Monday, February 25, 2008

Larry Norman, "The Father of Christian Rock", Dead at 60

Early Sunday morning, one of the greatest influences in Contemporary Christian Music, went home to receive his reward. Larry Norman is perhaps best know for his haunting ballad, "I Wish We'd All Been Ready". A search for his name at will reveal lots of videos of his music. Larry was a rebel with a cause and the voice of a generation looking for freedom in Christ.
I first heard the name "Larry Norman" as a sophomore in High School. It sounded like something from the radio and yet the words were stikingly Christian in a sort-of irreverant way. I became a fan immediately.
Larry's family has posted a message on his website which includes a message from Larry himself which he wrote in anticipation of his death. You can visit the Larry Norman website here.
Long time Norman friend and Christian artist Steve Camp has written a tribute which includes a song that he and Larry wrote together in 1974. Visit the Steve Camp website here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

The March Miracle...

We're moving our worship services out of our worship center and into our local high school during the month of March. This is a postive step to allow for maximum outreach during the Easter season. Here's four reasons:

#1--We need to unify our church. We have been providing three worship services on Sunday morning for long enough that our church has become three churches. We average less than 300 and yet the reality is that we have three churches of less than one hundred. In other words, instead of having a medium congregation, we look more like three small congregations. Each year, usually at Easter, we come together in one service and the air is filled with excitement. The last two Easter celebrations at Cornerstone have attracted around 500 worshippers each. Last Easter we celebrated Easter at the high school auditorium and had a great event with many decisions for Christ. There is just something exciting about 500+ voices singing praises to God.

#2--We don't have the space to grow. We consistently bump into the 80% rule that states that you will only fill your space consistently by about 80%. We can comfortably seat about 180 which should mean that we have plenty of space to grow in three services. The problem is that our attendance shifts from service to service from week to week. The 8:00 service may be full this week with plenty of seats in the other two. Next week, the 11:00 may be full with room in the 8:00 and the 9:30. Seats aren't the only problem. Our parking lot is consistently full with cars having to park along the street and in a vacant field. Our hallways are not designed to allow the shift of traffic that we have between services as people both leave and arrive. We don't know who our guests are since people are not loyal to one service but regularly shift to another service as their schedule allows. It's hard to tell who is new and who has been attending for some time, perhaps in another service.

#3--We expect a huge Easter crowd. We have more than 100 people praying daily for 1000 worshippers on Easter. The people of Cornerstone are always faithful to bring their friends, family, and coworkers to these big evangelistic events. In addition, we are actively performing acts of kindness into our community. We have more than 100 "AOK" logged and we're still serving. We could not even imagine hosting an event like this one in our existing facility.

#4--We expect many decisions for Christ. We're not just praying for 1000 worshippers, we are praying for 100 decisions for Christ. People are more apt to attend a service at a neutral, non-church location. It's just safer for the unchurched.

In a lot of ways, this is a natural step for us. We have been hosting large worship events away from our facility for many years. They have proven successful for us in all the ways that count--including kingdom growth.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Six Pastors and Counting...

Six! That's right! Cornerstone now has six ordained pastors serving with us. I wanted to say a word about them because on Monday night I will be meeting with them in order to pray with them and to begin discovering God's purpose in bringing them to Cornerstone. Included in the six are myself and my youth pastor who are both serving Cornerstone as fully funded staff. The third in the list is a NAMB missionary who works throughout our state in the area of multi-cultural ministry. He is one of our two worship leaders and we have him in our church about half-time. Number four is the assistant BSU director at Colorado State University. Numbers five and six are brand new to our church having joined us very recently. Both of these men are church planters who have vision for planting churches in our neighboring communities. In addition to these six, we have two young men who are preparing for ministry through educational pursuits (one at SWBTS). I can't wait to see what God is doing...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Union Storm Stories...

Tim Ellsworth has put a collection of videos pertaining to the Union tornado on his blog. You can visit his blog here.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tornado at Union...

My wife and I both attended Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. I'm sure that you have by now seen the news reports about the tornado that struck the campus yesterday evening. Please join me in praying for the Union Community as they deal with this disaster.

Union University has set up an informational blog. Let me encourage you to use it as a guide in your praying. View it here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The March Miracle...

Ok, I confess. I have been negligent in my blogging duties. It's not that I don't have anything to say. It's just that for awhile this was starting to feel like work. We can't have that, now can we.
God has given us some really big vision at Cornerstone and we are well on our way to seeing it realized. We are moving our worship services (3) out of our current facility during the month of March and holding one big unified service at our local High School. Our building just isn't big enough to allow our continued growth. We keep bumping our heads against our limited facility. So, we're least for a month.
We currently have more than 100 of our folks committed to praying for 100 decisions for Christ by Easter and for 1000 worshippers on Easter Sunday morning. For the record, our current attendance fluctuates between 250-300. The most that we have ever baptized is less than 30. Our first goal was to get 100 people praying. Check that box! Our February goal is to have 100 Acts of Kindness performed into our community. Last Sunday we recorded almost half that many. It looks like we will double or even triple our goal. The idea is to be incarnational which will lead up to the March Miracle. PRAYER + CARE = SHARE. March will be focused on sharing Christ and inviting everyone we can to worship with us at the High School. Easter Sunday will be the peak with prayerfully 1000 worshippers and 100 decisions for Christ. We will match those 100 new believers with a 100 individual disciplers from our congregation. The idea is not to program discipleship but rather to initiate a friendship that will allow the sharing of lives. Now, here is the exciting part of the vision: if all goes well--we will not return to our building! We won't fit!