Cornerstone Gets a Fresh Look

cornerstone painting2

Why were we pleased to hear our church has the feel of being in a pub? It started with a vision for church to be a place for people to feel at home and experience hospitality.

We observed that we live in a culture where people are very attuned to the physical environment when they are in public places and it is worth the effort to put some work into making the setting “homey”. What we consider normal décor for our church may seem very strange and unwelcoming to a non churchy person. The first line of our vision statement is “a changed life” and we want to make it as easy as we can for people to come and encounter Jesus, who changes people forever. Does a nice foyer and bathroom help bring the gospel message? Absolutely!

It was our youth pastor who actually came and asked if she could organise the project, and as a younger person she has a great eye for what is tasteful in our current culture. All of the major items of furniture were hand made by members of our congregation from old recycled hardwood and metal tubing. The same timber was dressed and varnished to add a special touch to the bathroom areas.

One of our older members said, “I don’t like those new benches we have in the foyer, it makes me feel like I am in the pub.” I just beamed at him and asked, “Does that mean that if a person who has never been to church, but feels comfortable in the pub, might come in here and hear about Jesus?” We laughed together as we caught the meaning behind that conversation. We both agreed that this is what we would love to see happen.

Another benefit has been that as we are having conversation with the church community about the heart to reach people who are not familiar with church, that the practical and concrete nature of the renovations has reinforced the message we are trying to convey and the culture we are desiring to create.

When we had a visit from our Executive Minister, her comment was that the feel was “so Busselton” and you couldn’t ask for a better compliment. We can go one better though, because we have had numerous comments from community people who come to a church service or other event and say, “wow, this is nothing like we expected it to be, this is really nice and… homey.”

That’s what we love, that people would feel at home. That they would have every opportunity to come and feel welcome and to connect with a God who loves them and wants them to be a part of his house and family. We love that mission can even occur on Sundays at the gatherings of God’s people in the same way Jesus had a heart to see and reach out to people when he was in God’s house.

“A changed life” – one person who is able to meet Jesus – is worth it all!!

Lee Sykes
Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church