involved in local ministries like GraceWorks, Nashville Rescue Mission, English as a Second Language classes, nursing homes, prison ministry, local schools, etc. Even with this, it has seemed that this part of our vision has too often flown under the radar and not reached the same level of commitment as the other aspects of our vision.
I’ve been praying that more and more that the call of Jesus Christ “…to make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) would become for us the very heartbeat of our lives. In addition to prayer, the leadership of Cornerstone is striving to organize more opportunities for us to answer the call to make disciples both locally and globally.
One such opportunity is quickly approaching. In partnership with one of our supported ministries, Servant Group International, Cornerstone is sponsoring a mission trip to Athens, Greece this summer. We will be serving among the 50,000 refugees that are stuck in Athens. Women will be assisting at a local church helping to provide for basic needs for moms and kids. Men will help with light construction and building a rooftop vegetable garden at a nearby live-in shelter for unaccompanied minor age refugee boys. This is an incredible opportunity for you to show with your hands and share with your lips the love of Jesus Christ! Several of you have mentioned you are interested, but you’re concerned you can’t get the money. Let me urge you strongly to not let financial fear stand in the way! Church support is available and fundraising opportunities are forthcoming, but you need to apply in order to be a candidate for that support. Trust God to provide and say, “Yes!” to this unique opportunity. Let’s go together in the name of Christ as agents of gospel grace to make Christ known to those who are desperate need of gospel hope. Apply today! For more information visit www.ServantGroup.org/greece