Philosophy of Ministry

Philosophy of Ministry


At Cornerstone our Philosophy of Ministry is captured in our ministry principles and roles. These work together to form our unique way of being the church and doing God’s mission. Our principles are the characteristics we want to see expressed and lived-out in our ministry. Our roles are the leadership structure through which we want to run our church, programs, and overall ministry. Both our principles and roles of ministry are important to achieving our vision, mission, and core values.

Please read our Cornerstone Playbook where you can learn more about how we do ministry.

Principles of Ministry

Culturally Relevant – Doctrinally Pure

We believe that the church must follow Jesus’ model of incarnational evangelism,1 meeting people where they are with the Good News; contextualizing the Gospel to showcase its relevance while never compromising truths of Scripture.2 We are not afraid to try new ministries and ideas even as we safeguard the true Christian faith.

A Loving Community – Welcoming New Friends

We believe that Jesus calls His followers to love one another3 and to be devoted to each other.4 This call encourages us to care for one another, invite new friends to join us, and open our lives to those outside the church.5 We love, because God loved us first.6

Seeking the Lost – Growing the Found

We believe God is a Missionary God who seeks out His people.7 God uses ordinary people as his emissaries to reach a lost world.8 We value authentic worship that draws people into God’s presence,9 biblical preaching and teaching that helps people to know and serve God,10 and discipleship that deepens one’s personal relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior.11 We want to engage the whole person in worship of God – head, heart, and hands.12

The Priesthood of All Believers – All for the Glory of God

We believe in the priesthood of all believers.13 Having all believers participate is not merely biblical, it is necessary for personal growth and to protect people from burning out. This means we limit what we as a church, and as individuals do; we desire to focus our efforts and keep ministry as balanced and simple as possible. We want to do select things with excellence in order to do our best for God.14

Roles of Ministry

Elder Led

God gave the New Testament church the office of Elder to lead the local believers, and we believe that a biblically-based church is to be led by a plurality of duly elected, qualified, and God-honoring men called Elders. Elders are called to cast vision for the church and shepherd, equip, oversee, discipline, and protect the saints, devoting themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. Those who lead a church must be fully surrendered to Christ15 and qualified according to Scripture.16 Jesus’ model of servant leadership17 must be followed as they lead the flock, make whole-life disciples, and seek to reach the world around us.

Deacon Served

God also gave the New Testament church the office of Deacon. Deacons serve the church and raise up servant-hearted individuals to join them in their task. The Deacons take care of the physical and logistical needs of the church under the oversight of the Elders.  They are the church’s physical servants and material managers. Their primary calling is caring for the people of the church followed by caring for business concerns. This allows the Elders to concentrate on their primary responsibilities. God calls both men and women to the office of Deacon.18

Staff Equipped

As a biblically-based church we desire to have at least one trained and ordained Pastor. The senior or solo Pastor is the primary teaching and preaching Elder of the church. We believe that Pastors are called to serve the church by equipping the believers for the work of the ministry.19 Pastors are to come alongside the congregation to enable them to identify how God has gifted them for service, teach them how to serve, and empower them to serve.

Congregation Engaged

As believers grow in Jesus and are equipped for service,20 they are encouraged to join teams where they can use their gifts and abilities to help grow God’s kingdom. The participation of the congregation is organized and managed by ministry teams that are supervised by the Elders or Deacons. Ministry teams not only accomplish tasks, but also engage the larger church body in shared ministry through volunteers. Ministry team members work together for the purpose of wisdom, accountability, and encouragement. The best ideas often come out of and are refined by a group of people working together to serve Jesus.

  1. John 1:14; Colossians 1:15
  2. James 1:16-18; Hebrews 6:13-20; 1 Timothy 4:16
  3. John 13:34-35
  4. Romans 12:10
  5. Matthew 22:39
  6. 1 John 4:19; John 3:16
  7. Genesis 12:1-4
  8. Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:20
  9. John 4:23-24
  10. 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-4:4
  11. Mark 8:34-38; John 8:31-32
  12. Luke 10:27
  13. 1 Peter 2:4-10
  14. 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:23-24; Ephesians 6:7
  15. Galatians 2:20
  16. 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9
  17. Philippians 2:1-8
  18. 1 Timothy 3:8-13; Romans 16:1
  19. Ephesians 4:11-16
  20. Ephesians 4:12