Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Feb 10

God Uses Spaces

, City Life, Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

We recently moved. Three blocks to be exact. And, well, it was a little bitter sweet. Why? Because we saw God do some amazing things in our little 2nd floor 850 sq ft apartment, and 11th floor community room, in the middle of the city. We saw Him grow an eight person launch team into a church. We saw Him answer prayers in extraordinary ways. We saw him multiply one community into six. We saw people come to know and grow in Jesus. We hosted many not-yet-believers and had countless opportunities to share the gospel. We hosted many of you. We saw relationships form, broken and reconciled – sometimes all at once! We saw many take the step of faith in committing to a church plant. We sang. We laughed – a lot.

It is probably not a surprise to you that God uses spaces. Don’t miss this. Yes, clearly, God uses people. But, he uses people in spaces: arks, prison cells, tents, deserts, whale bellies, castles, baskets, stables and more. Here’s what I want you to know, believe and live: God wants to use the spaces he has placed you in for his glory, the good of others and your joy. I want to encourage you to not see the every day spaces that you find yourself in (cars, cubicles, offices, homes, complexes, coffee shops, etc.) as neutral to the things of God. He wants to transform how you see and use the normal spaces in your life as miniature stages where his story can continue to unfold in small and big ways. He invites all of us into that.

#1 He wants to use your spaces.

It can be too easy to think that God only works through certain people, but not me, and certain places, but not mine. How would your outlook change if you viewed your every day spaces as stages within God’s story? We may not say it out loud, but we often live in a way that demonstrates our lack of faith in a God who is present, living, and working. We create a false separation between sacred and secular, when all of life is sacred. God is everywhere and everything is His, including your every day spaces. How could you redeem the use of your spaces for Him? Our previous apartment was just an apartment, but God used it as a stage for so much more. He wants to do the same with yours.

#2 Don’t underestimate what God wants to do through you.

Maybe this is because we live in Seattle or maybe it’s just the human heart, but too often we underestimate what God wants (or can) do through us. So, we wait or abdicate. We think, “I’ll do more when I’m in a better place.” We never get there, so we never do. Jesus wants you to experience the exhilaration of using your spaces for him, viewing them as stages within his redemptive story. That could mean personal transformation as you commit to trusting him and walking by the power of his grace in your every day spaces. It could also mean regularly inviting folks over for dinner or dessert, taking opportunities to pray for others as the Spirit prompts you, recognizing and meeting the needs of those around you and more. Start simple, but pray big. Don’t underestimate what God wants to do through you.

#3 Fight cynicism with anticipation.

We often celebrate cynicism, particularly in our city. But, cynicism is just unbelief that masquerades as intellectualism. It looks and sounds smart, quick and witty – but it is filled with unbelief in a God who has worked a massive redemption and delivered some massive promises to His people. The gospel of Jesus Christ transforms cynicism to optimism. Optimism creates a sense of anticipation. God’s specialty is taking normal, ordinary people and doing abnormal, extraordinary things. Our lives should reflect an anticipation that God is who he says he is. Fight cynicism with gospel-birthed anticipation.

#4 Some Practical Suggestions.

By now, some of you may be asking, “But how?” Good question. First, get to know your God really, really well through daily means of grace (Bible, prayer, community, etc). The better you know Him, the more you’ll trust Him. Second, repent of unbelief and cynicism as the Spirit leads. Ask Him to fill you with a fresh sense of hope, joy and anticipation in him. Third, consider dedicating your spaces to God. Not in a weird, I’m-going-to-anoint-my-elevator-at-work sense. But, just a simple prayer over your home, cubicle or car, telling Jesus you want to use them as mini-stages within His larger story. Ask Jesus to give you eyes and ears to see the many ways He is already at work in you and others around you – ask to join Him in that work. Lastly, think through what Jesus wants to do in and through you in your daily spaces. Wouldn’t it be cool to say, “That apartment is where Jesus transformed my anger” or “I shared the gospel with 10 co-workers in that cubicle” or “I learned what prayer is in that car” or “Jesus healed my marriage in that coffee shop” or “We hosted 20 non-Christians this year for dessert at our dining room table”? Your car is not just a car. Your apartment is not just an apartment. Your cubicle is not just a cubicle. They can be stages within God’s story; God uses spaces.

Nov 3

November Prayer Night Date Change

News, Uncategorized

This month, our Prayer & Vision Night will occur on the third week of the month rather than the fourth due to Thanksgiving! Please join us at the Westin Building (6th & Virginia) on Thursday, November 17th @ 6:30pm, as we gather together for an evening of prayer, vision and worship. This event will occur in lieu of our normal weekly community rhythm, and will be an opportunity to go before our Father, asking Him to do what only He can do.

What will we do?

VISION: We’ll talk about where we are and where, by God’s grace, we are going.
WORSHIP: We’ll sing to the King.
PRAY: Most importantly, we’ll pray, asking God to do what only He can do.

“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven…’” (Mat 6:9)
“Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Mat 9:38)
“…that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Lk 18:1)

Oct 31

Don’t Forget to Fall Back!

News, Uncategorized

This Sunday, November 6th Daylight Savings will end, so don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour earlier (if it doesn’t automatically update) so you can arrive to the Sunday gathering on time. Please take note and spread the word.

Apr 18

It’s Official! Downtown Cornerstone is Acts 29

Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Last week we received news that Downtown Cornerstone is officially a full-member of the Acts 29 Network. Acts 29 exists to train, resource, assess and network like-minded church planters around the world. You can read the interview with Pastor Adam HERE.


“Acts 29 is seeking to get behind the men who are planting churches by:

  • covenanting with them under the gospel
  • training missional leaders formally and informally
  • networking with men in different denominations and networks for the kingdom good of the city,
  • resourcing planters with the tools they need to develop in a healthy manner
  • multiplying the gospel through church-planting as a means to make disciples of all nations
  • inspiring them as Spirit-empowered leaders, united with this gospel community of Acts 29 churches, on mission together for the glory of God.

Acts 29 is not a model or a style. We have classical church plants with a preacher and a congregation, we have video-delivered sermons, we have missional community models, replants, and existing churches that want to plant churches with us. We seek to be a movement of church-planting networks – that is, decentralized and empowered networks to lead men of all different types of churches in order to make disciples of all people groups.” (HT: Acts 29 Network)

Mar 7

Seeking the Social Renewal of Seattle (?)

Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

We want to see spiritual, social and cultural renewal take place in Seattle. But, what does that actually look like?

This is the third, and last, in a series of blogs that will answer that question.

But first, some theological context. God’s ultimate aim is his glory (Mt 6:9, cf 1 Cor 10:31). He makes his glory known through His kingdom (Mt 6:10a), which exists wherever He rules over human hearts submitted to Him by faith. His primary plan for making this invisible kingdom visible is through the Church (Mt 6:10b; Eph 3:10). The Church receives power for this work through the Gospel (Mt 6:11;13; Rom 1:16).

In other words, the glory of God is made known through the invisible kingdom being made visible through the Church, empowered by the Gospel. Therefore, seeking the spiritual, social and cultural renewal of Seattle is nothing more than making the invisible kingdom visible in every sphere of life.

What does a socially renewed Seattle look like?

Downtown Cornerstone is committed to building a great city, not just a great church. Yet, these two are not opposed. A great church, comprised of sinners saved by the sheer grace of God in Christ, will build a great city. So, practically speaking, what does it look like to socially renew Seattle? Not through imperialistic, patronizing, holier-than-thou fundamentalism; but through the faithful presence of Jesus’ followers in the city. What follows are some examples of just that. In a socially renewed Seattle:

  • There are increasing levels of forgiveness, patience and reconciliation happening between classes and races (individuals, families, neighborhoods and institutions)
  • The “elites” of Seattle are repenting of their ambivalence and, in turn, getting involved with the needs of the people and neighborhoods of the city.
  • There are hundreds of cooperative efforts between the “haves” and “have-nots” bringing revitalization throughout the city.
  • There is a significant decline in wage theft among immigrant populations (a significant issue in Seattle)
  • The practice of human trafficking in Seattle is completely eradicate
  • Strong marriages are increasingly honored without ostracizing aging singles (the fastest growing population segment in the US)
  • Hurting marriages and families are being healed.
  • There are strong, high quality, schools provided for all children of the city (e.g. no difference between south and north Seattle).
  • Child abuse is experiencing a radical decline.
  • Sex between a married man and woman is viewed as beautiful; while the sex industry is shutting down.

This work is beyond the capacity of any single church, including Downtown Cornerstone. It’s for this reason that we don’t exist to merely see our church planted, but a movement of churches planted in Seattle and beyond. We invite you to join us as we embark on this impossible task, following the God of impossibilities (Eph 3:20-21).

Feb 7

Must-Reads in 2011

Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Every January, without fail, the blogosphere is filled with lists and recommendations for books to read, things to do and places to go in the coming year. In order to avoid the new year blitz, I’ve waited until Febuary. There are still eleven months left in 2011, right? I regularly get asked, “What can I read to learn more about urban ministry?” There are many books on urban ministry. I propose the following list which addresses various areas important to cultivating a healthy newly forming urban church. It just so happens these correspond to what we most value.


ESV Study Bible
Jesus Storybook Bible (kids 2+ years old)
The Rhyme Bible Storybook (kids 0-2 years old)


The Gospel Centered Life (World Harvest)
The Prodigal God, Tim Keller


Theology as Big as the City, Ray Bakke
Cities of God, Rodney Stark

Church & Mission

Total Church, Tim Chester & Steve Timmis
Tangible Kingdom, Hugh Halter & Matt Smay


Ministries of Mercy, Tim Keller
Generous Justice, Tim Keller
You Can Change, Tim Chester
Culture Making, Andy Crouch


Church Planting Movements, David Garrison

Dec 29

Support the Planting of the Gospel into the New Year

Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

We exist to build a great city through the gospel for the glory of God. This means our aim is to not merely build a great church, but a great city. Our welfare is deeply connected to the welfare of the city. We love Seattle and want all who live here to know their Creator, Jesus Christ. We are doing this by planting communities of Jesus-followers that enjoy God, redemptively engage the city and reach the world. We have a big vision, but to get there we need your help.

This is a great time to consider year-end giving or further involvement in 2011.


We need prayer. For all our preparation, we cannot succeed without God building his church. Jesus promises to build His church and he does so through the faithful work, service and prayers of His people. There is much spiritual opposition, relational tension, financial strain and physical hardship involved in planting a church. Please join us in daily prayer to our God who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask, think or imagine (Eph 3:20). You can keep up with our prayer updates here. We’re still in process of finding 100 people to pray for us daily for one year. Let us know if you’d like to join the front-lines prayer team.


Whether you already live in Seattle, or Orlando, perhaps God is moving you to join us downtown Seattle. Are you a dreamer, builder, missionary, or faith-filled risk-taker? Pray about joining us, even moving, downtown. Some of you should consider raising support and becoming an integral part of this new work. You can learn more about our vision here.


Our aim is to be self-sustaining by the fall of 2014. Until then we are dependent on outside financial partners. In the life of a young, urban, missional church in a challenging context, every dollar makes a difference. Would you consider regular monthly giving over the next three years or a one time gift? You can learn more about giving options here.

Let’s build a great city together, through the gospel, for God’s glory, in 2011.

Oct 28

Two Miraculous Births in Process

Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

We are in a season of simultaneously witnessing two miraculous births.

The First Miraculous Birth.

Five months ago the Sinnett family received the news we would never be able to have children naturally again due to various complications. We received this diagnosis of being infertile the same day as our initial prayer and dessert gathering on May 25th. We were, of course, crushed. After appropriately grieving, we sold most of our baby stuff before moving downtown, spent considerable time sifting through the various fertility options, and ultimately landed on adoption. Then, miraculously and inexplicably, two months ago Jen had a positive pregnancy test. Yes, positive. After being diagnosed infertile by two doctors, we are now expecting a baby mid-April. We couldn’t be more excited, or surprised. To those of you who have been praying, thank you. This is the first miracle.

The Second Miraculous Birth.

This past Sunday we received a glimpse of another miraculous birth in process, the birth of a new church in the heart of downtown Seattle – Downtown Cornerstone. After gathering as a launch community throughout the summer, we had our first preview gathering this past Sunday. God is bringing together a multi-generational, multi-ethnic, multi-life stage, multi-gifted group of people that form this new church. Join us this fall in community or at one of our upcoming preview gatherings as we follow Jesus’ lead in planting a church of forgiven imperfect people worshipping our perfect God, Jesus Christ.

This new church coming to life in the city is just as impossible as a woman diagnosed barren giving birth. We’re witnessing both happen and invite you to share in our joy.

Oct 21

The Top 10 Obstacles to “Church” in Seattle.

Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Over the last six months I’ve spent considerable time in the city, speaking with neighbors, baristas, Real Change-sellers, grocery store clerks, artists, street musicians, lawyers, other pastors, and business professionals. One question that I nearly always ask in some form is, What do you think are the primary obstacles to the Christian Church in Seattle?” It has been a fascinating exercise and deeply telling. One of the more interesting observations is that Christians tend to blame “secularism” or “postmodernism” for the decline of the Church, while those who don’t follow Christ tend to blame Christians themselves. Therefore, in light of this, I’ve compiled the following list of the top ten obstacles to the Christian Church in Seattle, according to my unofficial poll of Seattle. I’m using “Church” in its broadest meaning. Nothing surprising here, unfortunately.

“The Christian Church is ___________.”

#1 Hypocritical.

This was, by far, the top response. Seattle seems to have noted an observable disconnect between belief and the behavior of the Church. The inconsistency leads many to dismiss the Church.

#2 Irrelevant.

The Church is also seen as irrelevant, having little to do with the rest of life. The Church and its beliefs are seen as having little connection with the every day; though there may be some value for the life to come. Generally speaking, the Church is not cool.

#3 Self-righteous.

Many noted the self-righteous flavor of the Church and those within. There is a perception that the Church positions itself as morally and spiritually superior, and in so doing deepens the irrelevance noted above.

#4 Judgmental.

Relatedly, many feel judged by the Church and therefore unwelcome. I’ve met no one who claims sinlessness. Most clearly understand their sin, yet the perceived judgment from the Church makes it an unlikely place to go for relief from their guilt.

#5 Unloving.

Some noted they felt the Church was cold, sterile, unloving and more concerned with its own self-preservation than genuinely and sacrificially loving the city.  Many felt they need to belong to the Church in order to be loved by the Church.

#6 Unfriendly.

Similar to above, the Church was also described as unfriendly. Those who are part of the Church seem to devote the majority of their time to the Church, leaving little time for others who are not.

#7 Unsympathetic.

The Church is also described as being unsympathetic to the real, genuine struggles of people. The Church is viewed as having quick, superficial answers, but fails to genuinely relate to where people are.

#8 Boring.

Because of its irrelevance, self-righteousness and general lack of friendliness the Church is also seen as boring. The Church is not viewed as a place of joy, vibrancy and life.

#9 Impractical.

The idea of Church is seen as irrelevant because it is viewed as impractical. The teaching and life of the Church is seen as being of little practical use.  Some mentioned that while what the Church believes may be true, it doesn’t appear to work (see point #1).

#10 Enslaving.

Some noted that the Church is enslaving with all of its rules and regulations, rather than freeing and liberating. Many viewed the Church as restrictive and life-taking, rather than life-giving.


Together, these form a substantial obstacle to the idea of “Church” in Seattle. Its no wonder Seattle has become a refuge for those seeking to escape it. Whether or not these are misconceptions or excuses, we should view them as genuine obstacles that must be addressed, repented of and deconstructed. The Church described above is not the Church Jesus came to establish. During his earthly ministry, Jesus was “accused” of being a friend of sinners. The moral and spiritual outcast enjoyed his presence, even though he had hard things to say. If we’re following the Jesus of the Bible, this must increasingly become true of us. The Church of Jesus Christ is intended to be a people dedicated to truth and grace, holiness and mercy, creativity and beauty, service and sacrifice, love and joy, passion and relevance (after all, Jesus is reality (Col 1:15-20).

Our hope, as Downtown Cornerstone, is to be part of changing this tide in Seattle for His glory, our ultimate joy and the good of this city. Would you like to join us?

Sep 14

An Open Letter to Seattle

Uncategorized | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Dear Seattle,

You are a smart, intense and creative people laden with sarcasm, skepticism and self-satisfaction. I know because I am one of you. I love our city. My family lives in the city. I actually like the rain. I drink coffee; probably too much. I’m an avid reader. I’m locally educated (Go Huskies) with multiple degrees. I like to think of myself as a politically involved, environmentally conscious, citizen but often do little about it. I love the outdoors. I like art, music and production as long as its creative, independent and original. I vote for home-grown over corporate any day. I’m a Seattlite.


As a Seattlite, I know that anything that remotely hints of “religion” is quickly placed in the margins. Seattle is a mecca for those retreating, avoiding, or ignoring Christianity, whether intentional or unintentional. We are an opinionated people and, in general, we are clear on where we stand with Jesus. Seattlites’ respond to Jesus in different ways, including: “I like Jesus, just not his followers”, “You can’t prove there is a God”, “All paths lead to the same destination”, “There is no life after death”, “What you believe is good for you and what I believe is good for me”, “I believe in science”, “I don’t believe in organized religion”, “I don’t believe in absolute truth”, “There is no single overarching meta-narrative” or “Who’s Jesus?”. We are generally a tolerant people as long as you believe a measure of something outlined above. In many ways, together these form a succinct belief set we could call “Seattle-ism”.


But, here’s my question – stick with me here – what if all of this is wrong? Maybe not entirely wrong, but mostly. What if all of these responses are built on false suppositions? Now, don’t check out. If you’re from Seattle, you’re already thinking, “So, what you’re implying is that you have a corner on the truth.” My aim here is to invite you into the conversation. What if you’re wrong? It’s an awkward question, for sure, but one we all have to ask ourselves, no matter what we believe. As Seattlites, we often let ourselves off the hook too early with a pithy semi-philosophical excuse and then move on to discussing the deplorable season the Mariners have had.


You see, we’re created to be in relationship with God. We see echoes of this all around. Since our value, identity, worth and joy are not found in Him, where we’re created to find these things, we pursue these in everything and anything other than Him. We look for lasting value, ultimate meaning, rooted identity, and enduring worth in political candidates, particular ideologies, environmental concerns, achievement of wealth or fame, having a child or “just one more” child, finding a spouse or a different spouse, sports athletes or teams, our jobs or our much-hoped-for next job, meaningless hobbies, or the fulfillment of our goals. Even if we never attain that which we most long for, we still believe we will have that value, hope, and worth if we do. So, we press on. But, as Saint Augustine said nearly 2,000 years ago in his personal autobiography, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”


I write all of this, as a fellow Seattlite, to identify with you and invite you into this conversation, maybe over a beer and nachos, maybe on a Sunday or maybe in a chance encounter throughout the week. We’re planting a new Bible-believing, Jesus-loving, Christian church in downtown Seattle and you are invited to join, ask your questions, bring your imperfections and objections. We are all broken people. The Christian church is a people, not a building. Let’s reason together. This Jesus, this Christian faith, is reasonable. It doesn’t require you close your eyes or shut off your mind. Perhaps you’d be willing to explore these issues, and others, if there was a place of honest engagement, humble learning, intellectual struggle and grace-filled conversation. That place is among the people of Downtown Cornerstone.


I also invite you to more than this life can offer. There are better things available for you, a more certain comfort and long-lasting peace, that can ever be captured through the things of this world – no matter how good those things may be! This comfort may be enjoyed at all times, with certainty. This peace and rest may be enjoyed with reason. This comfort and peace is found through the Gospel. The Gospel is God’s free offer to forgive your sins through Jesus the Christ, all of your sins removed without a trace, buried in the depths of the sea, never to be found again, never to be counted against you – ever. Not only that, but through the Gospel, you become an object of God’s delight, are brought into God’s family, adopted as a son or daughter, learn that your name was written in heaven before the foundations of the world were formed, and a crown of glory. That’s why the Gospel means “good news”.

I hope you’ll accept this invitation.


Consider joining us on September 26th for our Vision Night as we take some time to unpack who Jesus is calling us to be and what he is asking us to do in this great city. If you’re not ready, we’ll be around.

For the love of this city and those who live here,
Pastor Adam

P.S. Nachos anyone?