Every Thursday I’ll send a note to your inbox with a devotional thought designed to help connect you with God, information about what’s going on at The Church at Clayton Crossings, and some fun facts to help us get to know one another.

What I’m thinking
I once heard someone say that everyone loves change only if they’re the one suggesting it. That rings true for me, and I’m sure you’ve struggled with transitions too. Every generation has initially celebrated revolution yet eventually laments the chaos it brings as even its most vocal proponents nostalgically yearn for days gone by.Bob Dylan wrote “Times They Are a-Changin” as the ultimate protest song in 1964, but recently told a

Bob Dylan wrote “Times They Are a-Changin” as the ultimate protest song in 1964, but recently told a Rolling Stone reporter that he could not stand modern music.  Hmm… Even as a Dylan fan, I’ll admit that I’m catching a whiff of hypocrisy in ol’ Bob’s words.It’s true: sometimes change can be messy, especially when we are emotionally attached to the thing we hoped would last forever. Like it or not, change is necessary. Quite often, if we allow ourselves to cut the emotional ties that blind us to the necessity of transformation, we find that we’re better off because of the adjustment. Consider the convenience of microwave ovens, air conditioning, automatic transmissions, and your trusty smartphone. Can you imagine going through your day without those staples of our American existence? Me neither, and I’m glad someone challenged the status quo, especially since it means I can burn my taste buds into oblivion after nuking a Hot Pocket for a mere two minutes.

It’s true: sometimes change can be messy, especially when we are emotionally attached to the thing we hoped would last forever. Like it or not, change is necessary. Quite often, if we allow ourselves to cut the emotional ties that blind us to the necessity of transformation, we find that we’re better off because of the adjustment. Consider the convenience of microwave ovens, air conditioning, automatic transmissions, and your trusty smartphone. Can you imagine going through your day without those staples of our American existence? Me neither, and I’m glad someone challenged the status quo, especially since it means I can burn my taste buds into oblivion after nuking a Hot Pocket for a mere two minutes.

Be encouraged, dear reader. Change can be good even if you aren’t the innovator.

That’s a long lead-in for what I wanted to share with you today. As I’ve been asking God about where He is leading The Church at Clayton Crossings, I cannot help but be simultaneously excited and a wee bit anxious at what God is already doing.  It’s a new day and God is doing new things. Here are a few highlights:

  • We are on track to baptize more people in 2016 than in any year in the church’s history.
  • There are more adult community group Bible studies than ever before. We’ve got amazing options! In fact, our adult community groups system (which includes recruiting and training new leaders, determining locations for new groups, and discovering service opportunities for groups) is getting to the point that our part-time volunteer leadership can no longer manage.
  • Our student and children’s ministries are reaching kids and families in ways we never dreamed in years past. The level of programming and care in those vital ministry areas are typically found in churches twice the size of The Church at Clayton Crossings!
  • For half the Sundays in 2016, we have seen more people in church than we did on the last two Easter Sundays. Easter Sunday is the high attendance day in every church in America, but God has allowed us to break those record setting days on non-holidays. There’s a buzz in the community about how God is working at The Church at Clayton Crossings!

This is all God’s doing. And while I don’t think for a minute that this season of growth has anything to do with man-made plans, I want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to remove obstacles to what God desires to do as He increases our church family. Do you understand the difference? We don’t manufacture growth, but we don’t want to hinder it.

With all that said, I’m excited to introduce a couple of developments that will enhance our ministry efforts of helping people find and follow Jesus.  You’ll start seeing these enhancements around the church in the weeks ahead. Here are a couple:

New logo

LOGO-tccc

Why a new logo? I’m glad you asked! The first thing you probably noticed was the cross in the logo. That’s on purpose–we want to make a big deal about Jesus! The empty cross (and empty tomb) are the primary topics of everything we say and do at The Church at Clayton Crossings.

Also, think about the thousands of cars that drive by our church every weekday. Our signage likely no longer catches their attention because they’ve seen it every day for several years. Won’t it be great to have a new sign to cause them to notice something new? You never know who God will put in your path who will mention the new sign–take advantage of that moment to invite them to join you for church on Sunday!

Two services on Easter Sunday
As I’ve already mentioned, God is growing our church! In order to make room for guests on Easter Sunday, we need to offer two worship services for the big day. We’ll have services at 9:00am and 10:30am.

To make sure we have enough volunteers for our preschool, children’s, and First Impressions ministries, I want our partners (middle school–adults) to plan on attending one service and serving in another. We will not offer groups for middle school, high school, college, and adults on Easter Sunday morning. Why not attend worship with your entire family at the 9:00 hour and stick around to serve at10:30? You will have the opportunity to sign up to serve for Easter over the next couple of Sundays. We’ll have sign-up forms in the back of the worship center.

OK, so I think this is the most verbose article I’ve written for my Thursday series–I’ll give you an Oreo if you’ve made it this far! Let me leave you with this. Jesus was a big fan of change. He came to set us free from the yoke of the Law and the eternal punishment of sin. I’m grateful to God for the change Jesus has brought and is bringing to my life through the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. I’m thrilled He asks us to join Him on His mission to be fishers for people (Matthew 4:19)!

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:5a NLT

What I need to remember:

  • MEMBERSHIP CLASS Are you considering partnering with The Church at Clayton Crossings? Join us for our no-obligation Partnership Class on Sunday, March 20 that will give you a peek behind the curtain at who we are and what we do. Here’s the super-short version: we are people who have been rescued by God who are willing to do whatever He asks! Follow this link to sign up.
  • BAPTISM Our next baptism is scheduled for Sunday, March 20. Allow your church family to celebrate the transformation Jesus has made in your life. Sign up for more info here.
  • INVEST AND INVITE Easter Sunday is March 27. Begin praying now for 3 people you will invite to join you at The Church at Clayton Crossings. Pray for your relationship, your conversation, and for their salvation.

What I’m reading:

What I’m listening to:

  • United We Stand by Hillsong United. “The Stand” is one of my favorite songs to play on the guitar (you may have noticed last week!). It’s on the playlist for this Sunday too!!

About me:
John Sanders is the non-stuffy pastor at The Church at Clayton Crossings. His primary mission is to help people find and follow Jesus. Additionally, he longs to write like the child of Aaron Sorkin and Dave Barry, preach like W.A. Criswell, look like Bradley Cooper, and eat like he’s seventeen years old. A more complete (and less snarky) bio can be found here.

Let’s be friends:

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