stepping stones


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"but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
both now and to the day of eternity.

2. Peter 3:18

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Stepping Stones is a practical resource guide for taking next steps in your growing relationship with Christ.


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Welcome to an adventure! When you put your trust in Jesus Christ, you began a journey of spiritual growth. In doing so, you are getting to know Jesus better, learning to trust Him more, and growing in your love for Him and His people.

As with any journey, your growth in Christ will happen one step at a time. As you look at Stepping Stones, remember that you are not alone. You have many brothers and sisters in Christ who are taking the same steps, learning the same things, and growing in the same way - together we are becoming more like Jesus Christ every day.

". . . so that the Body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."       Ephesians 4:12-13

Why this resource and how to use it

All of us would likely say that we want to grow and live the life God made us to live. But sometimes it's difficult to know if we're actually growing in all the ways God desires or whether we're growing at all. This resource is intended to help you determine potential areas of personal growth and then provide a pathway on which to walk - a collection of stepping stones - that will give you some direction and forward momentum. You may consider Stepping Stones your personal roadmap to spiritual maturity.

Every human being is unique, has different challenges, learns differently, and is designed by God to reflect HIs glory and to be HIs presence to the world in a way like no other. Spiritual growth is not a "one size fits all" thing. God allows us to grow in a variety of ways - if we are regularly getting together with other believers, listening to teaching, praying, and reading the Bible, we are definitely going to be growing. Nonetheless, it is good to be intentional in our growth and take steps to grow in a comprehensive way. Stepping Stones can allow each of us to take steps in our spiritual growth that are unique to our lives.

A few notes about how Stepping Stones is organized....

  1. Stepping Stones is divided into ten areas of spiritual life, which are identified as ten markers of spiritual maturity. The ten areas are arranged into the four strategic components of Cornerstone Church: Belong, Grow, Serve, and Go. If everyone who is part of this church family is belonging in community, growing in Christ, serving God and others, and going with the message of Jesus, then we as a church will be able to accomplish the task God has given us of leading more and more people in to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
  2. The ten areas are in no order. If in looking over this resource you feel compelled to learn more about the Holy Spirit, for instance, then start there. It makes no difference where that area is in the sequence of this resource. The only exception might be the first one listed: Trusting Jesus for My Salvation. Without this, there is no relational foundation with God on which to build.
  3. Within each are you will find resources arranged into Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3. These steps refer to the depth and extent of the content similar to beginner, intermediate, and advanced. In general, the content in Step 1 will set you up for success with the content in Step 2. However, the resources in Step 2 don't specifically build on the resources in Step 1. So, feel free to start with any step in any section. Keep in mind, though, that it never hurts to review the fundamentals before going on to more advanced practice.
  4. Within each step, you will find four different avenues or forms of delivery: Book, Study/DVD, Media and Experience. Since we're all wired differently, various options are in place for you to pursue. Choose whichever one will work best for you or utilize them all.

May God make Himself known to you as you walk with Him on this journey.

[The leadership of Cornerstone does not necessarily endorse 100% of the views of all authors in this resource. These are simply solid resources that should be understood in light of the truth of Christ Himself, who is the Word of God.]

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And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.       1 John 5:11-13

It all starts with Jesus - knowing Him, trusting Him, loving Him. This is the key relationship that shapes my entire spiritual life. To know that I indeed have eternal life, that my sins are forgiven and that I am a new creation in Christ creates the foundation for all of my other experiences with God - both in this life, and for all of eternity!

Books: How Good is Good Enough? (Adults) - Andy StanleyAm I Good Enough? (Students) - Andy Stanley
Study/DVD: Cornerstone Next Steps Booklet/Study
Media: "How Can I Know God?"
Experience: Starting Point

Book: I Am Not But I Know I Am - Louie Giglio
Study/DVD: New Christian Handbook - Max Anders
Media: Coffee with Chris Caine Podcast
Experience: Answering the two diagnostic questions: 1. Do you know for sure that you are going to be with God in Heaven?  2. If God were to ask you, “Why should I let you into My Heaven?” what would you say?

Book: The Longing - Joey O'Conner
Study/DVD: Altar Ego: Becoming Who God Says You Are - Craig Groeschel
Media: FICM.ORG - Freedom in Christ Ministries
Experience: Baptism (contact us for more information)

Books: All Is Grace - Brennan ManningThe Steps to Freedom in Christ - Neil AndersonUndaunted - Christine Caine
Studies/DVD: The Steps to Freedom in Christ DVDFreedom in Christ Small Group StudyUndaunted DVD Study
Media: I Am - Louie Giglio Sermon

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Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.       John 4:23-24

When I truly worship God in spirit and in truth, I bring myself into the right relationship with God.  I experience His Presence in new ways, I tap into His power, and I learn to know Him better and trust Him more.  A vibrant and real worship life is part of having a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Book: The Air I Breathe – Louie Giglio
Study/DVD: Passion Talk Series - Louie Giglio
Media: A Biblical Theology of Worship Podcast Episode - Scotty Smith
Experience:  Make Cornerstone worship services a priority

Book: The Knowledge of the Holy – A.W. Tozer
Study/DVD:  The Way of a Worshiper Bible Study and DVD – Buddy Owens
Media: Blogging and resources of Bob Kauflin and Sovereign Grace
Experience:  This is Our God DVD

Book: Engaging with God – David Peterson
Study/DVD: Alleluia Series – Robert Webber
Media: R.C. Sproul Worship resource
Experience:  Serving on the worship team

Other Resources
Books: The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship - A.W. TozerWhatever Happened to Worship - A.W. TozerThe Way of a Worshiper - Buddy OwensWorship by the Book - D.A. CarsonWorship Evangelism - Sally Morgenthaler
Study/DVD: The Complete Library of Christian Worship - Robert Webber
Media: Theology of Worship podcast - Erwin McManusDavid G Peterson Resources

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Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body - whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.       1. Corinthians 12:12-13

A follower of Jesus does not live in a vacuum.  They are part of a body of believers, experiencing Christ through their spiritual brothers and sisters.  God desires for us to have real and lasting friendships that stand both the test of time and the inhumanity of the world we live in.

Book: Love Focused - Bob Hughes
Study/DVD: Boundaries - Cloud and Townsend
Media: Ransomed Heart podcast - John Elredge
Experience: Cornerstone Small Group or Bible Study

Books: Healing the Masculine Soul - Gordon Dalbey (for men); Breaking Free - Beth Moore (for women)
Study/DVD: The DNA of Relationships - Gary Smalley
Media: Paul Tripp Resources
Experience: Men's or Women's Retreat

Book: When People are Big and God is Small - Ed Welch
Study/DVD: Change and Your Relationships - Timothy Lane & Paul Tripp
Media: CCEF.ORG Resources
Experience: Baptism Long-term Service Project or Mission Trip

Other Resources
Books: Measure of a Man - Gene GentzSacred Companions - David BrennerBoundaries - Cloud & TownsendBecoming Myself - Stasi EldredgeRelationships: A Mess Worth Making - Paul Tripp

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[ GROW ]

Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.       Matthew 7:7

So often,  prayer becomes a religious performance and tradition rather than a living, breathing conversation with the Creator of the Universe who loves us more than life itself.  God desires for us to both talk with Him and listen to Him . . . doing experiencing life with Him every day.

Book: Power of Praying Through the Bible – Stormie Omartian
Study/DVD: When God’s People Pray – Jim Cymbala
Media: The Power of Prayer – Chip IngramPermission to Speak Freely – Andy Stanley
Experience:  Praying on your own or as a family. Use our "At the Table" family prayer resource designed for you to keep at the center of your family dinner table to guide your prayer before meals.

Book: Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire – Jim Cymbala
Study/DVD: A Journey to Victorious Praying DVD - Bill Thrasher
Media:  Unceasing Prayer – James MacDonald
Experience:  24/7 Prayer Event each January at Cornerstone

Book: Destined for the Throne – Paul Billheimer
Study/DVD: The Circle Maker – Mark Batterson
Media: Hearing God
Experience: Prayer Walk

Other Resources
Books: Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God – Dallas Willard
Studies/DVD: The Power of the Whisper – Bill HybelsHearing God DVD - Willard, Foster & Ortberg      
Media:  The Power of Prayer radio teaching series - Chip Ingram    
Experiences: Family Prayer Resources

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[ GROW ]

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.       2 Timothy 3:16-17

God speaks to us in His Word – the Bible.  Learning to read, understand, and apply the Bible to our daily lives is the single biggest key to living the abundant life that Jesus talks about.   The Bible is the Word of God—it’s power and meaning is limitless.  Welcome to a lifetime of learning about the mind of God through study of the Bible!

Book: The Story
Study/DVD:  What You Need to Know About Spiritual Growth (12 Lessons) - Max Anders
Media: Blue Letter Bible; Bible Gateway
Experience: L3

Book: 30 Days to Understanding the Bible – Max Anders            
Study/DVD: Read the Bible for Life - Leader Kit by George Guthrie
Media: Cold Case Christianity Youtube Channel
Experience: Walk Thru the bible - OT & NT separate

Book: Cold Case Christianity – J. Warner Wallace
Study/DVD:  The Truth Project  
Media: The Stand to Reason podcast - J. Warner Wallace
Experience: Bible Study Fellowship

Other Resources
Books: Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation – Richard FosterRead the Bible for Life - George Guthrie
Studies/DVD: The Life Application Study Bible
Experience: Bible School or Seminary Courses

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[ GROW ]

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers do not embitter your children, or they will be come discouraged.       Colossians 3:18-21

God invented the family when he created woman and man.  He has a plan for every family that involves truth, love, and service....a plan that reflects the heart of Christ for the home where all family members submit to each other out of a self-giving love.  The best way that we can bless our children and, by definition, our world, is by following that plan, living out the character of God every day.

Books: The Mystery of Marriage - Mike MasonThink Orange - Reggie Joiner
Study/DVD:  House or Home, Marriage Edition - Chip IngrimHouse or Home, Parenting Edition - Chip Ingrim
Media: God’s Sacred Design for Marriage Radio Program (2 parts)
Experience: Marriage Seminar

Book: Sacred Marriage - Gary ThomasParenting Beyond Your Capacity
Study/DVD: The Art of Marriage Small Group Study
Media: Family Life Marriage TopicFamily Life Parenting Topic
Experience: Marriage Weekend – Weekend to Remember by Family Life

Book: The Most Important Place on Earth: What a Christian Home Looks Like and How to Build One - Robert Wolgemuth      
Study/DVD: Ransomed Heart Small Group Video Series
Media: Rock Harbor Series - Sex, Love, God
Experience: Parenting Seminar

Other Resources
Books: Love and Respect - Emerson EggerichsEveryday Talk: Talking Freely and Naturally about God with Your Children - John YountsEffective Parenting/Defective World - Chip IngramWhat Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of MarriageGetting to the Heart of Parenting – Paul Tripp
Study/DVD:  Sacred Marriage DVD - Gary Thomas

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[ GROW ]

His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'       Matthew 25:23

Money, talents, abilities, possessions – all these are entrusted to us by God for the purpose of doing his work and bringing him glory. How do we move from thinking “What’s mine is mine” to “Not my will, but your will be done”?  learning to truly use what God has entrusted to us for his purposes is the key to true wealth and blessing.

Book: Genius of Generosity - Chip Ingrim
Study/DVD: Managing God’s Money – A Biblical Guide (based on Treasure Principle)
Media: Balanced podcast -  Andy Stanley
Experience: Advent Conspiracy

Book: Sacred Rhythms – Ruth Haley Barton
Study/DVD: Financial Peace University– Dave Ramsey
Media: Becoming Minimalist
Experience:  Financial Peace University - Dave Ramsey

Book: The Divine Conspiracy – Dallas Willard
Study/DVD: Celebration of Discipline DVD Curriculum
Media: Generous ChurchRenovare
Experience: Silence and Solitude Retreat

Other Resources
Books: A Life God Rewards - Bruce WilkinsonChasing Francis – Ian CronJust Leave God Out of It - David TimmsLiving the Lord's Prayer - David Timms
Studies/DVD: R12 - Chip IngramA Life God Rewards DVDDevotional Classics - Richard Foster
Media:  Spiritual Simplicity: doing less, loving more – Chip Ingram teaching seriesYour Move Balanced Financial Tools

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But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.       John 16:13

We aren’t in this life alone.  God has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us, teach us, and empower us.  Getting to know Him, learning how He works in us, and living our lives with Christ through the power of the Spirit is crucial to becoming all that God has called us to be.

Book: Power of Whisper – Bill Hybels
Study/DVD: Divine Design – Chip Ingram
Media:  The Holy Spirit and You – sermon by Billy Graham (yes, it’s 1983 – retro is in)
Experience:  Spiritual Gifts Inventory and meeting with Connection Coach

Book: Forgotten God – Francis Chan
Study/DVD: When God’s Spirit Moves – Jim Cymbala
Media: Four Sermons on the Holy Spirit – John Piper
Experience:  Monthly Prayer

Book: Hearing God – Dallas Willard
Study/DVD:  Experiencing God – Henry Blackaby
Media:  Blackaby Expgod
Experience:  Healing Service

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Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."       Matthew 20:25-28

The Kingdom of God is upside down.  Jesus says that those who want to be great in God’s kingdom must be servants of all.  Learning to serve others in the name of Jesus is really a call to spiritual greatness.  Learning to serve with the abilities and interests that God has given us allows us to fulfill that unique mission which God has given each one of us.

Book: Love Does – Bob Goff
Study/DVD: Holy Ambition – Chip Ingram
Media:  Emotionally Healthy
Experience:  Complete Personal Profile and meet with Connection Coach at Cornerstone

Book: In the Name of Jesus – Henri Nouwen
Study/DVD: Let Your Life Speak – Parker Palmer
Media: Work as Worship Network
Experience: Serve in ministry role at Cornerstone

Book: Next Generation Leader – Andy Stanley
Study/DVD:  Leadership Essentials – Craig Groeschel
Media: Your Move - Andy Stanley leadership podcast           
Experience: Leadership Conference

Other Resources
Books: Crazy Love – Francis ChanLeadership That Works - Leith AndersonUnder The Unpredictable Plant (a study in vocational holiness) – Eugene PetersonAll In - Mark BattersonThe Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People's Full Potential - David A. Stoddard and Robert J. Tamasy
Studies/DVD: Jesus on Leadership: Developing Servant Leaders - DVD Leader Kit           
Media:  Christian Jobs

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[ GO ]

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."       Matthew 28:18-20

The most dangerous thing we can do with God is to play it safe. The Great Commission of Jesus tells us to go and make disciples. The Great Commandment of Jesus tells us to do it because we love God and others. The words that God loves to hear from each of his children are, "Here am I! Send me!"

Book: Becoming a Contagious Christian – Bill Hybels & Mark Mittelberg
Study/DVD: Just Walk Across The Room – Bill Hybels
Media: Share Your Faith App
Experience: Local Missions Experience or Team

STEP 2                           
Book: The Heavenly Man – Brother Yun
Study/DVD: God’s Heart for the Nations – Jeff Lewis
Media: Operation World
Experience:  Out-of-State Missions Experience

STEP 3                      
Book: Bridges of God – Donald McGavran
Study/DVD: Perspectives Course       
Media: Radical Experiment
Experience:  Career Missions

Other Resources
Books: Let the Nation’s Be Glad – John PiperThe Hole in the Gospel – Richard StearnsA Chance to Die - Amy Carmichael
Studies/DVD: Faith Path: Helping Friends Find Their Way to Christ - Mark Mittelberg
Media: Catalyst ConferenceRight Now Ministry
Experiences: Urbana Conference

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