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.

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 What I’m thinking
Take a trip back to your childhood. Do you remember a time when you couldn’t go to sleep because you were too excited about an upcoming trip or holiday? Maybe you were imagining yourself skipping down Main Street at Disney World. Perhaps it was the night before Christmas. Are you experiencing the warm fuzzy feelings yet? You’re welcome…I’ve been too excited to sleep lately. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with an upcoming trip to see Mickey, and though I’m still listening to Christmas music, I can contain the Buddy-esque elation that usually hits me in September.

I’ve been too excited to sleep lately. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with an upcoming trip to see Mickey, and though I’m still listening to Christmas music, I can contain the Buddy-esque elation that usually hits me in September. I’m excited about what God is doing at The Church @ Clayton Crossings.

I’m excited about what God is doing at The Church @ Clayton Crossings. Super excited. As I read in Scripture about seasons of revival and growth, while recounting my own experiences of seeing God doing big things, I’m noticing similar indicators of a spiritual and numerical boon at C@CC.We have been called and deployed by God to help people find and follow Jesus. In order to realize our mission, we employ the following five strategies (they’re in order of priority). As you continue to read, ask God to show you

We have been called and deployed by God to help people find and follow Jesus. In order to realize our mission, we employ the following five strategies (they’re in order of priority). As you continue to read, ask God to show you specific ways you can be obedient to Him as we serve together.

Connect

What that means: Ministry moves at the speed of relationship. We connect with people for a couple of reasons: 1. We were created to be relational people (that’s why parties are so much fun!), and 2. We connect with people for the privilege of introducing them to Jesus. Why is connecting at the top of our strategy list? The best reason is found in a fun fact about our Easter crowd: Of the 40 or so guests I spoke with on Easter Sunday morning, two people came because of a flyer or our Facebook ad. Everyone else showed up because of a friend’s invitation. Relationships matter!
How we do this at C@CC: Community groups.
Where we’re going: As God continues to grow our church, we need someone on our staff team to champion groups. The Church @ Clayton Crossings will have community groups meeting every day in various locations around Johnston County.

Discover

What that means: We discover our identity and purpose in a relationship with God through Jesus. God rescued us from the ravaging consequences of sin because He loves us. There is no more powerful story than the story of redemption–Jesus willingly offers it to all who ask.
How we do this at C@CC: Sunday morning worship service.
Where we’re going: Our teams work hard to make the Sunday service the best hour of your week. As God continues to grow our church, we’re going to add another worship service to our Sunday morning schedule, but the rationale isn’t just about needing more space. We want to make the worship service available to as many people as possible, including people who are unable to attend at 10:30. The details haven’t been worked out yet, but we will keep you posted!

Serve

What that means: Saved people serve people (thanks to Perry Noble for that nugget!). The Church @ Clayton Crossings is a missional church–that means we (as individuals) do what missionaries do: study and become part of the culture, learn the language, see people through the compassionate eyes of Jesus as we serve them in His name, explain the salvation Jesus offers, and contextualize biblical life and church for the culture.
How we do this at C@CC: We serve our local mission field (With Love From Jesus, volunteering at C@CC) and partner with churches in other countries (Cuba mission trips, our contributions to the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention).
Where we’re going: Do you know who needs to be loved and served in the name of Jesus? Everybody, everywhere. As God continues to grow our church, we’re going to have more opportunities to serve at church. I loved seeing the first-time volunteers on Easter Sunday! We’re investigating partnerships with new church plants in North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Montana. We going to continue to serve churches in Cuba and expand our foreign missions efforts in additional countries.

Develop

What that means: We say “yes” to Jesus when He asks us to take next steps toward spiritual maturity. If you don’t step up when God asks you to lead, you hurt yourself, the church, and the community. Christianity is a movement to be advanced, not an institution to be maintained!
How we do this at C@CC: Giving/tithing, personal spiritual growth, serving as an apprentice community group or ministry leader.
Where we’re going: Atrophy is the result of a lack of growth. As God continues to grow our church, we’re going to ask you to flex your spiritual and leadership muscles. We need more community group leaders, more volunteers in our preschool and elementary kids ministries, group leaders for students, short-term missionaries, prayer warriors, worship leaders, graphic artists, web developers, marketers, artists… Why? God is leading us to add another Sunday morning worship service before the close of 2016. Also, He’s getting us ready to multiply through church revitalization and new church planting. We need to develop ministers and missionaries who will serve these new locations. We’re going to start talking about our vision in terms of multiplication, not addition.

Your next step: Evaluate your faithfulness

What a privilege to have a Savior who invites us to partner with Him in His work of worldwide redemption! I don’t want you to miss out on what God is doing, so here’s your next step: evaluate your faithfulness in these areas. How are you doing?

  • Inviting. When is the last time I ask someone to be my guest at church? Do I know the spiritual condition of my family and friends?
  • Prayer. Am I spending time with God in prayer? Am I asking Him to show me how He wants to use me for His purposes?
  • Giving. Do I trust God for my salvation while not trusting Him with my financial security? Am I partnering with God by financially supporting the mission and ministries of C@CC?
  • Serving. Am I willing to roll up my sleeves and serve the God who has given me everything? For which cause or group of people am I most burdened – could God be leading me to serve them in His name?

I am so excited about the days ahead–I’ll be praying for you and cannot wait to see what God does through you!

 

What I need to remember:
MEMBERSHIP CLASS (After this post, you had to know that I was going to highlight Partnership Class!) Are you considering partnering with The Church at Clayton Crossings? Join us for our no-obligation Partnership Class on Sunday, May 22 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.

What I’m listening to
My friend Mark Morgan and I were reminiscing this week about our favorite Christian bands from the 80s and 90s. I’ve spent waaaaay too much time with Petra, Whiteheart (Dann Huff is still my favorite guitarist!), and SONICFLOOd (yes, that’s how you spell it) over the last couple of days.

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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