On Saturday, October 12, the Cornerstone men enjoyed a beautiful day of teaching and fellowship at the Rau-wood Retreat Center in Franklin. If you weren’t able to be with us, I don’t mean to rub it in, but you really missed out on something special. From the gorgeous fall weather, to the truths we reflected on, to the cornhole competition, to the small group discussion, to Ali Faulk’s cinnamon rolls and Dickey’s barbeque—truly, it was a marvelous day.
After the retreat, several brothers said it was the most meaningful time they’ve shared with the men of Cornerstone. That’s high praise! I’d like to publicly thank Ron Moffat, Matt Faulk, Carl Ware, Will Hendrian, and Matt Suits for leading the way. We were the beneficiaries of your kind labors, brothers. So grateful!
As the retreat was wrapping up, a desire was voiced by some of the men to put what we learned into action and start meeting together in smaller groups. Stirred by the vision of Hebrews 10:19-25, we were sensing God calling us to more—to become a brotherhood committed to helping one another press on in the walk of faith.
What prompted this response? Well, interestingly, it wasn’t some profound new insight or discovery. It wasn’t even anything that is unique to men. The point is so basic and universally applicable that it’s embarrassing how often we forget it. The point is this: spiritual health and growth depends on… drum roll… meeting together. See, I told you it was pretty basic. But truth be told, how often do we neglect it?
I was at a conference a few years back when the pastor sitting next to me saw on Facebook that one of his parishioners was leaving the Christian faith. The pastor was shocked at first. Then, upon reflection, he confessed that he could see this coming. The indicator? The member backed away from their small group a couple of years ago. They had become very sporadic at worship and ceased responding to overtures from folks who missed them and were concerned about them. In short, they were drifting away from the church and eventually drifted away from Christ altogether. Was missing church the only issue? Of course not. There was plenty of worldliness and more than a few unrepentant sins behind the scenes. But disappearance from church life was the first visible indicator of spiritual trouble.
As you know, we live in an easy-come, easy-go church culture. Sunday worship often takes a backseat to travel, sports, and brunch, and regular fellowship with a small group is considered a spiritual accessory that’s optional at best. When this is the “air” around us, there’s a need for the “wind” of the Spirit to blow again like it did in the early church, when God’s people met with great frequency because they wanted to be together and believed their spiritual life and vitality depended on the fellowship (Acts 2:42-47).
Would you take a moment right now to pray for Cornerstone family? Pray that we’d grow to look more like the church of Acts 2:42-47. Pray that our love and commitment for one another would increasingly mirror the love and commitment Jesus Christ has for us. Pray that we’d increasingly act like our spiritual life and vitality depends in great measure on spending lots of time together.
Because it does.