Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Jun 20
2022

Join Us in Extending the Oldest Good News to the Youngest Hearts

Discipleship, Kids | by Pastor Luke Davis

Downtown Cornerstone,

Hey there! Whenever this message greets you, I am praying that your soul is finding nourishment in the promises of God, proclaimed by the angel Gabriel to Daniel. God stakes His name on finishing transgression, ending sin, atoning for iniquity, and bringing everlasting righteousness (Dan. 9:24). Count on it!

In just over a month's time, I will have the honor of stepping into a staff role as the Pastor of Families, Students, and Biblical Care. My delight in this new role is mighty and I am feeling humbled at the prospect of shepherding God's people in this new and expanded capacity. Pray for me.

I am sending out a note now in order to add my voice to the call for help in Cornerstone Kids.

As Pastor Adam shared this past Sunday, CKids is the ministry bearing the most weight in our move to one gathering. So, would you join us in helping our church love our kids by extending the oldest good news to the youngest hearts? The space is there, a gospel-rich curriculum is ready, and the kids are wanting to engage. Now we just need your help:

  • We recently had to pause offering the K-1st grade class due to insufficient volunteers. We just need 6 more volunteers at the moment to open K-1st back up. But why stop there? The more volunteers we have the sooner we can re-launch classes for infants and older elementary children. Can you give one Sunday morning a month to help?
  • To make CKids happen, we need a mix of volunteers who are and are not parents of CKids-aged children. Currently, just over a third of all CKids households have at least one parent volunteering. If we were to double that amount to two-thirds, we would have 14 new volunteers. Parents, ask yourselves, "How can I participate in the good news my kids are receiving?"
  • Serving in CKids requires a bit of a process—this is a good thing! As the most impressionable and least powerful people in the church, it is only right that we institute special measures for adults working with children. Therefore, we want all CKids volunteers to be known and require them to have been present at DCC for 6 months. Additionally, there is special training on child abuse which is required of all incoming volunteers.
  • Given the "known" requirement, many newcomers to DCC first plug into a service opportunity that is more readily available, like Greeting, for instance. That's terrific! However, now that many of you service-minded folk have been here longer than 6 months, consider moving over to CKids. My own service journey at DCC is similar. When we first arrived, I jumped into building clean-up. After several months I perceived the need in CKids and joyfully stepped into it. If you are thinking about a move out of a service role into CKids, please email first.
  • Are you itching to help but so new that you have not yet been here 6 months? Go ahead and complete an application. You can get yourself ready now by completing the necessary steps in order to be available then.
  • I have had more than one person say, "I want to help, but I'm nervous about not knowing what to do." Great news! That's OK. We are careful to pair novice volunteers with experienced leaders in CKids so you get the benefit of a competent partner right there with you.

Come on, click here now to start the volunteer application process or learn more about the role. Our kids need multiple Christian adults in their lives who have tasted the love of Jesus and want to extend that love to them.

All the best,
Pastor Luke

Jun 16
2022

The Unexpected Exponential Impact of Our Evangelism

Discipleship | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Downtown Cornerstone,

Our friends up north at Canyon Hills Church put this short video together, of which I am a part, to highlight the unexpected exponential impact of our simple evangelism. It reminds us that God is able to do above and beyond all that we ask, think, or imagine through his everyday, ordinary people (Eph. 3:20).

Over 40 years ago, Glenn was sharing the gospel on an Arizona college campus and led Brian to the Lord as a freshman. Brian went on to join Campus Crusade, and later Bridges (a ministry reaching international university students for Christ), through which he has shared the gospel with hundreds of students over 30 years.

Nearly 25 years ago, Brian was sharing the gospel on the UW campus and, of all places, the Greek system. We met and he led me to the Lord while at the Husky Union Building. Shortly after, I too sensed a call into vocational ministry and giving my life to spreading the gospel in Seattle—and beyond.

This clip is a rare and profound glimpse into three generations of gospel movement. We all have stories like this. What is yours? For those of you who’ve come to Christ with DCC, this is part of your gospel lineage as well. Isn’t that amazing?

I hope this encourages you this summer as you consider who God is inviting you to reach with the unbelievable news of Jesus. What might he do though us in the next three months? Let’s pray!

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

May 9
2022

Spring Classes Start This Wednesday (And It’s Not Too Late to Register)!

Discipleship, Teaching | by Pastor David Parker

Downtown Cornerstone,

This week we’ll kick off the last round of our spring classes before we break for summer. Whether you are new to DCC and exploring Christianity, or interested in getting further connected to the life of our church—or maybe you have been following Jesus for a while and are eager to continue growing in your faith—wherever you may find yourself, I want to encourage you to invest in feeding your soul this spring by taking advantage of one of the upcoming classes. You won’t regret it!

Midweek classes start this Wednesday at 6:30 pm, and the Foundations class will start this Sunday at 9 am. Check the class descriptions below, and register by following the appropriate links:

DCC Foundations

Sundays @ 9:00-10:30 AM | May 15 – Jun 12
Instructors: DCC Elders
Our Foundations class is the first stop for those seeking to learn more about DCC, join a Cornerstone Community, be baptized, and become a member. This five-week class walks through what we believe (doctrine), why it’s important to belong (membership), who we are (vision, mission, and values), why we are here (context), and how we live together (leadership, ministries, partners, and finances). By the end, you’ll have clear next steps for how to grow and get further connected. This class is required for membership with DCC. Register here…

Exploring Christianity

Wednesdays @ 6:30-8:00 PM | May 18 – Jun 8
Instructors: Pastor Russ Collins & Team
Have you ever considered why you are here and what life is all about? Christianity has compelling answers to these questions. Whether you are a skeptic who is exploring the claims of Christianity or you are a believer wanting to learn how you can better explain your faith to others, this class will walk through the claims and life of Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. Register here…

Biblical Womanhood

Wednesdays @ 6:30-8:00 PM | May 11 – Jun 8
Instructors: Jen Keogh & Anne Johnson (DCC members, deacons)
This class will explore the beauty of God’s good design for women—created in God’s image, equal but yet distinct from men. We’ll discover God’s heart for women and the high value He places on them throughout the Bible, by examining the Old & New Testaments. We’ll consider our unity and identity in Christ, as well as the diversity of roles and gifts that God may assign to women. This class is specifically for women and will be taught by women in our body. Register here…

Financial Stewardship

Wednesdays @ 6:30-8:00 PM | May 11 – Jun 8
Instructors: Pastor David Parker & Bryan Alsbury (DCC member)
How we handle our finances can be one of the most misunderstood and taboo topics in our day and age, but one of vital importance to our spiritual lives and our worship of God. In this class, we’ll examine what Scripture has to say about our finances, how we’re to use them, and the dangers to avoid. We’ll also cover practical topics such as budgeting, saving, investing, and more! Register here…

If you have any other questions, email us at .

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21)

In Christ,
Pastor David

May 5
2022

An Invitation to Men’s Training Day (Saturday, May 21st)

Discipleship, Event | by Pastor Justin Keogh

Men of DCC,

In just over two weeks—Saturday, May 21st—will be our next Men’s Training Day (the first since 2019)!

Join us for a time of equipping, encouragement, and fellowship as we dive into 1 Timothy 6:12, which calls us to “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…”

We’ve taken all the essential components of our discipleship—teaching, reflection, discussion, prayer, and application—and put them into a well-paced six hours that will help you take steps forward in the good fight for your faith. You won’t regret spending this time together with brothers from our body pursuing our King and His everlasting kingdom!

Those who remember our previous training days and retreats will recall the clear preaching of God’s word, the fellowship among friends, opportunities to meet others, and the practical tools given and used for your discipleship. But for anyone who has yet to experience a training day, let me briefly answer as many questions and objections as I can:

WHAT WILL WE DO?

You'll hear from our pastors on the what, the why, and the how of fighting the good fight of faith. We'll engage the Word of God and sing in worship. There will be times for meeting others and table discussion, and time for prayer and reflection. You'll take away a personal discipleship plan, a practical devotional book, and renewed relationships to help you fight the good fight.

WHY SHOULD I ATTEND?

For the sake of your spiritual health and the good of your brothers at DCC. “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Tim. 4:7-8)

I ALREADY HAVE PLANS

Consider changing them! This is our first chance to meet in this format in almost three years—and we won’t host another event until next year, so now is the opportune time! These events are catalysts for spiritual growth, like shots of Red Bull for our discipleship (in the best ways).

ISN'T THIS THE SAME AS A SUNDAY WORSHIP GATHERING?

In short, no. There are common elements, but this day is designed specifically to help us engage with God’s word together as brothers and apply it practically to our lives. You will walk away informed, encouraged, and equipped with a plan to help you grow in your faith in the months to follow.

I'VE BEEN TO EVENTS LIKE THIS BEFORE. WHY ANOTHER ONE?

Indeed, you may have gone to many retreats and events in your life. But, you’ve probably also eaten many meals—and continue to do so! Similarly, exercise and training do not happen as a one-time event but as a lifestyle of healthy habits. This is an opportunity to take stock of your discipleship, be encouraged, and consider your next steps. No one goes into battle unarmed, and neither should we! So let’s arm ourselves with the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, so that we may be able to stand firm (see Eph. 6:10-20).

WHAT IF I'M NEW?

This is a perfect opportunity to meet others and get further plugged into the life of our body!

CAN I INVITE OTHERS?

Yes! Invite your brother/neighbor/coworker/unbelieving friend. The content for the day will be centered around the gospel, calling all of us to respond in faith and then in faith-filled obedience to fight the good fight.

WHAT ARE THE COVID PRECAUTIONS?

We will follow the current guidelines, which permit us to gather without requiring masks or checking vaccinations. We will have masks available, and you are welcome to wear a mask if you would feel more comfortable doing so.

CAN I ATTEND ONLINE?

Now that we can gather in person again, we will not be providing an online option. Being together allows us many opportunities to connect with others that don’t happen virtually.

WHY IS THERE A COST?

The $25 registration cost includes a light breakfast, coffee throughout the day, lunch, materials for the day, parking, and a book giveaway. If this presents a financial hardship—just let us know in the registration form, as scholarships are available!

WILL CORNERSTONE KIDS BE PROVIDED?

Unfortunately, no. While we understand that this can be a sacrifice for your family, we encourage you to consider this time as an investment in your spiritual health, which will undoubtedly pay dividends in your spiritual leadership and service to your family.

OKAY, I'M IN! WHAT ARE ALL THE DETAILS?

When: Saturday, May 21st
Where: DCC Building – 2333 Western Ave, 98121
Time: 9 am to 3 pm. Doors open at 8 am for registration and light breakfast.
Lunch: Lunch is included with registration.
Parking: Free parking is available in both lots next to the building.

Click here to register
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at .

In Christ,
Justin Keogh
Pastor of Communities & Mercy Ministries

Mar 3
2022

An Invitation to Women’s Discipleship Day (Saturday, March 19th)

Discipleship, Event | by Deacon Jen Keogh

Dear Ladies of DCC,

On Saturday, March 19th, we will finally be able to gather for our first Women’s Discipleship Day in over two years! How my soul has longed to gather with my sisters. At last, it is safe and possible to do so! I urge you to take advantage of this one-day event to worship our great and sovereign Lord, receive teachings by fellow sisters in DCC, and point one another to the God of peace. Our time will be anchored in Philippians 4:2-13 in which we’ll consider the contentment found in Christ alone.

Why participate in women’s discipleship day?

Over the past two years, we have experienced countless circumstances to tempt us to despair and anxiety—above and beyond those that everyday life, work, and relationships bring. This year, not only do we get to gather in a way we have been prohibited from, but we will also be diving into a text abounding in the remedy for our modern anxiety. Women’s Discipleship Day is meant to be a time for us to slow down and learn and grow together in putting off anxiety and finding ourselves wholly surrounded by the peace of God.

What can I expect from this day?

We’ll have homegrown teachers expositing Philippians 4:2-13. You will hear testimonies from other women on how they cultivated contentment in their lives. We’ll praise our God together in musical worship and prayer, as well as spend time in personal reflection and table discussions. Our hope for the day is that each of us grows in intimacy with one another and with the God who gives us His peace in our minds, our circumstances, and our relationships.

What if I have plans?

Consider changing your plans to prioritize this opportunity as it is the first time in over two years that we can gather like this. This rich time spent in scripture, prayer, and fellowship with one another is of great worth to your soul.

What if I don’t know anyone?

Don’t worry – you’re not the only one! This event is a great opportunity to meet other women in DCC and build or strengthen relationships here. Consider inviting a friend; you don’t have to be a member to participate. In fact, invite the woman sitting next to you at our next gathering. One of our prayers for this day is that each woman will find the beginnings of a deep, discipling relationship with others in our body.

What does the $25 registration fee include?

The cost includes a light breakfast, coffee throughout the day, lunch, materials for the day, parking, and a book giveaway. If this presents a financial hardship – just let us know in the registration form, as there are scholarships available!

Will Cornerstone Kids be provided?

Cornerstone Kids will not be provided as we’d love for this time to be focused and fruitful for the ladies. We encourage husbands, family, or friends to help care for children during this time.

Event Details

When: Saturday, March 19th
Where: DCC Building – 2333 Western Ave, 98121
Time: 9 am to 4 pm. Doors open at 8 am for registration and light breakfast.
Lunch: Lunch included with registration.
Parking: Free parking is available in both lots next to the building.

Click here to register
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to email .

In Christ,
Jen Keogh
Deacon of Women’s Discipleship

Jan 3
2022

Ten Tips For Improving Your Bible Reading

Discipleship, Scripture | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

The following is a repost from January 11, 2017.
___________

Just like our bodies need food to flourish physically, so our souls need God’s Word to flourish spiritually (See 2 Tim 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12). Our souls will shrivel without it. There is no other means of grace (aka spiritual discipline) that is more important than intentionally, regularly immersing yourself in God’s revealed word, the Bible. Not even prayer is as important (though it is a close second) because there is nothing we need more than to hear from Him. So, in light of this, let me offer the following ten tips to help improve your reading of the Bible this year.

#1 Ask yourself “Why do I read the Bible?”

This might seem like a strange place to start, but it is important to begin here. Often, we jump in without even considering this question. But, I’m growing increasingly convinced that our answer to this question may reveal why so many find reading the Bible dull drudgery – if they read it at all. Ask yourself, “Why do I read the Bible?” or, “Why do I think I should read the Bible?” Many people will answer by saying, “Because I am supposed to.” But, is that meant to be our primary motivation? “I’m supposed to.” No. Here’s the real question: “Do you want God?” In other words, do you want to know him more? Do you want to grow in relationship with him, understand who he is more fully, revel in all that he is for you, grasp his promises afresh, love what he loves, be more deeply anchored in what is most real? If so, you will want to read the Scripture. But, if God is not what your heart is ultimately after, then your reading will largely feel like dull drudgery, mere duty. Whenever we do the right thing (e.g. reading the Bible) for the wrong reasons (e.g. just because we should), it will always leave us dry and dissatisfied. When you read the Scripture because you want to know God more, it changes how you approach your reading. This doesn’t mean there won’t be times of dryness, there will be, just like in any other relationship, but the underlying motivation will propel you through those seasons. So, as we begin the year, maybe the first question isn’t, “How will I read the Bible this year?” but “Do I want God?”

#2 Read the Bible from love, not for it

The good news of Jesus’s life and work is that we are made right with God through faith alone, by grace alone, in him alone. In other words, we don’t earn or merit or deserve his incomparable love. For our purposes here, that means we don’t read the Bible in order to earn God’s love, but because we already have it. Or, to put it differently, reading the Bible won’t make him love us any more than he already does, in Jesus. Why point this out? Unless you are sure that you are safe with God, that he loves you, that he is completely committed to you, that he wants your best, you will never seek him. After all, if you see God as a vindictive, cruel, unapproachable task-master, why would you want to spend time with him? I wouldn’t. But, if God is immeasurably good, incomparably wise, unfathomably powerful and he has graciously made you his, in Jesus, that allows you to read the Bible from love, not for it. So, we can open up the pages of his Word day-after-day not to earn His love, but because we know we already have it.

#3 Understand the dynamics of your fallen heart

Nearly every morning I wake up and my heart has drifted back into it default position of unbelief. Pastor and author Paul Tripp, rightly calls this “gospel amnesia”. When I wake up I often feel like the weight of the world rests on my shoulders, that I need to earn the approval of others, that my worth is tied to my performance, that my treasure is found in this world, that I don’t really need God, and more. It’s embarrassing, really. But, we shouldn’t be surprised about this. Our hearts are like leaky buckets. Just when you thought it was filled, they start to empty. We need to know this about our hearts. This is just how fallen hearts function. Because of the nature of indwelling sin, our hearts effortlessly drift away from God like unanchored boats at sea. So, when we think, “I don’t really feel like spending time with God today?” we should respond by saying to ourselves, “I expect to feel that way. That’s my shady heart talking. I obviously need to take it in for a realignment.” Knowing that my heart is misaligned, to some degree, every morning motivates me to reorient my heart toward God and all that he is for me every morning. This happens most powerfully through the Bible.

#4 Raise the sail to catch the wind

In his helpful book Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God, Rankin Wilbourne uses the illustration of a sailor raising his sail to catch the wind as a metaphor for how we should approach the means of grace. Just as a sailor will not catch the wind if he doesn’t raise the sail, we will not grow if we do not raise the sails of our hearts through the means of grace – especially regular bible reading. Some object to this and say, “If salvation is all of grace, then why are you saying there is something I need to do?” Well, no doubt, life with God is all of grace. But, his grace invites us into a life that requires us to participate (see Phil 2:12-13). We play a crucial role in our ongoing growth. Now, of course, if anything good and worthwhile is to happen within us it is ultimately up to God. The sailor raises the sail, but he’s dependent on the wind to move the boat. Reading the Bible is like that. Humbly opening up the Scripture is how we raise the sail of our hearts, while knowing it is only God who sends the wind. Fortunately, more often than not, he loves to send the wind, so its not much of a gamble. We can’t control the wind, but we can raise the sail to catch it. If we don’t, its guaranteed we’ll do nothing but drift.

#5 Find a good translation

I remember being a new Christian in college wondering, “How in the world am I to pick the right Bible? There are too many options!” It can be overwhelming. If you’re a new, or renewed, follower of Jesus I recommend reading through the Bible using a study bible (e.g. ESV Study Bible, Gospel Transformation, Reformation Study Bible, NIV Life Application Bible, etc). Most Bibles with study notes offer enough information to answer your basic questions and ensure you don’t get needlessly hung up on what things mean. As far as Bibles themselves go, here is a good place to start:

ESV: Probably the best literal (word-for-word) modern translation available. The ESV is an updated version of the RSV. This is the translation we use on Sundays as a church. If you need one, feel free to take one of the paperback ESV’s we have available. Personally, I also enjoy the NASB and NKJV.

NIV: The NIV is the most popular dynamic-equivalent Bible of our day that seeks to strike a balance between matching the original word usage while communicating the original meaning. That makes it not quite as literal (i.e. word-for-word) as the ESV, but helpful and easy to read. You do need to be more discerning here as recent editions have introduced more gender neutral terminology that is not found in the original languages.

NLT: The New Living Translation belongs to the family of Bibles known as “paraphrases”. The goal of interpretation of these paraphrases is not to match word-for-word but to freely use language to highlight the original meaning. The Message is another popular paraphrase. The primary advantage of the NLT is that there was a translation committee involved, as opposed to the single authorship of The Message by Eugene Peterson (which is great too).

#6 Find a plan

This is where it is easiest to get lost. You want to know God. You understand that you’re reading the Bible from God’s love, not for it. You know your shady heart needs it. You’re ready to hoist the sail. You have your ESV open in front of you and think, “Oh, great, now what?” To avoid this moment, you need a plan. It doesn’t really matter what your plan is, provided you have one. Often in their eagerness, new believers will think, “I’m just going to read the Bible straight through.” I tried this myself. This might surprise you, but I don’t recommend it. Why? Because it can be really discouraging, especially once you hit Leviticus. Instead, try a plan that has you reading the Bible in a year. This is the one I use. If a year is intimidating, take two or three. it can also be helpful to read a chronological Bible reading plan so you get a sense of the order of events in the Scripture. Or, you could sink yourself into a single book, or study a character, or dive into a topic you’re interested in. Don’t worry about getting it right. Pick something. Give it a shot. If it doesn’t work, try something new. Be sure to ask your friends what they’ve found helpful.

#7 Find a rhythm

If you don’t have a rhythm for when you’re going to get unhurried time with God through the Scripture, it likely won’t happen. Look at your calendar. Find a consistent block of time. Then, find a quiet spot. Turn your electronics off or leave them somewhere else in the house. Be intentional about making it a focused, non-distracting time. I remember once reading of a famous theologian, who had seven kids, whose wife would put a towel over her head at the kitchen table to read the Bible and pray. When the towel came out, the kids knew that momma was getting time with Jesus. Do whatever it takes. Get creative, even if it involves a towel. A relationship with God is forged like any other relationship – thru consistent, unhurried, quality time. Be patient with yourself, especially if this is new for you.

#8 Ask God to give you eyes to see

A passage of scripture that I regularly think of when I open my Bible is Psalm 119:18 that says, “Open our eyes that we may behold wondrous things out of your law.” We need God to open the eyes and ears of our hearts to see and hear what he has for us in his Word. This is why one person can read a section of the Bible and be bored to tears, while someone else may read the exact same section and be lost in the breathtaking beauty of what she finds there. So, when you open your Bible, pour out your heart to Him. Tell him you’re tired, distracted, or distant. Tell him your heart needs realignment around what is most real. Then, ask him to open your eyes. Tell him that you want to see, really see. Trust that the Spirit who inspired the writing of the Bible (2 Peter 1:21) is the same Spirit at work in you (Romans 8). Then read, full of faith, on the lookout for what he might bring to your attention. That leads us to the next tip.

#9 Stay on the lookout for God as you read

After asking God for help, be on the look out for how he wants to feed your soul and stir your heart. You’re really looking for one, maybe two, things to think about. Its hard to digest more than that in a single day. So, as you’re reading, you want to find a truth to savor for the day. Ask: What is this saying about God? What does God want me to learn here? What does this tell me about myself? What difference would it make today if I actually believed this? Try to find something about him to satisfy your hungry heart every day. More than likely, it won’t be something new that you haven’t seen before, though it might be, but more often it is something “old” that strikes you in a new, deeper way. The famous English pastor George Mueller was known for his goal of making his heart happy in God every morning. I’ve adopted that as my own goal ever since I first heard it. Read with intention. Look for what jumps out. Then, when it does, stop and savor it.

#10 Slow it down, then write it down

Have you ever spent time reading, then closed your Bible, and immediately forget what it is you’ve read. I’m sure you have. I have. It is a universal problem. Is there a way to avoid that? Yes. Slow it down. Then, write it down. By “slowing it down” I mean don’t spend all your time reading. Rather, read and then chew on something that you’ve read (this is called “meditating”). Take a verse, or two, that stood out. Stop. Read through it a number of times. Turn it into a prayer. Look at it from multiple angles. Imagine how your life would be different if you believed the truth in view. Take your time with it. So, for example, if you have 20 minutes to read. Spend 10 minutes reading and 10 minutes slowing down on one verse or passage that stood out. Writing it down helps to further solidify these things in your heart, especially if you’re prone to distraction. One thing I do, nearly every day, is write down a verse or two that stands out. I use a small notebook, but it could be anything, even a 3×5 card. Then, I pray through it and meditate on it. Then, I try to pull the notebook out around lunch and before bed to review those truths so that they are with me throughout the day. Give it a shot and see what works best for you.

Christ is all,

Pastor Adam

Sep 30
2021

Eight Encouragements To College Students

Discipleship | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

College is a life-defining season. It was for me. I met Jesus and my wife at the UW and my life has not been the same since. So, maybe you're a student who is on your way into another school year and you’re wondering how to keep Jesus at the center of your studies. How might you navigate those crucial years so that you graduate as a Jesus-exalting, Bible-saturated, missions-minded, people-lover? If that’s your aim—and I hope it is—I offer the following eight encouragements to you as the school year begins:

#1 Put God first, in all things.

Regularly remind yourself that you are not first a student, but Jesus’ own. You belong to God. You will not always be a student, but you will always be His. So, pursue Him with vigor. Prioritize daily plundering of His Word for wonders and pouring out your heart in prayer. Prioritize embedding your life with His people (more on this below), even if they are not fellow students. Build your schedule around Him, rather than fitting Him into your schedule. Offer your studies to Him as an act of worship. Don’t push pause on Jesus. Seek Him first and everything else will fall into place (Matt. 6:33).

#2 Love others well.

Love others as you love yourself (Mk. 12:31). There is not a season of life that makes other-centeredness easy, but the college years are a unique challenge. After all, you’re preparing for your future vocation, you’re on the lookout for your future spouse, and there is a healthy concern for the trajectory of your life. While all those are natural, they can make us unduly focused on ourselves. So, be on the lookout for how you might be able to help, encourage, and build up others. Look for opportunities to serve.

#3 Love the Word.

Don’t neglect God’s Word, instead prioritize it. That’s not easy because there will be many other books vying for your attention, but the voice you need to hear most on a daily basis is God’s and that happens through His Word. Remember the Bible is not something you merely look at, but something you look through to true truth and real reality. This book, unlike any other, will be with you for your entire life. So, when you sit down to do your homework, along with your stack of class books, put your Bible on top and start there.

#4 Beware of worldliness.

Worldliness is an over-desire for the things of the world that is rooted in the subtle, but spiritually dangerous lie, that true life, satisfaction, and joy are found in the world and not in God (1 Jn. 2:15-17). This is a particularly strong lie in college. The world is before you. You’re young and on your own. Opportunities abound. A career is around the corner and financial independence along with it. These are all great gifts! However, they make terrible gods and often choke our spiritual life when left untended (Mk. 4:18-19). Enjoy the gifts of the world while remembering they come from the lavish Giver (James 1:17).

#5 Read the best books.

I know you’ll be reading a lot and the idea of reading more may be unattractive. But, not all reading is equal. Supplement your studies with life-giving reading. Find out who the best authors are and read them. Discover the time-tested classics. Read J.I. Packer’s Knowing God or Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, D. A. Carson’s Praying with Paul, and Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. Read Elisabeth Elliott’s Suffering is Never for Nothing, Rebekah McLaughlin’s Confronting Christianity, or R.C. Sproul’s Holiness of God. More recently, read Surviving Religion 101 by Michael Kruger written to students navigating secular campus life. Above all (my favorite) read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (especially part I, the story of Christian). Weave 15-minute reading sessions into your daily devotions or marathon homework sessions. Your heart will thank you.

#6 Find a solid local church and campus ministry.

If I could do college over again I would make one change. I would become intentionally involved in a specific local church. I did the college thing, floating around from church to church but making nowhere home. I didn’t understand the importance of the local church in my life or in God’s unfolding purposes. You need a church home where you can be a member, get involved, be fed the Scriptures, and be in relationship with others who are in different life stages. Just be sure that the church preaches the gospel, teaches the Bible, and keeps Jesus central. I also recommend finding a good campus ministry. This won’t replace the local church, but supplement it. If you do these two things, they will be a huge means of grace in your life, and you will be miles ahead in maturity by the time you graduate.

#7 Beware of unbelief disguised as plausible excuses.

There are legitimate reasons we won’t be able to make it to every church gathering or campus ministry event. But, there are also illegitimate reasons. Beware of putting Jesus—and your soul—on the shelf, thinking, “I’ll come back to Jesus, the church, my faith, when ________.” (insert: “I have more time”, “this season dies down”, “this project gets done”, “this internship is over”, etc.) In 25 years of following Jesus, rarely have I seen people who say such things do so. In many ways, the convictions and priorities you set in your college years, will become the convictions and priorities of the rest of your life. So, beware of unbelief disguised as plausible excuses.

#8 Trust Him in all things.

You have one life to live. There is a sense in college that you’re not quite living yet, after all, you haven’t graduated. But, when you do graduate, then you’ll be living. That’s not true. How you live your life today, and amidst your college years, is how you live your life. Trust Him with it. You will face many questions in college: “Will I get into that program? Will I meet my spouse? What will happen if it all goes wrong? If I prioritize Jesus, will he really come through?” Yes, he will—always—though often not as we would anticipate. Take Him at His Word, even when it doesn’t make sense in the moment. One day it will, and you will thank Him for it. Trust Him in all things.

Christ is all,
Pastor Adam

Sep 10
2021

Classes, and the Power of God’s Word to Change Us

Discipleship, Teaching

Downtown Cornerstone,

As disciples of Christ, we are called to changed lives as we grow in our knowledge, love, and trust of the Lord. But, this change doesn’t happen automatically; it happens through regularly opening and applying of God's Word together.

In Psalm 19, we see the primacy of God's Word and its power to change our lives, summarized:

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

– Psalm 19:7-8,10

Our quarterly classes are intentional times together meant to allow God's Word to affect this change in us, and to grow us in holiness amidst the season of life we find ourselves in.

To that end, we're offering a number of classes this fall over two five-week sessions. These will be taught by pastors, staff, or other leaders. Most classes will meet at the building in the MPR downstairs.

We have also prepared a brochure that lists all the classes we will be offering this year, organized into distinct tracks.

Download Brochure
Session 1 begins this Sunday, September 12th at 9 am (Foundations) and Wednesday, September 15th at 6:30 pm (midweek classes):

  • Are you new with us and looking to meet others, learn more about DCC from our elders, join a Cornerstone Community, be baptized, and/or become a member? Join our Foundations class. We’re offering a weekly round (Sundays) as well as a weekend round (Friday evening–Saturday afternoon). Register here…
  • Are you (or do you know) a skeptic who is exploring the claims of Christianity, or a believer wanting to learn how you can better explain your faith to others? Join the Exploring Christianity class. Register here…
  • Are you desiring to trust in how the cross of Christ brings comfort and help, and how you can grow to be like Christ in the hardest circumstances? Join the How Jesus Changes Us class. Register here…

Session 2 will begin in the second half of October, and offer another round of the Foundations class, along with three additional classes:

  • Are you an engaged couple who want to build a solid gospel foundation for their marriage? Join our Building a Strong Marriage (Pre-Marital) class. Registration deadline: October 6th. Register here…
  • Are you seeking conversations with others in the body about how we as Christians can work toward racial harmony in the church and the world around us? Join Undivided 2: Biblical Conversations About Race. Register here…
  • Are you looking to grow in how you approach decisions in light of God’s wisdom and His revealed will to us in and through the Bible? Join the Guidance: Making Godly Decisions class. Register here…
If you are new with DCC, we would encourage you to start with the Foundations class.

To read more about our midweek classes and FAQs, visit our webpage here. If you have any other questions, please email us at .

Apr 16
2021

Reviving Our Discipleship Rhythms This Spring

Community, Discipleship | by Pastor Justin Keogh

DCC Family,

Have you considered how the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has impacted your discipleship rhythms? For many of us, our weekly gathering with the church on Sundays which had been a years—or decades—long discipline has become gathering with restrictions and/or livestreaming; our beloved potlucks in community have given way to quick meals and zoom gatherings; our regular DG meetings at the local coffee shop have gone virtual, or worse, stopped altogether.

This hard season has impacted us all in so many ways, especially our discipleship, because so much of our discipleship relies on being together.

The normal pattern of the New Testament church is gathering together in multiple forms on a regular, even daily(!), basis (see Acts 2:42-47; Heb. 10:24-25). Far more than only gathering at the church building on Sundays, Christians are encouraged to meet regularly for the purpose of living out the "One Anothers." Consider Hebrews 3:12-13:

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

As DCC, we live this out intentionally through our Cornerstone Communities and our Discipleship Groups. If you've taken the Foundations class, then I'd invite you to jump into both this spring!

  • Foundations: If you've not yet gone through our Foundations class, I'd encourage you to start there. You'll not only learn more about DCC, but you'll meet others who are new to the church and get connected to a community and/or a DG through the class. Learn more and register here.
  • Cornerstone Communities: Our communities are diverse groups of people that meet weekly in their local neighborhoods (and/or, in this season, over zoom) for fellowship, prayer, and discussing and applying God's word to their lives. Check out our current community list here to get connected.
  • Discipleship Groups: Within, and sometimes across, our communities are smaller (2-5), gender-specific, DGs that meet regularly to cultivate trust in Jesus, growth in holiness and missional living. Check out a short video below to learn more (5 mins), and then fill out this simple form to get plugged into a DG for the spring.

It's our prayerful aim that everyone in DCC would be relationally connected, intentionally growing, meaningfully serving, missionally engaged, willingly accountable, and known by a pastor—and being in meaningful discipling relationships through our Cornerstone Communities and Discipleship Groups are a big part of that!

While you can jump into a community or DG at any time, now is a great time at the beginning of the Spring quarter. As such, I’d encourage you to join a community and/or a DG this next week, and commit for the next 3 months. If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to email me at .

With Brotherly Affection in Christ,
Pastor Justin

Apr 12
2021

Spring Classes: Growing in your Knowledge, Love, and Trust of the Lord

Discipleship, News, Teaching

Downtown Cornerstone,

As disciples of Christ, we are called to grow in our knowledge, love, and trust of the Lord (Col. 1:9-13). But, this growth doesn’t happen automatically; it happens through exercising our faith and intentionally utilizing the means of grace. One of these means of grace is the regular opening and applying of God’s Word together (Ps. 119:130, Col. 3:16).

This spring, we’re offering a number of classes over two five-week sessions. Each class, grounded in God’s Word, is intended to help you grow in a specific aspect of your life as a follower of Christ.

Session 1 begins this Wednesday, April 14th at 6:30PM:

  • Are you new with us and looking to meet others, learn more about DCC from our elders, join a Cornerstone Community, be baptized, and/or become a member? Join our Foundations class. Register here…
  • Are you looking to learn more about the history of Jesus’ church and God’s work of redeeming his people over centuries and millennia? Join the Church History class (ten weeks). Register here…
  • Are you desiring to grow in your understanding of the Bible, properly interpreting it and practically applying it to your life? Join the How to Study the Bible class. Register here…

Session 2 will begin on Wednesday, May 19th, and offer another round of the Foundations class, along with two additional classes:

  • Are you wanting to grow as a disciple-maker and help others become more like Christ? Join the Making Disciples class. Register here…
  • Are you seeking to learn what Scripture says about parenting and raising children who will love, trust, and treasure Jesus? Join our Parenting class. Register here…
If you are new with DCC, we would encourage you to start with the Foundations class.

To read more about our midweek classes and FAQs, visit our webpage here. If you have any other questions, please email us at classes@downtowncornerstone.org.