Practicing Discernment: Membership of Cornerstone in Pipestone, Minnesota

This is a discernment exercise for an EFCA Church in Southwest Minnesota. Cornerstone is led by Steve Stahl. In this post you see the church’s membership requirements. Please look at and analyze.

“Intelligence is something we are born with. Thinking is a skill that must be learned.”

Edward De Bono

“To live is to think.”

Marcus Cicero

That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.

Acts 17: 10-12 NLT

Downtown Washington, D.C.

This blog is going to do another discernment post that looks at an EFCA church in Pipestone, Minnesota. Cornerstone is led by Steve Stahl. Pipestone is in Southwest Minnesota. In the post below you see membership requirements for Cornerstone. What is your analysis of this? How do you look at Pipestone? Is there views on membership, church discipline, being held accountable reasonable? Why or why not?

III. Membership in the E. Free Church
     A. How to become a member
          1. Membership class
          2. Testimonies with Elders
          3. Congregational affirmation
     B. Responsibilities of members
          1. Personal Spiritual Development
          2. Involvement
          3. Service
          4. Giving
          5. Accountability for Christian Lifestyle
     C. The importance of membership
          1. Ownership of vision
          2. A voice in our local church
          3. A voice in the EFCA 4. Selection of leadership .

ARTICLE 1    By Laws



Applicants shall participate in membership instruction and/or interviews with a member of the Board Ministerial Staff.  Two Elders shall visit each applicant, and then ask each applicant to appear before the   Elder Board for the purpose of giving his or her testimony of faith in Jesus Christ.  The Elder Board shall   then vote, and if the person receives a unanimous favorable vote; that person shall be accepted by the church at the next congregational meeting.  If the vote is not favorable, the matter shall be tabled until the next meeting of the Elder Board.  Any Elder who does not vote in favor of the applicant shall state scriptural reasons for voting “no.”  Before the next meeting of the Elder Board, the applicant and two   members of the Elder Board will discuss the application.  If a unanimous favorable vote cannot be attained at the second meeting, the application for membership shall be denied (John 1:12-13; 14:23-24).



 Associate members are members who have full participation in the church with the exception of   voting     privileges and holding elected office.  Therefore, they are not to be included when counting for quorum or        quorum requirements.  Any member inactive in the local church for 1 year will be designated as an             associate member.  To reestablish active membership, an associate member must notify the Elder Board  of their desire to do so by written request.  Associate members who turn eighteen and desire to request voting and active membership privileges must appear before the Elder Board to give his or her testimony of faith in Jesus Christ.


Any member who wishes to resign his membership from the church shall so notify the Board of Elders.  All resignations shall be reported to the church at the next business meeting.


If any member shall conduct himself/herself in a manner which, in the studied opinion of the Pastor and the Board of Elders, is not in harmony with Scriptural principles, and for which he/she does not show        evidence of repentance; he/she shall be interviewed and counseled by the Pastor and then the Board of Elders after the manner clearly indicated in the Word of God  (Matthew 18:15-17; Galations 6:1).

Restoration of the erring member shall be the single purpose and love the sole motivating force in these   interviews.

If the member should choose to continue in his/her unrepentant condition, he shall be deprived of his/her membership upon a recommendation from the Board of Elders and a two-thirds majority vote of at least a quorum at a special meeting of the church.

Any member who has resigned or whose membership has been deprived shall be excluded from all rights of the organization.

One thought on “Practicing Discernment: Membership of Cornerstone in Pipestone, Minnesota

  1. What you copied seems very straightforward. Procedures for accepting a member, for kicking one out, for resignations. A lot of churches would not be that open about this kind of internal procedure, so that’s a good sign.

    What concerns me is what they don’t say. They have this whole outline, which includes “accountability for christian lifestyle,” and then no way to pull up the details on what they mean by anything on their outline. I checked the church webpage on this, and none of the outline items link to anything, and it’s not anywhere else on their website. I can’t tell if they are hiding something, or whether their website is just a work in progress, and they will add it later.


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