When was the last time you checked our our church banners, or read through the statements of faith & ministry in the bulletin or on the webpage. Today, I am beginning a series of newsletters and eventually a sermon series that is meant to refresh & remind us of what we do, and why we do what we do here at CCM.
We are so used to the next thing, new thing, or the better thing coming down the pipe that we often leave behind something that maybe we shouldn't leave behind. We get updates to all of our technology almost weekly that are designed to keep us up to date with what is happening in the world. It is a never ending process of keeping our focus on the change, or new things that are coming our way. In some ways, we need to be aware of all of that change in the Church of Jesus Christ, but we also need to be on guard against that kind of thinking when it comes to why we do what we do in the Church of Jesus Christ. There are clear biblical foundations that we need to adhere to in the Church so that we don't get off track, and begin to promote or create a foundation for ministry that is not in line with the Bible, and what Jesus asked His Church to be doing.
I remember when I first became a disciple of Jesus the next, or new thing coming down the pipe at that time was what was called Contemporary Worship. Keith Green, Vineyard, Hosanna, and Integrity was pumping out music that was new fresh and completely different than the hymns that we commonly used in church. For many people this was a welcome change as it seemed to really connect to the heart, and was full of life. Today this music has become the cornerstone of Christian radio stations, and of worship in many churches world-wide. However, there was a huge conflict in the church at that time about whether to adopt contemporary worship in the church. In the end, most churches chose either to do Traditional Worship or Contemporary Worship and it didn't matter as both were effective at bringing people into the presence of God, and today they are both still effective. But, today we are seeing that some of this music has become far more about worshipping the person writing or singing the song, about presenting a certain theological or social agenda, or just simply something to make money on. Some of these songs even though the intention may have been true are not about the true character of the God at all and we are supposed to be worshipping God when we come to worship. Just this past week I was connected to a discussion about a song that has been written and presented by someone who most of us would have trusted with music for our churches. However, in the lyrics the writer seems to be promoting an evolutionary viewpoint of Christianity. When questioned about this the writer confirmed that he was suggesting that evolution and the big bang could be a part of Christianity through the lyrics of the song. I reiterate, this is coming from an organization that has been around a very long time in Christian music, and most every church in America is today singing songs that this organization has created. To be fair to them in their past they have been very solid biblically but at least in this one song there seems to be some shifting away from true biblical teaching by the writer. I pray that they will make the steps that are needed to correct this, and return to the foundations of creation in the Bible and present true biblical teaching in all of their songs.
This is something that we must always be on guard about whether it is in music, preaching, teaching, cell groups, new creation groups, children's ministry, or really any where in ministry. Our focus must remain on the foundations of the biblical teaching of Jesus, or we run the risk of leading ourselves and others down a road that doesn't end up where it is supposed to be. This does not mean that we can't change how we do things it just simply means that everything needs to tested through the filter of solid contextual biblical teaching.
With all of that in mind and after much in the way of prayer, discussion, and discernment the Elder Team has settled on keeping in place the statements of faith & ministry that we have had from day one. We understand that how we fulfill these things may change, or be different than before but we also know that the true Gospel of Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Because of that, we believe that our foundations apply both to us in our past, our present, and our future. We recognize that there are things we can do differently like with our New Creation Groups, but even when we make those kinds of shifts we must take into consideration our foundations so that we stay on course with what the Lord has asked us as a part of His church to be doing in this world. Please take some time to read and pray through all of our foundational statements of faith & ministry below. We don't want to take anything for granted as we move forward as a church and all of what you are reading is very, very important for us all to be completely aware, and in support of.
Please don't hesitate to ask questions of us as Elders. We want to hear from you on anything that may be on your heart.
To Win Souls and Make Disciples
The mandate of Jesus can be summed up in what is commonly referred to as the Great Commission. "Go into all the world and make disciples" and the Great Commandment, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself." To lead people to Jesus Christ and then to teach them His ways is the mission we share with every Bible believing Christian Church world-wide.
To experience church like we read about in the Bible
The Church we read about in the Bible sets the example for the way we are to live our lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ today. What do we see in the Bible? People's lives being transformed, people being healed and restored, the church accomplishing amazing things in Jesus' Name, etc. Our vision is not to just hear about what Jesus is doing somewhere else in the world, but to actually experience it just like the first Church in Jerusalem did.
Win, Consolidate, Disciple, & Send
Are the four stages of our strategy. As we function in these stages, God allows us to fulfill our mission and vision. The key component is the Cross of Jesus Christ and the saving grace He gives to all by faith through His sacrifice and atonement on the Cross.
Every Believer a Disciple
We believe, as a church, that if God is empowering us to see our vision take place, then we can be assured that eventually all believers will become true disciples of Jesus Christ. Just like the Disciples of Jesus the disciples of today will influence their world for Jesus in powerful and amazing ways.
The first generation Church we read about in the Bible devoted themselves to the Apostles' teaching (training & equipping), to the fellowship (ministry one to another), to breaking of bread (worship, fellowship, & relationship), and finally to prayer (intercession). As a result the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
In One God revealed to us as Father, Son, & Holy Spirit.
In God the Father who made the heavens and the earth and governs them according to His will and purpose.
In God the Son who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, died on a cross, was buried and raised from the dead in order to provide the way for us to regain right and true relationship with God the Father.
In God the Holy Spirit who prompts us to repent and live according to the principles of the Kingdom of God, producing the fruit and imparting the gifts of the Spirit for successful living and serving in a Godly manner.
In the Church universal made up of all those who have been called out of darkness into light, have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, and who live under His Lordship.
In the Bible as the only written Word of God and the ultimate authority for what we are to believe, and for the way we are to live in this world.
In the visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ in great glory and power to receive into heaven all those who have personally accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord and to judge all those who have not personally accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Worship as we acknowledge God and give Him access to our lives through music we open ourselves up to a greater knowledge of Him and His purposes for our lives. Our Celebration services include celebration, adoration, proclamation, and exultation.
Life Tranformation by the renewing of our minds. To know Jesus Christ is more than just knowing about Him in our heads, but instead that we know Him personally, intimately through a transparent relationship where we experience forgiveness of sin, freedom from our past, and healing of the brokenness in our lives. All of this is through the life and power of the Holy Spirit.
Every believer a disciple including youth and children. Everyone can be actively involved in ministering to others inside and outside of the Body by the power of God by serving the Kingdom of God and others according to their spiritual gifting.
Prayer as not the preparation for the work of ministry but is the work of ministry. In prayer we discover and are led to accomplish the purpose of God in our life, family, church, community, nation, and world.
New Creation Groups as a Godly New Testament Model for how we the church can function in the world we live today.
World Wide Missions as the vehicle that all Bible believing churches will participate in to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus to take His Gospel to all the unreached people groups of the world.
New Creation Groups
New Creation Groups are the basic family unit of CCM. These groups exist for three specific purposes. To honor and glorify God, to edify, encourage, and build up the Body of believers of CCM, and to evangelize those around us who are searching for something different in this life with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Retreats are events that are done on a regular basis that include 3 stages. Pre-Retreat which is a time to prepare our hearts to meet with the Lord, Retreat weekend which is a Friday through Sunday event that is gender specific and is designed to allow us to get away from hustle and bustle of this world to have quality time with the Lord, and then Post-Retreat which is designed to help us to hold on to the new work the Lord has done in our lives. We call that the Retreat Experience.
Cornerstone Discipleship Training
Discipleship is an important aspect of what we do as a church. We have 3 levels of discipleship that are designed to help us grow and mature in our faith and will hopefully alllow us each to become more involved in Kingdom work for the Lord. The three levels are, CDT-1 / Who We Are and What We Believe, CDT-2 / How we Function as a Church, and CDT-3 / How We Function As Disciples. This along with being involved in a New Creation group where we are allowing others to be used to grow us even more can bring each of us to a point of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Celebration is our Sunday morning service. During Celebration we want to draw close the Lord believing that He has something that He wants to accomplish in our lives today. It is simply us taking the time on a weekly basis, not just to go through the motions of religion, but to actually connect to our Lord in a personal and powerful way. We do that by allowing the Holy Spirit to have access to our lives through music, spoken word, and one another ministry.
We recognize that the children we have are the future of our ministry. During our Celebration services we have dedicated time for our children that is age appropriate and meets their needs. We believe that our children can learn now how to be effective in living for Jesus, and as we invest in teaching and training them up in the ways of the Lord that Proverbs 22:6 will actually come to pass. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
We encourage, promote, and assist our church members as they participate in accordance with the leading of the Holy Spirit in world-wide missions through short-term mission trips both in the united states, and internationally. We also promote and encourage our church members to be involved in supporting world-wide missions through Faith Promise giving. This money is promised and then collected through the HeartLink Network of Cornerstone Churches which then distributes the funds to front line missionaries all around the world.
Kids 4 Christ Pre-School
We have in place a pre-school open to the public for 3 & 4 year old children. Our goal is to prepare the children for the scholastic part of being in school. But also, to prepare them spiritually, so that they can live a successful God life in their school years. We want to lay a God foundation in their lives so that as they grow up both physicaly and spiritually they will be able to have a positive impact on their school and world for the Lord.