At Cornerstone, our philosophy of ministry is based on the clear teaching of the Scriptures.
We believe the church is the body of Christ who builds it up according to His grace as each member of the body functions properly (Ephesians 2:11-16). God is already at work in the world and in the hearts of unbelievers to convict them of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-10). Our responsibility is to be a witness to the grace of God in the Gospel and to help lead people closer to the Cross. We believe there are three essential marks of the church which are necessary for the being of the church. In addition, there are several other marks of the church which are for the well-being of the church.
The three essential marks of the church are the right preaching of the Word, the right administration of the Sacraments and the right exercise of discipline. These marks were the primary emphases of the Protestant Reformers because the church at that time had become heretical in each of these areas- doctrine, the sacraments and discipline.
The marks of the church can be gathered from various passages of Scripture, such as Acts 2:42-47; Matthew 18:15-18; 1 Peter 3:15, 16; Ephesians 4:7-16; Romans 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; 1 Peter 5:1-5; Matthew 28:16-20; 2 Timothy 2:2 and others. Sometimes, there is an emphasis on one or the other of these marks as being the “key” to reviving the church. If one or marks are missing in the life of the church, then a re-emphasis on them will bring about renewal within the body. The true life of the body of Christ is to be found in doing all these things in obedience to Christ.
These marks of the church are: the Apostle’s teaching, fellowship, the sacraments, prayer, mercy ministry, evangelism, discipleship/discipline, spiritual gifts, shepherding the flock and the Great Commission. Healthy churches need to actively take steps to be involved in each of these marks so that the body may grow in a healthy and fully-formed manner. We have not yet arrived at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, but we keep pressing towards the mark.