10 Reasons Why I Am THANKFUL for Our Volunteer Staff

22 11 2011

  1. They are consistent. There are so many inconsistencies in the lives of students that the church better be consistent. Our volunteer staff is one of the most consistent things in our students’ lives.
  2. They are selfless. Students and their needs are constantly put in front of the needs of our staff. I love seeing our staff serving in this ministry because they care about our students and not just because they want to be a part of the team.
  3.  They are active. About once every day I hear a story about one of our staff taking a student out to lunch, going to his/her sporting event, recital, play, or show, or driving countless miles just to hang out with them. These aren’t passive relationships, they are very ACTIVE.
  4. They are present. Students know that when they come to our staff they will encounter someone who is FULLY there. This is another one of those things they don’t experience very much.
  5. They are concerned. Our staff not only cares for our students but they really want to know what is going on in their life. If there is a problem they want to fix it and if there is a joy they want to celebrate it.
  6. They are an example. The lifestyles our staff projects are of lives fully committed and centered on God. They project and live it!! Enough said.
  7. They are good. Our staff is really good at what they do. I would take a lot of people from our volunteer staff and put them up against full time, paid youth pastors around the world.
  8. They are strategic. Our staff puts a lot of time and energy thinking through how to be effective. Their thorough thought process makes our ministry way better than if there were just a few of us trying to figure out how to reach students.
  9. They are compassionate. I can say without hesitation that our staff really does LOVE our students. It is a love that communicates the value and worth of a teenager and it creates a healthy environment for students. The community our staff is building goes deeper than most communities I have experienced.
  10. They are leading the next generation of the church. I know I may be a little biased here but High School and Junior High School students are the most important group to be investing in. These students are not only the next generation of the church but are the next leaders that will do MIND-BLOWING things for the Kingdom of God.

 





A refuge from bad religion…

18 02 2011

I meet with A LOT of people. I’ve been meeting with all sorts of different individuals fairly consistently for the last 4 years and I remember a lot of the conversations. Most of the time I don’t remember exactly what is said or discussed but I could give you an overall theme of the meeting.

About 3 months ago I met with someone that said something I will remember for a while. I was interviewing a potential volunteer staff and began to talk to her about her past experiences in a different church. At Cornerstone, we hear a lot about people who are recovering and healing from what someone else on my staff calls “church crap”. Actually, as we discuss our Core Values at Cornerstone I think this may be a huge part of it. Our leaders are constantly explaining that “We (Cornerstone Fellowship) are a refuge of healing for people who have been hurt by bad religion.”

Well this person was definitely recovering from “church crap” and “bad religion”. As she explained her experiences and hurt from a previous church/pastor she made the following statement:

“Some pastors don’t have enough charisma to be cult leaders so they become pastors.”

I was a little taken back by this statement, to say the least. After she said what she did, she quickly pointed out other pastors she has met who are great leaders and are doing exactly what God has called them to. However, the statement she made sat with me for a while and as I reflected on it and thought through it a bit I realized a few thing I am thankful for.

1) I’m thankful to be a part of a healthy church. Cornerstone is definitely a refuge of healing for people who have been hurt by bad religion. Our staff and our congregation are filled with people rehabbing from past church injuries and when you become a part of this family there is a definite sense of peace and restoration.

2) I’m thankful for the pastors and leaders throughout my life that have sought God’s heart and will as they lead. I feel privileged to know extraordinary pastors and leaders that live their lives as humble servants. They have surrendered their lives to God and unceasingly allow God to work through them. I was raised by pastors like this, I was mentored by pastors like this, and I get to work with pastors like this on a daily basis.

3) I’m thankful for the opportunity to change that perception. Everyday I understand more and more the responsibility we have as leaders and pastors. God is doing incredible work in the Church today and it is happening through selfless, humble, and faithful leaders and I hope we continue to allow God to lead through us and move closer and closer to the shepherds described in 1 Peter 5:2-4.

“Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” John 7:18

“Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.” Psalm 119:36