Cornerstone Foundations

By Pastor Phil Stanley January 21, 2024

Today we come to the conclusion of our series on the Cornerstone Foundations. A couple of Sundays ago, we looked at who we are as a church, what we value and what our vision is for the future. We talked about how we are: Authentic, loving, Christ following disciple makers that won’t settle for anything less than a move of God for our city.

Last week we looked at our identity and how:  The security of our identity in Christ unlocks the gifts God has placed within us.

We are all uniquely gifted and designed. This past Wednesday night was so much fun having everyone take the spiritual gifts assessments and the personality test. I heard from so many people about how they discovered gifts that they were sure were just a mistake in the test. 

It’s funny because there’s often something inside us that we can’t see for ourselves but is apparent to everyone else. It’s the gap we have between what our personalities actually are and what we think or project to the public.

It’s that gap that can lead to you missing out in fulfilling the purpose God has for you. Too many people feel unworthy or unqualified to serve in areas of the church simply because they can’t see themselves succeeding in it or feel some past baggage has already labeled them a failure.

We have to break off that mindset. We have to remember that if we truly identify with Christ, we can do anything set before us. 

I was having lunch with a friend the other day and he reminded me of this quote and I think it serves us well here. I’m tired of seeing Christian brothers and sisters talking down about themselves. It’s not productive. The quote goes like this:

 “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” – Rick Warren

Start thinking about where God can use you for no other reason but to serve Him and others. That’ll snap you right back into a more meaningful life. 

You can also struggle on the other side of the spectrum and think too highly of yourself to the point where you dismiss certain roles or acts of service because they are “beneath” you. 

I always find it fascinating when I read in the gospels about the disciples and how they consistently missed the point. Just before Jesus is betrayed and crucified, they start arguing over who would be the greatest among them. They are literally still sitting at the dinner table where they were celebrating passover together and this happens. It’s in Luke 22 picking up in verse 24:

LUKE 22:24 Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

A couple of quick takeaways from this:

  1. We serve because Jesus served.
  2. We do things differently than the world. We’re to value people, not position.

Jesus came as a servant and an example for us all. Every time we step up to serve someone else we are shining God’s light to those around us. We overcomplicate sharing the gospel and restrict it to big outreaches and missions trips because it can be easier than doing the hard work serving others. 

Serving others in small ways is never a small matter. It radiates light for everyone who comes in contact with it. In arguably his most famous sermon Jesus said:

MATTHEW 5:14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Our good deeds aren’t about earning salvation, or advancing up the kingdom ladder, we are living testimonies that generate praise to God.

As we have talked about being members of Cornerstone, we have emphasized the commitment that comes with it. We are not members seeking status, we’re seeking service. Not for the sake of the church’s reputation or continued growth, but to be ambassadors of light for our families, friends, neighbors, and the whole city.

As members of this church, we commit to live holy lifestyles that are pleasing to God, we commit to work with one another, for one another, we commit to partner in the ongoing mission of the church as we serve others and point everyone to Jesus.

We base our vision and mission on the great commandment and the great commission:

Matthew 22:37-40 

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[e] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[f] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

This is the “How” and the Great commission is the “why”

Great Commission

Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Loving our neighbors opens the door to making disciples. 

Look at how Paul addresses it in Romans 10:

Romans 10:13-15 NLT For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[g]

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”[h]

Being sent is much bigger than just physically going place to place sharing the gospel. It also implies serving one another within the church as a way to build relationships with those who see us living in harmony and are drawn to find community.  I like how the message puts this scripture:

Romans 10:14-17 MSG But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?

Just as we talked about before, our actions speak louder than our words. 

We want each member of Cornerstone to experience the blessing of being a blessing. That starts by committing to serving the least among us. 

That takes different shapes and sizes depending on your gifts and passions but the goal is for everyone to serve and be served. 

At our first Growth Track I mentioned that the best example of what we’re asking each of you to do is Cynthia. She has been faithfully serving in the 9am Kid’s Crew service with Pastor Jana and then at 11am she gets to be served. It’s a beautiful system. Yes, it’s a larger time commitment. But if you talk to her about it she’ll testify that 1. It’s not hard being Jana’s helper. 2. Kid’s Crew can really be fun because you get to see all youngins learning and becoming disciples of Jesus. 3. There’s a deep sense of fulfillment that she’s contributing to not just the kids or Jana, but she’s facilitating whole families as they have the opportunity to worship the Lord and be active in service knowing their kids are safe and well looked after. 

We are all horrible judges of the impact of our service. 

I bet we would be overwhelmed with people willing to volunteer if I told them we had an opportunity to impact multiple generations with the most successful discipleship platform in the history of the church. 

How many of you would sign up to see lives changed forever by the power of the Holy Spirit? How many would give an hour of their week if they knew they’d make a kingdom impact that literally could shape whole communities? 

Welcome to the nursery ministry!

Biblical Truth: Disciple Making has zero age restrictions.

It’s time to step up and serve.