Andy Goh is a pilot who has been in Cornerstone for many years. This week, he posted on his Facebook page a bulletin from the church dated Dec 10, 1995. That brought back so many sweet memories. I love that he has kept this for over 25 years and, if you want to buy it, I hear he is selling it at $10,000. Good buy! Mint condition.
I recall in those days, our bulletins were photocopied, our songs were projected on an overhead projector, and we all had funny haircuts and wore strange clothes. Who could forget the bright and loud fuchsia pink and yellow blazers our ushers donned while proudly serving? But what was so timely was, just a few days ago, we quietly crossed our 25 years as a church. June 2, 1995 was the day we stepped out in faith and we just crossed our 25-year milestone this week! Of course, with the current coronavirus situation, a huge celebration is impossible, but what a journey it has been.
I’m privileged to have a front-row seat to watch this amazing pageantry of grace unfold before me. 25 years ago, this week, 300+ of us came out of the denomination we were a part of to start Cornerstone Community Church. Not in my wildest imagination could I have dreamt that God would bring us so far. I’m humbled by what He has accomplished through us collectively, but we must not be blindsided by success. If anything, it should spur us on to greater heights.
It was nostalgic to see what we were doing way back then. I wrote a blog (we didn’t call them blogs in those days) to encourage people into full-time ministry. I’m still doing it 25 years later. I’ve not regretted a single moment of the life He has chosen for me. My wife was hosting an afternoon tea with the ladies in our church; we were encouraging people to be water baptised; getting people to sign up for our T&E classes and promoting our mid-week services at the Peninsula Hotel; and after all this while, it’s amazing that we’re still doing all this, but the only difference is, our numbers and perhaps, influence, have increased. One thing I noticed was the frequency and fervency of our prayer meetings then. We gathered almost daily in the church to pray. And when this lockdown is finally over, we need to ramp up prayer in the church. This has always been such a burning desire in my heart, to see the church doors open for every one to pray.
I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who were part of the original core that took the risk to come out with me – first in 1990, and again in June 1995. We could never have done it without you. I want to thank especially my full-time staff, those who heard the call of God to leave your nice comfy jobs to serve God. I do not take this for granted. Some of the original full-time team are still with us after all these years, and it’s you I salute. Thank you! You’ve a ‘special place’ reserved in Heaven for you.
Finally, I’d like to emphasise the great need for unity of Spirit, purpose, and vision as we press ahead. I believe that the Lord has clearly set the agenda for Cornerstone to be a church without spot or wrinkle – a Bride prepared for her Bridegroom. We must not settle for anything less. To settle for any mountain other than Zion is to settle for second best.
While we recognise a variety of ways in pursuing these goals, we cannot be diverted nor distracted by personal agendas. These are times when our willingness to die to self is most needed, when we dare submit our own personal plans for the corporate vision and agenda. With this comes a corresponding ethos. Cornerstone Community Church is – and shall be – a New Testament Church and all that God desires of her shall be fulfilled. There’s no other type of church acceptable to God or to us. May there also be a spiritual atmosphere, an environment of freedom in the Spirit, stripped of all man-made bondages and traditions, and religiosity, so that faith and love may be pursued and Cornerstone may become a true reflection of God’s nature and purpose.
Here’s to an amazing 25 years as a church, and many more exciting ones to come!
Ps. Yang Tuck Yoong