"We exist to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ"
Our mission is to glorify God because that is the mission of God. All things were created by Him and for His glory. As a church the primary way that we glorify God is by treasuring Him above all things and walking in obedience to the commission He gave us to make disciples in all nations.
By God’s grace, Cornerstone Community Church will engage in Gospel Centred Ministry. This means that we embrace the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ:
Aspects of the Gospel
In all of its aspects, the gospel is good news about what God has done in Jesus Christ to reconcile us to himself. It is the good news that salvation is by grace! Therefore the gospel is a message that is to be preached or proclaimed (Mark 1:14; Acts 14:21; Rom 1:15; 1 Peter 1:12).
The Gospel Content is the good news that God has broken into history in the person of Jesus Christ. It is the story of God’s redemption of his fallen creation. It is the good news that God has acted in history to conquer evil and reconcile sinners to himself through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor 15:1-12). A gospel-centered church is one where the gospel is proclaimed clearly, consistently, and compellingly (1 Cor 9:16-23).
The gospel is not just a message to be believed, but a power to be experienced (Rom 1:16) and a status to receive (John 1:12). The gospel births a new community as those who were formerly God’s enemies are reconciled to Him (Rom 5:10) and adopted into his family (Gal 4:4-7). The church is not a place, but a people – a community that is continually being renewed by the transforming power of the gospel (Col. 1:6). The Gospel Community aspect of the gospel is the good news that God has adopted you into his family.
The gospel is a call to action – a declaration that “the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). God is at work to bring about the restoration of all of creation to its original “good” (Gen 1:31; Rom 8:19-22). As a gospel-centered church, we will be active in the work of mercy and mission, praying and working against the effects of sin so that God’s will might be done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). The Gospel Cause is the good news that God is undoing the effects of the fall, and that he is redeeming and renewing his creation.
Identities of the Disciple
When the gospel takes root in a person, it creates a fundamental change of identity. Those who were formerly God’s enemies (Romans 5:10) become his friends (John 15:13-15). Those who were previously slaves to sin become slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18). Those whose hearts were dead toward God are made alive in him (Ephesians 2:1-6). Those born into sin are reborn in Christ and become “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Because of the the three aspects of the gospel, we can look at the gospel identities of a disciple of Jesus through three lenses:
LEARNER – We are Disciples of Jesus
Before the gospel changes us, we are enslaved to “the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (Ephesians 2:1-3). We act as our own gods, pursuing our own desires and committed to our own independence. But through the gospel, we become “obedient from the heart” to Jesus’ teaching (Romans 6:17-18). We are changed into disciples, or learners – people who want to come under Jesus’ teaching, submit to his lordship, and learn what it means to live life for His glory.
As learners, we study the Bible to understand what God has said. We practice the disciplines of prayer, solitude, and reflection so that we can discern the leading of the Holy Spirit. We learn from the teaching, training, and wisdom of godly leaders and teachers. We create communities of discipleship so that we can learn from each other. And we engage the world around us so that we can relate with relevance and wisdom to those who share our cultural setting.
FAMILY – We are Disciples Together
Before the gospel changes us, we are “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:1-3). We are subject to God’s judgment because of our sin. But through the gospel, we are adopted into God’s family (Galatians 4:4-7). We become his sons and daughters. We are no longer orphans, alienated from God and each other, but brothers and sisters in God’s family.
As family, we live by the “house rules” given in Scripture. We look out for each other and care for one another. We are jealous for the honor of our Father’s good name (Matt 6:9). And we feel love toward those alienated from God, longing for them to be reconciled to our Father who created them in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:27).
SERVANT – We are Disciples on Mission
Before the gospel changes us, we love to “follow the ways of this world” (Ephesians 2:1-3). Our sin, which feels like an expression of freedom, actually enslaves us (Romans 6:16). But in the gospel, God delivers us from our slavery to sin and self so that we can freely serve him by the power of His Spirit (Romans 6:18-22). Released from self-absorption, self-concern, and self-worship, we can joyfully die to ourselves in order to love and serve others, just as Jesus did (Luke 22:27).
As servants, we see all of life as service to God. We seek tangible ways to love and serve others. We meet the needs of our region and world through acts of mercy and mission. We joyfully submit to God (James 4:7), to qualified spiritual leaders (Hebrews 13:17), and to each other (Ephesians 5:21). And we cultivate a lifestyle of simplicity and generosity to show that we worship Jesus and not the counterfeit gods of comfort, affluence, and success.
The way in which we accomplish our mission to make disciples is informed by the three aspects of the gospel and the three identities of the disciple.
"Because of the gospel content that must be proclaimed, and because disciples are learners, we Teach the Word."
Jesus focussed his disciple-making efforts on teaching the Word of God to his followers (John 17:8, Luke 24, 27). He clearly taught the Word of God to his disciples and modeled teaching the gospel everywhere he went. In the Great Commission, Jesus told us to teach disciples to obey all that He commanded (Matt. 28:19-20). The Word of God must be central in our fellowship with one another and must be the supreme authority for understanding everything about God and life. As disciples who make disciples, we read, study, memorize, and apply the Scriptures, so that we are ready to
teach the Word to others.
"Because of the gospel community that must be experienced, and because disciples are family, we Exemplify the Word."
Jesus’ method of disciple-making did not revolve around a classroom where He taught His followers how to live and what to believe. Rather, in the context of close, spiritual community, He sought to daily demonstrate how to live in obedience to the Father. In the Great Commission, Jesus told us to baptize disciples into the covenant community of God (Matt. 28:19-20). As disciples who make disciples, we bear one another’s burdens in practical ways, we hold each other accountable for in our beliefs and behaviours, and we cultivate deep spiritual friendships so that we are able to exemplify the Word of God to others.
"Because of the gospel cause that must be obeyed, and because disciples are servants, we Serve the World."
Jesus did not only invite people to come to Him, but He actively sought out lost people to go where they were to teach and exemplify the Word to them. In the Great Commission, Jesus told us to go to all nations to make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20). As disciples who make disciples, we will engage in acts mission and mercy locally and globally, so that we may teach and exemplify the Word of God to those who are lost.
We would encourage you to dig deeper in exploring this mission by listening to the Sermon Series Cornerstone Identity from September 2012.