Can you give us some background on your city and community?
Newcastle Upon Tyne is up north in England and the last city you reach before you head into Scotland. Newcastle is home to two Universities, which are big revenue engines for the city.
Our church, Cornerstone, meets in the city center and rents out the first floor of an office block. The average age of a member at Cornerstone is about 26 and around half of our group is made up of British and international students.
What are the big items on Cornerstone’s agenda at the moment?
- We regularly have visitors exploring life under the Lordship of Christ. Join us in praying that they will cross that line and put their faith in Jesus.
- We have found a new building to meet in but the discussion has been ongoing for some time now. We would love to move soon, God willing.
- Moving will take a lot of resources, we are putting our trust in God to make the necessary provisions.
What are you finding the biggest needs are in your community, and can you recommend any resources that you have found particularly helpful?
One of our biggest needs is new leaders. Our community includes a lot of newly weds and families with young children, which has created a challenging environment in which to raise up leaders. We are feeling compelled by a couple of the sessions at the recent Global Conference, PJ Smyth talked about trebling your leadership and Donnie Griggs’ conviction that leaders are born and raised. There is no quick fix solution to this other than investing time, but it is time that is in short supply for our people.
A big part of raising up leaders is discipleship. At Cornerstone discipleship was happening but it was more organic than intentional. For the last year we have been far more intentional in our efforts by setting up discipleship groups. These are opportunities for both men and women to gather regularly, study the bible and pray for one another. Often around food! We have used Gregg Ogden’s book Discipleship Essentials as a base from which to work from and to facilitate this.
As the couple leading the charge at Cornerstone since 2012 what have you and Esole found to be helpful rhythms that fill your tank, and keep you moving forward?
It might sound obvious but our daily bible reading has been a vital rhythm for us. Being in ministry, reading the bible for the next sermon or preparing for the next meeting, we can quite easily neglect our devotional bible reading, however this has proven essential for us.
Another thing that has been helpful for us is that on Monday we both have the day off. We take the opportunity to walk our dog Molly on the beach and speak about Sunday past and what our weeks look like moving forward. This way we know what the expectations are of each other going into the week.
Also, laugh more together and have fun!