whole of life
Formation in Cornerstone
Welcome to the journey. Formation is the journey we take as followers of Jesus to becoming the person we are created to be. In Cornerstone, most formation takes place in our communities.
“Formation” is also a term we use for the specific journey to becoming a core member of a Cornerstone community: someone who continues to embody the life and mission of Cornerstone Community. People on this journey may be called “people in formation”, “apprentices”, or “interns”.
Our aim is “Life deep formation for a lifetime of mission”
Formation involves orientation to Cornerstone’s values (of dependence on God, all of life discipleship, missional community, simplicity & authenticity), opportunity to imbibe Cornerstone’s culture, and discernment of the vocation of the person in formation. It takes willingness and commitment to practice this journey and to take others on it.
Jesus devoted time to the crowds in teaching and ministry, but imbedded in this was a systematic training of his disciples to continue his mission. This kind of practice-reflection discipleship is also a priority in missional communities like ours – in order to sustain and renew our mission.
The process for discerning progress from one stage of formation to the next
These notes are to help provide clarity and transparency around the process by which we (Cornerstone) discern that a person in formation moves from one stage of formation to the next, and in particular, to becoming a core member of Cornerstone.
By the end of stage 1, the person in formation who wants to progress further with Cornerstone will show willingness to do this journey, knowing what it is, and be taking responsibility for their formation in that journey. They are no longer asking “What is Cornerstone?” but rather “What do I do to join Cornerstone?”
STAGE 2 is “living it”. At this stage, the person in formation becomes a member of Cornerstone in a Cornerstone community with a real part to play. They are also being mentored and involved in formal learning and reflection. Normally this leadership internship stage lasts three years to enable thorough formation and soaking in of Cornerstone’s ethos. For people with extended prior experience with Cornerstone or with a similar missional community, it may take two years.
At the end of stage 2 the person in formation spends some time in discernment, looking to God and to their mentor, leader & community for guidance about their next step. The discernment period is prayerful, humble and honest. We are not looking for the easiest or most comfortable way for the learner, but the way of Christ in and through us. The person in formation may extend their time in stage 2 if they are not ready to move on, or they may be led to medium / long term membership in Cornerstone or into some other Kingdom expression. If the decision is to move into longer term membership of Cornerstone, they will also be exploring with God and their community and leaders where & in what capacity this might be. For example, they may remain in the community they have already been a part of, or may be led to gather a team around them and begin a new missional community.
STAGE 3 is “owning it longer term”. By the end of stage 2, the person in formation essentially shows the maturity, responsibility, initiative and commitment of a core member of a Cornerstone community. They are ‘doing it’, and have fully lived this life for at least 2 years.
Want to find out more about becoming a member of Cornerstone?
Contact: Martin Watson
0427 723 150
Attributions: Compass by Chrystina Angeline from the Noun Projectt | Hiker by Pause08 from the Noun Project