The history of Cornerstone Bible Church is not unique. We were one of many churches that were planted in the 1950s. Like many of those churches, we slowly grew and purchased a building. In the late 1980s we hit our peak with an attendance of close to 300 people. However, we were not prepared for the shifts culturally and demographically that were coming our way. Fast forward to 2012, when average church attendance had shrunk to a little more than 50 people. We did not have a nursery or children’s program because we didn’t have any young families. Church members were angry and blaming culture and each other for the predicament they had found themselves in! We were frustrated, confused, and struggling to maintain our property and finances.
But God was not done with us yet. There was no magic bullet or program that brought our church back to health. It began with a prayerful dependence on God and a willingness to do whatever He wanted us to. We slowly learned how to love God and our neighbor more than we loved ourselves again. We became willing to make changes even though we “had never done it that way before.” We learned how to connect with our community again. When we became outwardly focused we stopped fighting with each other and began fighting for the Kingdom! There are so many things we would like to share with you about what God did here at Cornerstone. We are now a healthy, thriving church of over 250 people. More important than the numerical growth is all of the spiritual growth we have seen. People are getting saved, baptized, growing in their faith and serving others with their gifts!
God has now called us to help other churches experience the same revitalization! This conference is not about learning a ministry model or even growing your church. It is about getting re-focused on what the church is and what it’s supposed to do. It’s about receiving the necessary training to reach an ever-changing culture with the unchanging truth of God’s word. We have brought together amazing speakers who will both challenge and equip you for the revitalization tasks that lay ahead. We are looking forward to serving you!
When Mike Rubino first sensed God’s call in 2012 to Cornerstone Bible Church, a non-denominational church on Long Island, he was confident he could lead the church out of its decline and ineffectiveness. The church had declined to 50 to 60 in attendance. It had no small groups, a declining budget, and an aging congregation. But Mike saw potential. The church has seven acres on Long Island, a huge block of land for the area. The facilities were in disrepair, but it had good infrastructure. Yes, Mike was confident he could lead the revitalization. And that was his first major mistake.
“I was self-dependent,” Mike told us. “I was too self-confident. I did not depend on God.” So, when the pastor ran into the buzzsaws of a controlling family, major disagreements, and a church that did not reflect the diversity of the community, he had to make major changes. And, he told us, the first change had to be him. “I was the major problem at the onset,” he told us. “I had to become prayerfully dependent on God if this revitalization would ever take place.”
Once Mike asked God to take over, the revitalization had already begun. Of course, the visible fruit of the revitalization would come later. Mike had to take a second job unloading trucks to pay the bills. He was exhausted, but he remained dependent on God. The church began loving and ministering to the community. Indeed, the members immersed themselves in the community. Mike said, “The truths are the same whether the church is in Alabama, Tennessee, or on Long Island: Understand your community. Love your community. And be intentional about reaching your community.
Today, Cornerstone Bible Church is a diverse congregation reflecting its community. Attendance has reached 250. Mike was able to give up his other job as the church’s resources grew. The church has begun to realize its dream of becoming a launching pad for other revitalization efforts. And it began when one man decided to stop depending upon himself and start depending on the One who is the true source of church revitalization.
Cornerstone Bible Church
324 Jayne Blvd, Port Jefferson Station, NY
Cornerstone Bible Church Hours
Hours: M-F 8:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday: 9:30am Prayer, 10:30am Worship
Student Ministries: Friday 7:00pm – 9:00pm