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Cornerstone Autonomy

Cornerstone Autonomy. Anthony J. Courtemanche 6/11/2016. “When Will Cornerstone Be an Autonomous Church?”. Terms. Autonomous = self-governing Autonomy is not necessarily the same as (financial) independence

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Cornerstone Autonomy

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  1. Cornerstone Autonomy Anthony J. Courtemanche 6/11/2016

  2. “When Will Cornerstone Be an Autonomous Church?”

  3. Terms • Autonomous = self-governing • Autonomy is not necessarily the same as (financial) independence • As an example, most mission organizations are autonomous, and yet depend on the investment of their supporters

  4. Autonomous? • The pattern of New Testament Churches is local governance: • Selected from their own membership persons to care for the physical need of members (Acts 6:3-6) • Determined what persons would be commissioned for specific ministries (Acts 13:1-3) • Had their own leadership (a.k.a.: Elders) (Acts 14:23, 1 Peter 5:1-3) • Disciplined their own members (1 Corinthians 5:1-13) • Based on: • The lordship of Christ (Colossians 1:18) • The guidance of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2) • The priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9)

  5. Is Cornerstone Autonomous? • Not yet • Cornerstone is currently a ministry of Immanuel Church in Chelmsford, our planting church • Immanuel Church = mother • Cornerstone Congregational Church = daughter • What is remaining before autonomy? • Financial readiness necessary to operate autonomously • All marks of a healthy church, including leadership and members • Recognized as an independent legal entity in the state of Massachusetts • How close are we? Let’s look and assess. • This is NOT a measurement of our ministries or ministry teams! • These ratings are NOT exact, or even coordinated Let’s use the Consumer Reports-style rating system (Modified Harvey Balls) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Balls • Excellent • Good • Average • Poor • Incomplete / Not Started

  6. Financial Readiness • Income • Savings • Cash-flow • Checking account & ledger • Treasurer / finance team • Bookkeeper

  7. 9 Marks of a Healthy Church(http://9marks.org/about/) • Preaching • An expositional sermon takes the main point of a passage of Scripture, makes it the main point of the sermon, and applies it to life today • Biblical Theology • Sound doctrine • Right thoughts about God • Belief that accords with Scripture

  8. 9 Marks of a Healthy Church (cont.) • The Gospel • The good news that: • The one and only God who is holy made us in his image to know him • But we sinned and cut ourselves off from him • In his great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law himself and taking on himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever turn from their sin and trust in him • He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us had been exhausted • He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God • He is gathering one new people to himself among all those who submit to Christ as Lord

  9. 9 Marks of a Healthy Church (cont.) • Conversion • Recognition that only God can save, and that he saves individuals by enabling them to respond to the gospel message through repenting of sin and trusting in Christ • Evangelism • Telling non-Christians the good news about what Jesus Christ has done to save sinners and urging them to repent and believe

  10. 9 Marks of a Healthy Church (cont.) • Membership • A commitment every Christian should make to attend, love, serve, and submit to a local church • Discipline • Everything the church does to help its members pursue holiness and fight sin • Preaching, teaching, prayer, corporate worship, accountability relationships, and godly oversight by pastors and elders are all forms of discipline

  11. 9 Marks of a Healthy Church (cont.) • Discipleship • Exhortation of members to grow in holiness and to help others do the same • Leadership • Leading of the church by a plurality of godly, qualified men called elders

  12. Legal Recognition as Autonomous • Foundational documents (most are in our Playbook) • Vision, Mission, Core Values, Philosophy of Ministry, Organization • Ministry and Job descriptions • Procedures / work instructions (will always be in work) • Covenant • Legal Documents • Constitution • Bylaws • Filing articles of organization as a non-profit corporation in Massachusetts • Applying with Massachusetts and the IRS for 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status Current area of focus for the CPMT

  13. Updated Timelines 2016 2014 2017 2015 2018 … Launch APR JUL OCT MAY JAN APR AUG NOV JUN JUL OCT FEB MAY SEP DEC JAN AUG NOV MAR JUN OCT FEB SEP DEC NOV MAR DEC AUG SEP APR JAN FEB MAR NOV DEC 7/1/2017 Pastor’sSalary 100% Immanuel Church 67% IC Funding 33% IC Funding End of Immanuel Church Funding Pastor’sEmployment 67% Work at IC 33% Work at IC ✓ ? ? Autonomy? Foundational Docs in Place Legal Docs Ready Autonomous Leadership And Membership Financial Ledger and Checking Account ? ? 3 Months Worth of Expenses In Checking Account Self-Sustaining Finances

  14. Summary • Cornerstone has made amazing progress toward autonomy since launch on October 3rd, 2015 • God has done the work… … using people like you and me! • Autonomy will probably be upon us soon • Let’s continue to pray that God would: • Fulfill the vision of making Cornerstone: • A gospel-centered church that changes lives through sharing the message of Jesus Christ in word and deed • That together we may achieve the mission: • To make, mature, and multiply followers of Jesus

  15. How Can I Help? • Pray • Give financially • Serve on a ministry team

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