Last Sunday was a great day at Cornerstone. Our amazing Friend, Ray Jeske, a churchman of wide experience. a sportscaster, radio manager, leadership specialist, jack-of-all-trades, was there. I wanted to share his reaction. He sent this letter out to Ohio Free Methodist leaders. I am excited as I consider what God may do. I love you, Cornerstone--you are quite a church.
So I visited the home front yesterday, Cornerstone Church in Akron.
A remarkable morning. One of those times in a worship experience where it feels like all the boxes got checked, like all the things you hope might happen, all the evidences of God being with us, seem to take place.
And a little more.
See, Pastor Brenda began a new series about the fruits of the spirit entitled, What If We Got This Right?
The fruits of the spirit. Galatians 5:22-23. You know the list: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience . . .
Nine weeks of fruit coming at us. Which is good. I've been trying to eat more fruit lately.
The big question being pondered again is, What if we got this right?
What if? What would the impact be? What would it look like? What if the visible, observable, normal characteristics of a Christian were love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
What would the impact be in the world around us? Can we imagine if we got this right?
So can't wait to get the rest of the story. Beginning with me, I'd like to get this right.
But at the end of the service -- all three services -- Pastor Brenda asked for us who want to be real disciples, who for the first time are saying "I really, really want to get this right," to publicly stand up. That is, this fruit thing. This disciple thing. You know, one who follows and starts to look like the one we are following.
And amazingly, an estimated 400 people stood up. People who mostly have been coming to church a long time. Who've been Christians a long time.
Now this is the kind of altar call I can sink my teeth into. Really juicy.
What if we get this right?
What if there is a revival of fruit?
What if we get so full of fruit that we start to become fruitful?
So I began to ponder the question how? Like, how's it gonna happen?
And as I pondered this question, my mind began to wander a little back to the beginning, to when Charlie and Brenda first came to Cornerstone.
I'm guessing there was a time -- in fact I'm sure of it -- when Charlie and Brenda would have been besides themselves with joy had 4 people stood up at the call to be a fruit-bearing disciple.
Not 400. Not 40. Just 4.
Jesus told a story recorded in Luke 19 about three different servants, two which were commended, one which was not.
The point seemed to be that the one who was most fruitful was told, "Because you have been faithful in a very little (emphasis mine), you shall (be given more)."
Jesus was saying that it's about faithfulness. Faithfulness even in a very little. And that faithfulness, beginning with that very little, yields fruitfulness. And fruit begets more fruit.
In other words, the more fruitful you become, the even more fruitful you will become.
I've only been around Cornerstone for three years, so I'm not exactly an expert about them.
But I think I know this about them: It has never been easy.
Cornerstone majors in kingdom sweat equity. They do a lot with a little, over and over again.
Cornerstone majors in faithfulness. In pick yourself up, smile even if you don't feel like it, remember who you belong to faithfulness. Then pick yourself back up and do it again.
Faithfulness. A God-created culture of faithfulness.
Fruitfulness. Becoming a God-created culture of fruitfulness.
Cornerstone. Faithfulness. I'm telling you, they got this one right.
Faithfulness. It's a fruit of the spirit. To see what it looks like, go to 578 Killian Drive in Akron, Ohio. They got a whole warehouse full of it there.
Lord, teach us to be faithful in a very little, like Cornerstone, over and over again.
Man, I love fruit salad. Big Mama's making up a whole batch of it.
And I'll bet she gets it right.