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Mondays with Artie

Meredith Mahon Morris February 2, 2011

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Lately you’ve seen me talk a lot about Cornerstone Community Church, and with good reason. They’re doing some amazing things in the city of Orangeburg, S.C., and it’s worth sharing! Last week I was able to hang out with Cornerstone’s Lead Pastor, Artie Davis.

He graciously rolled out the red carpet upon my arrival! Okay, not really a “red carpet” per se, but I was able to step into his world for a day. I sat in on an all-staff meeting, took part in a sermon planning session, grabbed lunch with his team, and talked face-to-face with him on a variety of things… both with life and in ministry.

Artie was just one of those guys you could spend all morning and afternoon joking around with and before you know it, times up!

One of the things I noticed at Cornerstone is the work culture that’s in place there. The entire staff was helpful, upbeat, friendly, maybe even a little goofy, and yet they were mindful of their tasks-at-hand for the day.

It’s rare to ever see that be the case for a church office. Obviously, this has something to do with the crazy man in charge of it all…

Artie’s unique personality and style of leadership was impressive to see in person. He’s got the nervous energy of a third grader with A.D.H.D., the positive encouragement of a little league coach, the jovial humor of your best friend, and the same vibrant passion for the Gospel as Billy Graham.

Needless to say, I had a blast and can easily see why much of the staff at Cornerstone sacrificed successful careers and stepped out on faith to join him there!

In the middle of meetings he’d shout in utter frustration at his computer, tease a staff pastor on their choice of morning beverage (some sort of Crystal Light drink that Artie deemed “girlie”), but all the while staying focused in trying to find just the right Bible verses to enhance his message for the upcoming Sunday services. That kind of mental balance was truly a sight to behold.

If Artie looks familiar, it’s probably due to his large presence on social media. The guy blogs daily, Tweets on the hour, and uses all of these outlets to effectively connect with other pastors, give his perspective on ministry-related issues, and promote what’s happening at Cornerstone.

Last week I blogged about Cornerstone’s Communications Pastor, Jonathan Pearson and his thoughts on social media and the church. He does a great job in handling all of the social media outlets for the church. While it’s great to have a dedicated staff member for that, it’s with Artie where we see the Lead Pastor actually set the tone in active engagement with the online world.

Here he shows the usefulness of social networking by mentioning how a church used Twitter to invite his wife to their worship service while she was visiting their daughter at Clemson University one weekend.

In addition to his work with Cornerstone, Artie helps lead two ministry groups: the “Comb Network” (a church planting movement) and “The Sticks” (a ministry network for churches in smaller cities) so he is always looking to connect with other pastors and churches. He commented how he’s not just connecting with other pastors for the sake of professional networking, but building meaningful relationships with them as well.

And you may have heard about a huge brawl at the local IHOP in Orangeburg that went “viral” and gave the community a black eye. However, Artie used this as an opportunity to reach out and defend his hometown’s reputation.

So what can we learn from Artie?

One lesson to take away is that social media can be a great tool to spread the Word and to stay connected with your members and beyond. If your church doesn’t have an online presence and isn’t utilizing outlets like Twitter, blogs, YouTube, and Facebook to its full potential, what’s your excuse?

Time? Trust me, Artie is busier than ever, yet he makes a concerted effort to use the latest technology and methods to communicate more efficiently and do ministry more effectively.

Money? Social networking is free to use. If you have a computer or a cell phone, it’s easy to learn and fun to do!

Check out some of what Artie does online:

Cornerstone Community Church’s website: www.cornerstonecommunity.com

The Sticks: www.thesticks.tv

I want to thank Artie and the entire staff there at Cornerstone for being such gracious hosts!

Hope to see them again real soon.

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