A note from John: From time to time, I’ll run across an article that smacks me right between the eyes. It’s my privilege to share a blog post from Angela Krider, the student ministry assistant at The Church @ Clayton Crossings. Angela views the world through a unique and refreshing lens, and I know you’ll love reading her thoughts–she’s an incredibly bright woman. This article was posted on Angela’s blog on October 28, 2016.

 You can connect with Angela at angela@claytoncrossings.com, view her bio here, and enjoy her blog here

One of my favorite movies of all time is Forrest Gump.

The iconic phrase, “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get” is something expressed at least once a day at my house. And though I do agree that life can be equated to an intricate collection of savory, as well as occasional unpleasant delicacies (such as the absolutely disgusting molasses-filled chocolate!), lately I find my mind pondering this question:

If life is like a box of chocolates, how do we go about choosing the box we will most thoroughly enjoy?

It is pretty obvious that life is composed of moments that require making some sort of decision. Having to make a choice is an everyday enterprise that we are all too familiar with. From asking ourselves “what are we making for dinner” to our children asking the nightly, “do I have to take a bath”, never a day goes by without us having to make a compromise.

But what if we have to make a life-altering decision? You know, those massive life decisions that cause us to lose sleep, lose weight (or gain it!), and lose our minds. The kind of decisions that stress us out like no other and cause us to really stop and think about our next steps.

What career path do I follow? Am I really cut out for this job? Chase passion or responsibility? Should I go back to school? Should my spouse and I seek marriage counseling? Is my lifestyle holy God’s eyes? Do I stay or do I go?

Let’s be real: there are often forks in the road we need help with; necessary and crucial decisions that we just can’t make alone due to their magnitude and importance. The reality is, if life is a like a box of chocolates then we need help in making the right selection.

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22 ESV

When faced with a life-altering decision, we often want to be right when instead, we should first be wise. Silly human, we need to be wise! However, in order to be wise, we have to let others speak into our lives, provide insight, and counsel. Life-altering decisions are far from simple – that is why they are life-altering! Planning for the future, or heck, even planning for tomorrow can be a challenge when trying to figure everything on our own. But how do we make a wise decision if we don’t see the big picture?

I realized something about myself the last few weeks: I don’t know everything and I definitely can’t see everything. I wish I could but that is not the case.

However, I did learn that a collection of people I know, trust, and highly respect make up that deficit. I may not know everything but the people I trust each know something they can teach me. I may not see everything but the people I trust each have perspectives that see components I’m prone to overlook. I do not always know what to do and I can not always see the big picture – but together, my community can.

Sometimes all we need is a little vision and Biblical truth from people we trust to really push us towards making the right decisions. Personally, I am very fortunate to have an amazing group of people helping to guide and mentor me (as well as cheer me on) through important life decisions I am facing right now – decisions that I just can’t make on my own. My question is: Do you have these kinds of people in your life? Do you have a community that can speak truth into your life? How about Biblical truth?

[At The Church @ Clayton Crossings, we’re] creating a sense of community via community groups. What does that look like and what the heck does that even mean?

Community looks like this:
Building relationships, exploring truth, and supporting each other through prayer and additional practical ways.

Community Groups look like this:
Individuals slowly becoming the version Jesus intended for them to be with the help of others authentically investing and caring about their spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Community groups not only gather together, share and pray, but they are intentional in helping individuals like you and me understand and apply Biblical truth in everyday life.

These are great groups for someone saying: “I am a little intimidated by the size of this church, but I want to better understand the teachings I am hearing at church, and I want some help in applying these teachings to my life.”

These community groups and environments have been carefully designed to help individuals who share similar seasons of life and live in similar areas of town. Regardless of whether you consider yourself young or old, Christian or non-Christian, single, married, or divorced, we have a place for you to connect, to grow, and to belong. We want you to be plugged into a community group because life is hard and sometimes, we just need a group of people who can speak into our lives the way Christ would.

Life is difficult and making decisions alone can be challenging. The trick is the realization that we have to be wise in our decisions and being wise requires advisers and counsel. Community and developing genuine relationships are key to not only being wise but becoming the very best version of ourselves–the version God intended us to be.

Now, back to news from John…
What I need to remember:

  • OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD We’re excited about another year of partnership with Operation Christmas Child—together, we provide joy, help, and hope to kids around the world. There are a couple of ways you can participate: 1. take home an empty box (or several!) on Sunday and fill it with goodies, and 2. you can help our crew of volunteers pack and process filled boxes through our efforts as a regional collection center. Learn more and sign up to volunteer at com/occ.
  • INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING? I am humbled by the faithful service of our volunteers. Each week, partners roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to point people to Jesus, but we need more help! There’s a place for you to serve at C@CC, no matter your availability, temperament, or skill set. To take the next step in your faith journey by serving, complete this short form and we’ll find the perfect fit for you.

What I’m listening to:
Resurrecting by Elevation Worship. I simply cannot get enough of this amazing song!

What I’m reading:
Start with Why by Simon Sinek

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:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jtsandersiii
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jtsanders3