The Apprentice Group is an intensive group experience designed for those who are hungry for a personal interaction with God. They want to know him in a subjective way and not just more information about him. It's is for those that want to see long term patterns and habits in their lives change and be transformed. This can only be done in the context of deep community and transparent relationships. If this sounds like what you're hungry for, we'd love for you to consider being part of this apprentice group in 2021.

It is a 30-32 week commitment and should only be considered by those who are able to make it a priority. If you think you will miss any more than 3 sessions please consider not applying at this time. 

To make sure that there is enough time and opportunity for those participating to get the most out of the experience, we are limiting the group to 15 people. They will be chosen based on the judgement of the leader as well as the answers to the following application.

There will be a cost of $60 associated with the materials that the group will be going through together. 

The group will meet on Monday evenings from 6:30 - 8:30 PM at Cornerstone in our worship center. 


Every year the school systems partners with us to identify High School students in need. We partner with them to provide new winter clothing as well as additional presents for those who would go without.

Normally we would have a list of items that could be purchased for the students and dropped off at the church. However, since we are not meeting in person, our missions team will be purchasing the items. We would like to offer our church to be partners in generosity so if you would like to help financially by giving we have provided a link to make that possible.

Additionally, you can mail a check to 231 W. VanBuren and designate the check for "making christmas better"


Madison will be serving in the horn of Africa for one year. If you would like to get more information on the organization she is serving with, or to find out about how to support her financially or through prayer. Please fill out the form below and she'll contact you



: Good morning everyone! Hope you’ve had a good week and even if you haven’t, we’re still glad you’re here. This is a place for the happy and the hurting, the thriving and the struggling and everything in between. If you’re a new with us today, my name is Nic Cook. As we get ready to jump back into week 2 of our SERIES: Choosing Joy. Last week we talked about how joy in our hearts starts with our minds. Change your thoughts, change your emotions, change your behavior. And today we’re talking about how experiencing joy is not just vertical with focusing our thoughts on God. It’s also horizontal. This morning we’re going to see how the…[2]

Bible ties our joy to relationships with others. If we hope to experience joy, we will have to look for it in community. So, I’d like to encourage you to open up your bibles to [3][Philippians chapter 1:3-11] For the rest of this series I’m not going to be putting up the scriptures on the screen because we want to be a church that opens our bibles. We want to be comfortable using this tool together so that when we’re apart, we are capable of opening it and hearing from God throughout the week as well. Let’s pray and then we’ll dig into God’s word to see what he has to say about joy and community. Let’s pray!

I’m gonna start out with an incredibly cheesy acronym. However, I know that it works because it’s been stuck in my head. You know how you have joy? [4]It comes from putting JESUS first, then OTHERS, then YOURSELF. See? I told you it was cheesy, but it’s helpful. I think that too often we lack joy in our lives because we focus on ourselves, our dreams, our desires first. Like we said last week, we have to take our focus off ourselves and put it on Jesus, on his love for us and who he says we are, and on his plans instead of our own. Changing our thoughts from self to Jesus was the first step. But step two is to focus on others. Paul sets the example for us in his own thoughts. He starts with prayer  to God, focusing on God, and then in his thoughts he turns towards others and the church. He says in verses 3-5 [5]Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy,for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.” Paul calls the Christians in Philippi “partners in spreading the good news about Christ”. That word partners in the original language is “Koinonia.” It’s sometimes translated as fellowship. The best meaning of it is “sharing of lives, resources, and purpose.” It means sharing who we are, good and bad, with people who love and accept us anyway. It means sharing what I have with those who need it. It means sharing suffering and joy together. [6]

FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: You guys know I’m a huge Lord of the rings fan. I love it like I love chipotle. So, in the book there is something called the fellowship of the ring. It’s a group of people who are brought together from every kind of background. Furry footed gentle hobbits, a gruff axe-weilding dwarf, a bow wielding elf with hair that I’m jealous of, a wizard, and a couple of men, one of which is a king. They decide to band together for the purpose of saving the world. They go through hardships, they fight together, and they end up with a deep and abiding love for one another. This is a perfect example of fellowship. They are brought together, they commit to each other and their purpose, and they end up loving and being willing to sacrifice for each other. You see this a lot also in military movies like Band of Brothers. [7]Every great movie is an echo of this theme because it’s God’s intention for humanity to find their place in his family and for them to do life together and live together as part of his mission. Fellowship, Partnership, sharing of lives, resources, and purpose. Paul says, I have joy because you have shared your lives with me! We’re sharing in suffering together. We’re part of God’s mission to save the world together! Here’s my main point this morning.. [8]

  • JOY IS CONNECTED TO CHRIST AND HIS COMMUNITY! When Paul thinks about the Church, he thinks about all they went through together. He thinks about meeting the women praying and how they responded to the life changing news that Jesus is God and Savior. He remembers baptizing them. He thinks about the young girl whose life was so tragic, who was tormented by demons, who was exploited by men, and how she was set free. How her life was such a powerful example of how God loves and sets us free from the things that destroy and enslave us. He thinks about how even though he ended up in jail for helping that girl, that God used that experience to save the jailer and his family. As he baptized the jailer and his family he got to see them set free from the prison of death. Paul sacrificed so much for Jesus because Jesus sacrificed so much for him. Because of Jesus sending Paul, these people were changed. Paul’s life and theirs were bound together by Jesus. We find out that these people in turn sacrificed for Paul because of the sacrifice of Jesus. Most of them weren’t financially well off, they were fairly poor. Yet we hear this in [9-10][Phil. 4:14-18] Paul says you have been financially supporting me so that I can devote my time to telling people about Jesus. You’re worshipping Jesus with your wallets! You’re building the Kingdom through your coins, Making Jesus known with money! You get the point. There are Christian brothers and sisters you’ve never met because you gave so generously. Remember, Paul is in prison. He doesn’t have a job or a savings account. Jail then isn’t like it is now. You get fed no matter what. In ancient prisons, you got fed if you could pay for it. So, the church sent Paul a man named Epaphroditus who again brought a financial gift. Can you now see why Paul is so thankful when he prays and remembers these people? Whether they have been with him, the whole time, the gospel has linked their lives together. They’re thinking about Paul continually and Paul is thinking about them continually. They’re doing gospel work together, even though they are separated. This is what the church is all about. Loved by Jesus, Loving each other like Jesus, and showing the love of Jesus to the world. [11]
    • If joy is connected to Christ and his community, then how do we have that kind of experience here and now?How do we know the kind of joy that comes from being in that kind of deep committed community together? Let’s be honest here. Christian community is a mixed bag of good and hard. The letter that Paul writes to the church in Philippians is full of joy and love and it’s obvious there is a lot of affection for each other. Then you have the letters to the Church and Christians in Corinth, called the book of Corinthians, and it’s completely different. That Church is full of pride and fighting. There is division and moral issues galore. If our greatest stories show the longing of the human heart for community, and if quarantine has taught us anything is that we need it more than we thought we did, then how do we become part of a community that brings such joy to us and each other? Paul gives us some practical instruction here…


THE GOSPEL & JESUS CHRIST: [12]In chapter 1 alone, Paul mentions the gospel 6 times. He mentions Jesus or Jesus Christ 13 times. That means out of 30 verses, every 5 sentences he says good news, and almost every other verse he says Jesus Christ. Paul is obsessed with getting the church to focus on the news of who Jesus is and what he came to do. We never get past the good news! No matter how long you have followed Jesus, you never get past the basics. Each day we have to wake up and remind ourselves of the Gospel. God created and designed this beautiful world and made it good and perfect and gave it to us as a gift. We are loved and bear his image. He created us to be his friends and companions and fellow workers to make this world even more abundant. He gave us a choice to choose him, trust him, and love him in return. We chose to rebel. We want to be our own God’s; we want to be in control. We want him to serve us instead of the other way around. That’s why this world is as it is today. That’s why my next-door neighbor who works for homeland security had to go to Portland to deal with rioting. That’s why the news is full of rioting. Because sinful broken human beings are fighting for power and control. We can’t fix this world on our own power or create joyful loving human community on our own. That’s why we need Jesus. Our hearts are bent towards evil and we deserved punishment. Instead, Jesus took our punishment on the cross. So, when we give our lives to Jesus we allow him to kill the old selfish us and give us new hearts that want to follow instead of lead. We are given hearts that are able to learn to serve instead of being served. [13]If we want Joyful Christian Community, we have to start with joy in the Christ who saves us even though we didn’t deserve it. Then we can focus on loving others the way that Christ has loved us. But love isn’t easy, it has to be PRACTICED. We see from both Paul and the Philippian Christians that we need to…[14]

  • FOCUS ON OTHERS MENTALLY: Out of sight didn’t mean out of mind. The Christians in Philippi had heard that Paul was in prison and they were thinking about how they could help him. They knew he would need money to make sure that his needs were met so they collected money to make sure he had enough to eat as well as to buy things he needed to continue to do the ministry God had called him to. The did this even though they themselves did not have much money. They knew he would need to hear from friends. So, they sent the money with a man named Epaphroditus who could come and encourage Paul personally. They wanted someone there with him in his struggle. I saw a post from someone a couple months back that said we need help relearning…
    • HOW TO PRACTICALLY SHOW PEOPLE WE’RE THINKING ABOUT THEM: They said when someone has a death in the family, often times we don’t know what to do. So we send a text saying “I’m praying for you, let me know if you need anything.” No one ever responds back by saying, You know I could use… They’re usually overwhelmed and unsure of what they need. This person said we need to relearn simply going over to people’s houses and sitting with them, bringing them food, mowing their yard, or asking to take their kids for a few hours, without them asking. Those are the things that show we’re giving thought to the situation that people are in. How would we want people to respond to us if we were in that same situation, and then doing it. Man, I was so convicted by that! Good thoughts and support over text is a good start, but really focusing mentally on what can show people will love them is so much more powerful! We can focus mentally on the needs of other, but Paul says he is focused on his brothers and sisters emotionally as well. [15]
  • FOCUS ON OTHERS EMOTIONALLY: In [16-17][Phil. 1:7-8] Paul talks about how his holds them all in his heart and yearns to be with them with the affection of Christ. I noticed something for the first time in this passage this week. Paul says it’s right for me to feel this way about “you all”. In fact he uses the phrase “you all” nine times in this letter. So Paul has deep affection for Who? “All” of them! Let me ask, when you think about your Christian brothers and sisters, do you love them “all”? Or are there Christian brothers and sisters that you simply tolerate? Love often starts with a decision to love someone, and then grows into an emotion. You can’t fake love for someone. It has to be genuine. But you can choose to love someone first and think about how to meet their needs. What ends up happening is that by consciously choosing to love someone, then choosing to serve them, we often end up loving them with our emotions. Who is the person that God is calling you to consciously choose to love, then to serve?
    • Often it is hard to love someone who has hurt you, especially in the church. Yet we are called to forgive others as we have been forgiven by Christ. Paul told the church in Corinth “love keeps no record of wrongs.” Is there someone who you have mentally kept a tally of the times that they have hurt you? Maybe it’s time to take a look at the times we have hurt God, see that he took that list and nailed it to the cross, and then hand God our list and let him nail it to the cross as well. Again, this takes supernatural power to make happen. We are not naturally inclined to think about others, or to love others, especially when we’ve been hurt. To do any of these things well we need to…
  • FOCUS ON OTHERS PRAYERFULLY: [18]This entire section of scripture is Paul talking about how he prays for them all the time. Paul is doing something called intercession, he is personally taking the lives and needs of others to God. In the old testament the high priest would wear something called an ephod, it was a gold chest plate with twelve stones, each stone representing a group of God’s people. These people were literally on the priests heart as he prayed to God. A pastor named Warren Weirsbe said it beautifully when he wrote “perhaps the deepest Christian fellowship and joy we can experience in this life is at the throne of grace, praying with and for one another.” If we ever have any hope of being full of joy, or experiencing the joy of Christian community, we have to be a people who pray for people! Who are you praying for? How often are you praying for them? So, as we end, let’s get real practical. [19]


FIRST STEPS: First of all, if you’re exploring Christianity, you need to know that the joy you are looking for is hardwired inside you. God wants you to seek joy! But he has made this world so that true joy is only found by being in a relationship with him. It’s the joy of knowing you are loved. It’s the joy of knowing you are forgiven no matter how far you’ve run or how broken you feel. It’s the joy of knowing that God will be with you in the hardest of circumstances. It’s the joy of knowing that God will complete what he has started and that he’s coming back to make this world right again. If you’d like to know more about how to give your life to Jesus we’d love to talk to you more…

NEXT STEPS: For those who have given their lives to Jesus, let me encourage you to take Christian community seriously this year. If you want 2021 to be a year of Joy, God has designed us so that we need to be connected to Christian brothers and sisters to do that. I know that this is difficult because of the pandemic. I think that what we’ve seen today gives us insight though. Even when we’re separated physically, we don’t have to be separated completely. We can be thinking about each other, looking for needs and meeting them, and praying for each other, not just for physical needs, but that our brothers and sisters would be growing in Christ like maturity in this season. That they would experience the love of Jesus. That as we cultivate these habits in the middle of a pandemic, then when we get actually get to be with each other more freely and physically, that bond of love is even stronger and our joy will be even more deeply experienced.



If you would like to listen to sermons from previous weeks or other sermon series, you may do that at



Thanks so much for being part of what God is doing at Cornerstone.

Your generosity allows us to help MAKE and MULTIPLY DISCIPLES that KNOW, REFLECT, SERVE and POINT others to Jesus.

Our online giving is secure so you can give with full confidence knowing that your information is safe.

In addition, you may also text to give. Text 217-210-0317 and “GIVE”. Then enter the amount you would like to give.



We believe that significant life change best takes place in the context of intentional relationships. Groups are the places where real life and real issues are discussed. This is the environment to celebrate the successes and good times of life, as well as comfort one another in the tough and disappointing times. It’s a place to be encouraged, equipped, and challenged to grow in our relationships with Jesus Christ.

Nic Cook Home Group
This group meets in the home of Nic and Susan Cook. They meet on Wednesday nights @ 6:30 – 8:00 PM. There is childcare available. Home group discussions are based around the topics and scriptures that are discussed in the previous Sunday sermon.
Lori Minks Home Group

This group meets in the home of Shawn and Lori Minks. They meet on Monday nights @ 6:30 – 8:00 PM. There is childcare available. Home group discussions are based around the topics and scriptures that are discussed in the previous Sunday sermon.

Jeff Millsap Home Group

This group meets in the home of Jeff and Jennifer Millsap. They meet on Wednesday nights @ 6:30 – 8:00 PM. There is childcare available. Home group discussions are based around the topics and scriptures that are discussed in the previous Sunday sermon.

Jennifer Millsap Sunday Group

This group meets in the kitchen at Cornerstone. They meet on Sunday mornings @ 9:00 – 10:00 AM (during 1st service). There is childcare available. Home group discussions are based around the topics and scriptures that are discussed n the previous Sunday sermon.

Ed Gerken & Ken Allen Sunday Group

This group meets in the High School room at Cornerstone. They meet on Sunday mornings @ 10:30 – 11:30 AM (during 2st service). There is children’s programming available. Sunday group discussions are based around the topics and books of the bible of the teachers choosing.

Ed Gerken Men's Group

This group meets in the kitchen at Cornerstone. They meet on Monday evenings @ 7:00 – 8:30 PM There is no childcare provided. The Men’s group discussions are based around the topics and books of the bible of the teachers choosing.




NURSERY l SUNDAYS from 9-11:30 AM

On Sunday mornings from 9-11:30 AM, infants and toddlers are cared for in our nursery area. The children are being cared for during our adult worship and Sunday group gatherings.


On Sunday mornings our kids, Pre-K – 5TH grade, will enjoy age appropriate creative and interactive bible teaching, fun activities and crafts. It’s a great chance to make friends as they learn more about Jesus.


On Sunday mornings our kids, Pre-K – 5TH grade, will worship together by singing and dancing to songs with biblical truth. Each week, kids will participate in large and small group activities to discover who Jesus was and continue to build their faith.



Once a month during the school year, kid’s K – 5th grade will participate in a fun activity or service project. We encourage kids to participate with their parents in Showing Jesus to the community around us through serving him and his mission.



Children's Ministry Mobile Check-in

Every child that enters into our kid's ministry must be checked into our system. We have provided a volunteer to assist you in the check in process. If you forgot to check them in before service do not fear. Below is a link to check them in on your mobile device. 

Every week we have a video that summarizes our Sermon for our kids and our kids at heart. Check out our video with our family Pastor Joe as he has some wild and crazy adventures and lessons for us!

Story Bible Videos (Use the arrows to change video) (Pre-k > K-2 > 3-5)

Parent Cue App

Check out the video below to explain how to use it. Create an account its free and founded in God's Word!




On Sunday mornings, our Jr. High students gather to learn, and build friendships with each other during our Sunday groups. There also might be doughnuts involved.


Our Cornerstone Student Ministry meets on Sunday evenings for games, worship, shenanigans, teaching, small groups, food, and more shenanigans.

Jr. High students meet from 4:00-6:00pm.

High School students meet from 5:30-7:30pm.


Follow Cornerstone Student Ministry on social media for more updates!

CIY: Move July 24th through 26th

Register Here

CIY Move is a 3-day retreat for our High School students, where they get to learn about their faith and experience it in a real way. They experience amazing worship and speakers while signing up for workshops to develop knowledge and discipleship, all while growing in relationship to their peers who are walking in the same journey of developing their faith.

The cost for this retreat is $75.00 with a minimum deposit of $50.00. Registration deadline is JULY 10TH

COVID-19 Update: Where we are not going to Anderson, IN as we had planned in June, we are going to have our retreat, in a differently. As a way of keeping ourselves safe CIY organization has released all of their media as a digital content. We are going to be hosting the retreat at Cornerstone over the course of 3-days. We will be watching the sessions, having small group activites and conversations just like we are at CIY but we are going to stay local. 

Questions? Talk to  Joe Shepherd (

Additional Payment Form

Youtube Live Stream

During this time stay safe and at home. Just because we are at home does not mean we cannot still engage in community and in God's word with our students. Every Sunday night we will be live streaming our youth nights for your student to learn and engage with God's word as well as experience a community of their peers online.

Zoom Meet-ups

Throughout this time in-person meetings are well.....not happening so we still want to see your lovely face! Sign up for Zoom, its FREE! Students can meet up with small group leaders and student pastor to maintain relationships, hang out, play games and open the communication for discipleship!

Download Zoom