You Need Community to Make Cookies

Your plans will fall apart right in front of you if you fail to get good advice.

But if you seek out multiple counselors, you’ll watch your plans succeed. (Proverbs 15:22 TPT)

process, community, experience, enjoy

Photo Credit: ponce_photography (CC).

Can’t go through the journey without community. People make our life thrilling yet risky, satisfying yet painful. But what would you do without them?

It’d like making chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips (or worse, with raisins).

Ever make chocolate chip cookies? I grew up helping my mom make about 12 dozen at a time. I’d stare at the oven and take them out after 12 minutes. Batch after batch for about two hours (at least, it felt like two hours).

So, making chocolate chip cookies is like brushing my teeth especially since my mom taught me well.

When I was in the outreach ministry, we had a tight-knit relationship with inmates from two local prisons. These guys were at the last round of their sentence and about to get released in a year or so. We brought them to church and our ministry home. Occasionally we could petition to have them over for special events or projects. On a Saturday before Christmas, we had them over to bake–something the men were interested in doing. Yes, male inmates making cookies. Imagine seeing them wearing baking aprons and oven mitts.

For most of them, this was their first attempt at baking. We gave them different cookie recipes then helped them through the process.

Two guys were assigned to make chocolate chip cookies. They acted confident as they worked together well, so we didn’t follow up as much compared to the other guys. Once their chocolate chip cookies cooled, I took a bit of a cookie. I wanted to spit it out because it tasted strange. So, we asked the two guys what happened. They went through the steps including how using baking powder instead of baking soda — yep, the culprit.

Now, the guy who accidentally poured the powder felt bad because he had made a large batch. But we informed him that it was just a mistake and a learning experience. At least, we got a good laugh.

One guy making peanut butter cookies, immediately took them out of the oven and onto a wire rack. Of course, the cookies fell apart as he placed them on the rack. After explaining they need to cool first, he didn’t make that mistake again.

Despite the mistakes, the inmates enjoyed the experience, even more than (or as much as) the cookies themselves.

What if they had watched a Youtube video on how to make cookies and made them alone? No friends or mentors to help. Would their experience be as rewarding? Doubt it.

The collective experience and guidance made the experience memorable.

Years ago, I went through a season where I isolated myself, thinking that I could accomplish my life goals by myself. Afterall, I had God and that’s all I needed. But this prideful attitude only caused frustration, loneliness, and a false sense of self-sufficiency — a recipe for disaster.

So, it’s no surprise that this time was one of the most difficult and painful seasons in my life. I made some terrible decisions that set me back some years, but God has redeemed that lost time.

Now, I’m learning to embrace community, instead of flying solo. It not only helps make the process more enjoyable, but it’s one of the ways God’s redeemed my time. My friends and family are providing wisdom from their life experiences, mistakes, and successes. So I avoid pitfalls, detours, and costly decisions. And even when I make mistakes, they help pick me up and learn from the mistake.

It’s less painful to make mistakes in community than by yourself, even if it doesn’t feel that way at first. Because often the stigma of failing around people gets demolished by the community. They assure you that it’s probably not as bad as you think it is. And they can help you grow from it. Because these people have also made mistakes along the way. So, you realize you’re not alone, and everything is redeemable.

After all, we’ve all burned “cookies” along the way.

How about you? What have you learned in community? Please share in Comments below. Thank you.

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About the Author


Friend of God. Writer. Resting in His grace daily.