I just got back from a ministry trip to Virginia, where I ministered to the pastors and leaders at the Cornerstone Church. I spoke on Friday and in the evenings. Dave Earley gave the leadership seminar on Saturday. I was really blessed to meet Dave Earley for the first time. Dave is a passionate man of God and author of the excellent book, Eight Habits of Effecticve Small Group Leaders.
The founder and senior leader of Cornerstone is Gerald Martin. The mother church is located in Harrisonburg, VA. The network has grown to ten network churches and five overseas churches. Their website is: www.cornerstonenet.org.
Gerald Martin now operates in the apostolic role. He and his wife, Sophia, travel in an RV to each of the ten churches and stay three weeks out of the year in each church. This particular conference was held at the Cornerstone Church in Fisherville, VA. The first thing I saw when entering the parking lot was Martin’s RV hooked up to the side of the church building. Although Sophia misses being permanently close to the grandkids, they believe they are in God’s will. Gerald told me that being in each of the ten churches for three weeks allows him to really understand what’s happening in the church.
Gerald Martin has worked closely with Ralph Neighbour for many years. The movement has also been influenced by Bethany World Prayer Center (principle of twelve). Martin and staff attended Bethany World Prayer Center’s annual leadership conference on cell ministry for many years. Most Cornerstone Churches, in fact, have the ”principle of twelve” banner hanging from the ceiling. Yet, Cornerstone has not adopted the G12 care structure in its entirety. Rather they’ve adapted and fine-tuned it to fit their own culture and context. They really understand that the G12 model can’t give growth in itself. Principles, rather than models, are the key.
The Cornerstone training track is one of the best available today. It begins with encounter retreats focused on gaining personal freedom from past baggage by taking people to the cross. It continues with schools of leaders designed to teach and train believers for ministry and leadership followed with advanced courses in preparation for full time pastoral ministry .
I was encouraged by God’s creative work through Cornerstone.