The 7 Habits are the heart of our strategy because "we become what we do." Therefore, our mission is to instill "everyday boring faithfulness" (Team Code #4) in our people because a Christ-centered personal vision put into practice is the only vision that builds and strengthens people, marriages, parents, families, churches, and a community for long-term human flourishing.

So we made the 7 Habits a clear, practical, and personal ministry strategy of "Discovering God's Vision for Your Life!" As you develop and execute your 7 Habits Growth Plan, in conversation with your Next Steps Helper, you will be on a trajectory to become who God created you to be, a community-building producer instead of a spiritual consumer. (See this "Multiply" sermon series for a biblical precedent for producing producers.) To learn more about how we help you gain a 7 Habits vision for your life, visit our Next Steps page.

H1: Engage in worship.

A well-known Christian music educator and writer about worship says that “nobody does not worship.” In other words, everybody everywhere is always bowing down to and being formed into the image of something or someone. That's why we say that, "Worship is a soul-shaping habit!" When we gather weekly (and not "weakly", cf. Hebrews 10:25) to name the truth and grace of God with singing, prayer, and learning from His Word, we are being increasingly formed into the image of God. So, don’t be a stranger or a consumer—become a contributor and Engage in worship! For more, see Service Times & Locations, What to Expect, connect to our Socials (including Sunday morning Spotify playlist), and watch/listen to Sermons (or better yet, Get our app!, where you can also follow along with and take notes on the Sermon Guide!)

For more teaching on this Habit, watch "H1: Engage in worship." (Revelation 15:1-8; Hebrews 10:24-25).

H2: Serve on the team.

We believe that everyone needs to experience the missional synergy of serving on an effective team where peoples' gifts are meaningfully used and appreciated for their unique contribution! Here are a few Serve Team basics:
  • Team Code: 7 maxims that guide Team culture. 
  • Leadership Pipeline: Directors, Coaches, and Leaders train you for ministry, support your growth, and provide personal care. [Still need new link to new LP Blog Post with PDF and smidge of explanation, incl 'builds leaders bc pushes down ministry instead of keeping it for self, at leadership level by insisting on biblical plan of leaders equipping body to do the work of ministry.]
  • "Worship & Serve": A crucial part of our strategy is asking people to both Engage in worship. and Serve on the team.
  • 6-Month Review: To help ensure your work is effective and fulfilling, Serve Teams submit feedback every January and July (takes 15 mins.)
  • Next Steps: Onboarding involves completion of the Next Steps process, being connected to a Next Steps Helper who helps you find the right place to serve, and working a 7 Habits Growth.
For more teaching on this Habit, watch "H2: Serve on the team." (Ephesians 4:11-16).

H3: Connect in a small group.

To be honest, even a couple hours of "Worship & Serve" on Sunday mornings isn't enough to develop the deep and lasting friendships we all really need. In fact, we're structured around the assumption that you don't stumble across those kinds of relationships, you must create them! So we define "meaningful participation" as regular investment in "The First 3" Habits of Engage in worship., Serve on the team., and Connect in a small group. because this is when we see God soften hearts, change lives, strengthen marriages, and build mature disciplemakers. Plus, the front lines of your personal and pastoral care are your Next Steps Helper, Serve Team Leader, and Small Group Leader, supported and guided by your Campus Pastor. We have three kinds of small groups where "meaningful participation" and deep connection begin: Life Groups (long-term relationship-focused sermon-based groups of 6-12), re:generation (Bible-based and gospel-centered discipleship training in a 12-step recovery format focused on deeply applying identity in Christ through God's grace), and Marriage Ministry (temporary lifestage-based groups: Merge, Foundations, and Re|engage.) Yes, we know, The First 3 Habits are a lot already! But if you're wondering about where to start, we suggest re:gen first because it's our foundational vocabulary for the gospel and soul care. (Think you don't "need" re:gen? Watch this 6-min video: "Why You Need Re:gen Even if You Don't").

For more teaching on this Habit, watch "H3: Connect in a small group." (Ephesians 2:19-22). For biblical argumentation on why we so emphasize "meaningful participation," see "Is Church Membership Biblical?"

H4: Pray and study the Bible.

Pray…
We practice corporate prayer and cultivate individual pray-ers by integrating this part of Habit 4 into every environment: in and during every worship service (worship leaders, Campus Pastor, preacher, in sermons/teaching, but also because our Care Team is praying during and for the service), in Serve Team Huddles and Meetings, and in every small group (Kids, Students, and Adults). But we also kick off every year with 7 Days of Prayerled by our Residents, and have an entire team of people who are praying every day, throughout the week, which means that our Care Team, Elders, and Staff, who are made aware of these requests. Submit a Prayer Request here (and on the "Home" tab of the FCC Greene app.)

 ... and study the Bible.
Likewise, we comprehensively integrate this part of Habit 4 into a variety of corporate and individual contexts, using a diversity of methods, and (?) for a wide range of levels of learning and expertise, kids, students, and adults: sermons/teaching, worship services, small group environments, Monday Morning Missives, Brown Bags & Bibles, Great Questions Answered articles (linked in Scott's Thoughts), and regular content from 7 Habits Trainingsre:gen Fireside Chats, Q&As, and teaching, Kids and Students lessons/teaching, and by providing and encouraging the use of spiritual discipline tools (sermon-based Study Guide, Life Group questions, Daily Bible Reading Plan, and Series Memory Verse all built into the app, and generic Bible study resources and Reading Plan in The Hub.) Btw, almost all the aforementioned regular teaching and content is reproduced and kept handy on our app, as a handheld growing repository of trustworthy on-demand content. You're welcome.

For more teaching on this Habit, watch "H4: Pray and study the Bible." (Ephesians 6:10-20), "Pray to Get Your Heart Right" (Matthew 6:1, 5-10), and "Study the Bible to Keep Your Head in the Game" (Luke 2:40-52).

H5: Pursue generosity.

When we Pursue generosity. as part of a local church that pools its resources and embodies God's grace to us in Christ, it allows us to do more together than separately, extends the Kingdom of God, and teaches to treasure a salvation we don't deserve and could never earn! So beyond supporting our own staff and ministries, (which we consider local outreach!), as a congregation we also open-handedly give to local and global ministries and missionaries, 100% of which are nonprofit, with over $132,000 per year from our weekly giving!

Here is a brief representative list of some occasional ways we pursue generosity together and how you can help! See "Outreach" for more on the local and global ministries and missionaries we regularly support.
  • Ongoing Local School/Community Outreach – meals, gift baskets/cards, thank you cards, help with refreshments/coffee at registration, parent conference, cleaning/maintenance, pressure washing, painting, meals, fundraising, chaperoning, sending our people as human resources help for events, funding and execution of teacher lounge remodel, purchasing needed custodial/maintenance equipment, purchasing and installing tech equipment, etc. We pretty much try to help in whatever way we are asked. See here for more about our multisite outreach strategy.
  • Volunteer at Catalyst Coffee Company – In 2014 we established a nonprofit marketplace ministry in downtown Greeneville that gives away 100% of profits to already-existing ministries and outreach organizations. We need regular help with things like laundry, helping serve during lunch rush, and general construction and maintenance. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Insta! For more info, contact Nathan Dickerson, Catalyst General Manager.
  • Outreach and Benevolence/Emergency Help – foster and adoptive families, disaster relief, medical needs, transportation, housing, missionary needs, sending kids and students to camps, conferences, retreats, and trips, packing and sending Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes (600+ annually for many years), sponsored 65 children through Compassion International in 2 years, sent over 1,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls.org from Kids VBS, helped fund year-long mission trip
  • Building/Sending Young Leaders – residency, biblical/theological training, practical ministry experience, mentoring, finances/scholarships
  • "Financial Freedom" — We have a team of experienced financial health counselors who provide confidential training and accountability, helping you find financial freedom through disciplined budgeting, saving, and spending. Inquire anonymously here.
  • Find out more about those we regularly support on the "Outreach" page and how to give here.

H6: Identify with Christ.

Habit 6, Identify with Christ, involves the realizing of one's new life in Christ in two ways. It means (1) formally and publicly declaring one's faith in Christ alone by baptism and entering a sanctifying relationship with a local body of believers in membership, and (2) learning to live, day by day, from who we are "in Christ," as those trusting only in His completed work on the cross on our behalf.

Baptism, which is the act of submerging the believer beneath the water and rising again out of it, is a picture of one’s new identity with Christ who Himself died and rose again for the salvation His people. It is (1) a pledge of allegiance to God (1 Peter 3:21), (2) an outward sign of an inward cleansing (Acts 2:38; 22:16), and (3) the means by which we come into the church (1 Corinthians 12:13). A point of clarification: We do not require "rebaptism" if you've already been immersed, but we do ask that you submit to the Biblical model of immersion if you have not been. I.e., if you were baptized as an infant or, at some point, you were sprinkled, poured upon, spritzed, or someone sprayed you with a water hose, our insistence upon your immersion is not a denigration of your past nor your faith in Christ, but a necessary commitment from us to uphold what we believe is the Biblical model, full immersion. For a defense of our position, see this series on Brown Bags & Bibles: Part 1 ("Mode & Meaning of Baptism"), Part 2 ("Members, Part 1: Who are the Proper Subjects of Baptism?"), and Part 3 ("Members, Part 2: Believers Baptism or Infant Baptism?")

Membership is a formal welcoming of the believer into the local fellowship during a worship service through a declaration of faith in Christ alone that we count as your commitment to meaningful participation and growth in the body of Christ. See "Membership" for how this works.

Whether you're interested in Baptism or Membership, connect with your Next Steps Helper  or Small/Life Group Leader, attend a Sunday morning Next Steps session, talk to someone in The Hub, or fill out this form.

For more teaching on this Habit, watch "H6: Identify with Christ." (Romans 6:1-7, 11-18).

H7: Tell the story.

At First Christian Church, just about everything we do happens in gathered environments intended to equip you for this one thing we do not and believe we should not program: Telling the story of the work of God in your life! You see, because we believe that organic and winsomely embodied witness is God's chosen way to faithfully communicate the gospel, this a program that you run!

But the middle word here in Habit 7 is important. It isn't Tell your story, as if the story of your life is primarily about you or achieving your goals. Rather, as a creature made in God's image and for His glory, your life is about telling the story of God redeeming and making you one of His own when you don't deserve it and could never earn it. It's about telling the story—the story of God's grace in your life! So it's evangelism, proclaiming the gospel, living as a witness, embodying the love of God, speaking fullness of grace and truth, and finding ways to insert the story of God's work into everyday conversation.

So we teach and encourage this habit by telling the story of God's work in the lives of our people in as many creative ways as possible: during weekly Pulse Videos and Coffee Convos interviews, and long form Tell The Story, re:generation, and Re|engage testimonies/videos (mostly on the app.)

For more teaching on this Habit, watch "H7: Tell the story." (Mark 5:1-20), at Greeneville or Afton.
*Not really a Habit, just being funny. However, we do talk about downloading or using the app enough that it feels like an additional spiritual habit! So... what are you waiting for?! Get the app!

Next Steps

Learn about connecting to our 7 Habits by visiting our Next Steps page or talk to someone with a lanyard when you visit in person!