In his final letter, Paul tells Timothy to “entrust to faithful men” the message of the gospel.
At Cornerstone, we want to be faithful to our mission and to receiving this charge. We are striving to raise up and identify faithful men to whom we can entrust the gospel and ministry in our local church. In so doing, we are aiming to preserve the faithful witness of Cornerstone Church.
Below is an introduction to the core aspects of our process of identifying and developing such men.
Invest is our introduction to spiritual leadership. While books on leadership abound, spiritual and biblical leadership is directed by conviction. This program is designed for any man or woman within the church. It seeks to unpack the convictions of spiritual leadership and position them to serve within the church. Occurring over 10 months, it includes 10 hours/month for reading and monthly meetings.
Equipped is specifically focused on equipping men to serve as Community Group Leaders. Community Groups are vital to our life as a church, providing the primary context for cultivating godly relationships and living out biblical convictions. Occurring over 4 months, it includes 6 hours/month for reading and semi-monthly meetings.
This program, facilitated by our campus ministry Volunteers for Christ and its director Zach Varnell, gives male and female college graduates an opportunity to evangelize the campus of the University of Tennessee—Knoxville. It includes extensive personal discipleship and training for evangelism and full-time evangelistic ministry. As implied above, it is a full-time internship, in which interns raise a modest salary to cover living expenses.
This program introduces interns to pastoral ministry, through studying various books and considering the practice of pastoral ministry. It will include reading about and discussing various topics, like leadership, pastoral ministry, discipleship, biblical counseling, and preaching. It lasts 12–18 months.
It also fulfills the requirements for the Ministry Apprenticeship Program at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (meaning, it could give as much as 18 hours of credit towards an M.Div from SBTS). The internship requires approximately 10 hours/week for reading, serving in the church, and meetings with Bill and other pastors.
The internship will consist of three components:
- Seminar I: Leadership (Fall)—6 credits
- Seminar II: Proclamation & Pastoral Ministry (Spring)—6 credits
- Seminar III: Outreach and Missions (Summer)—6 credits
Each component will have distinct reading assignments and requirements.
Monthly meetings with Bill
Biweekly meetings with Walt—Wednesday mornings at 6:30am
Weekly readings and assignments
This program provides an opportunity for individuals to learn from and serve alongside our pastoral team. Along with serving in the church and alongside the pastoral team, it includes rigorous theological study. It lasts between 12–24 months. Upon completion, the individual is prepared theologically to pursue ordination in Sovereign Grace.
Monthly elders meetings and various pastoral team events
Regular, faithful service to the church in specific, assigned roles
Rigorous theological study
After a preliminary theological assessment test, the residency centers around a rather substantial period of theological study.