September 1, 2015

“Home-Grown” Leader

At Cornerstone, ministry to children and youth has always been an important part of who we are and what we do. We work hard to make sure our children are loved and cared for, that they hear about the love God has for them, and that they are being encouraged to follow Jesus with their lives. We have seen many of our young people go on to do great things for Jesus—from mission trips abroad, to volunteering in churches and other ministries, to full-time ministry work.

One such individual is Tyler Moore, Cornerstone’s Pastor of Middle School Ministry. Tyler has been working at Cornerstone for the past three years, but he has been a part of our church for much longer than that. In fact, Tyler was raised in the youth programs at Cornerstone, having come to Cornerstone for the first time with his mother when he was eight years old. He attended children’s programs on the weekends, and continued to be involved in midweek programs through middle school and high school.

As a senior in high school, Tyler got his first taste of ministry when he was asked to volunteer in the children’s department. It was that first “yes” that sparked an interest in ministry that never entirely went away.

After high school, Tyler went off to pursue his dream of playing football at the college level. He was able to accomplish his childhood dream of obtaining a college scholarship for football, but in the process, stopped attending church. Tyler says, “Even though I was living out what I dreamed, I was more empty and unfulfilled than ever.”

But here’s the part where every parent of a child who is NOT currently following God can be encouraged—Tyler came back! When his father passed away in 2009, Tyler made the difficult decision to come back home to help support his family. After what Tyler calls “some of the most broken years of [his] life,” he came back to Christ in 2011 and started attending Cornerstone again, where many people poured into his life. “The fire for Jesus was lit,” says Tyler. “A year later, after applying to every foreign mission-field organization around the globe, I got offered a job here as the Middle School Director in my home church!”

Tyler’s experiences as both a “church kid,” and later as a person who wanted nothing to do with the church for a period of time, have influenced how he does his job at Cornerstone. He says, “I have the blessing of two different and complementary experiences. I remember all the great things that got me hooked in middle school and excited to come back to church, and yet I still remember all the reasons why I left the church. Those experiences have helped me create a program here that a wide variety of students can enjoy and get plugged into.”

Tyler’s hope for the middle school ministry at Cornerstone is to create a program that outlives him—one that doesn’t revolve around one person, but that raises up leaders who can then raise up other leaders. He says he often jokes with his middle school volunteers, “If Sharknado gets me tomorrow, I know this ministry will continue to flourish without me.”

Tyler is a shining example of what a student raised in the children and youth programs at Cornerstone can become. Now, we don’t make any promises that if you bring your children to church they will end up in full-time ministry, but you can be sure that they will hear about what it means to put their faith in Jesus from leaders like Tyler.

Cornerstone’s middle school group will be moving to their new location in the gym during the weekend of September 12 & 13. They will continue to meet on Sundays at 10:20am and Tuesdays at 6:30pm, and will be adding a new service time as well: Saturdays at 5:00pm. For more information about our middle school program, or any of Cornerstone’s other ministries to children and youth, contact us here.

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