Scott's Thoughts: Sun, Oct 24, 2021

Total Reading Time: ~9 mins.

Mostly A Repeat > If You Missed ‘Em, A Few Past Important ST Blurbs Worth Your Time (click here for the Sep 27 ST)
  • “Temporarily Wonky Preaching Schedule During Oct-Nov” – I’m not preaching as much as normal for about 6 weeks. You’re welcome? I’m sorry? You pick.
  • “Few Important Updates Are Forthcoming ASAP” – Re: 3rd Campus timeline, launch of Next Steps, changes in worship service times/flow, changes to membership, and upcoming Annual Membership Update Renewal & 7 Habits Survey. Wish I/we could tell you more but Elders and Staff have got some details to hash out first. Even though we’re certainly not a change-averse church, in a tightly-integrated structure like ours, such decisions shouldn’t happen hastily. The teaser and basic items are in the past ST blurb, with a little more detail below re membership. This is new, re launch timeline. > The 3 main reasons we’ve needed to delay the 3rd campus launch past this Fall/Winter 2021: (1) The Fall Covid surge. It meant, among numerous other such things, that the uptick in people we were experiencing temporarily plateaued. (2) Personal sickness. We needed to push back an important step in our plan. NBD, but a factor. (3) Supply chain delay. This is an important part of purchasing portable church supplies. Thankfully the company we use, Portable Church Industries, has tons of supply in-stock, and has some ways to work around things, and this shouldn’t be a major factor, but it is a factor. So, just keeping ya in the loop. Will letcha know more when we’re able and ready to letcha know more. I promise, it’s not like we’re keeping anything from anybody. It’s just that there’s no helpful reason to go public with specific plans like Launch Team Meetings when there aren’t quite yet specific plans. (But, FYI, we do Launch Team Meetings for all 3 campuses, as we like to use a campus launch to “relaunch” existing campuses, reset our churchwide purpose/vision, build momentum, etc. If you missed these, read “Multisite FAQs” ( and “7 Factors in Launching Campuses” ( 
  • “We are Designed Such That ‘The First 3’ are Essential” – A really important point about how we’ve designed our strategies at FCC for your growth and care.
  • Brown Bags & Bibles and Coffee Convos – In a couple more episodes, which will likely take us through November, we’ll finish our current series on the “Ordo Salutis,” (i.e., the logical “Order of Salvation.”) with “Glorification.” Then we’ll work through the Elders’ Position Paper on “Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage.” Then the plan is to read and discuss The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution, by Carl Trueman. This is one of the most important books of our time and worth the effort to read well. (Then I think we should do Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe, by Voddie Baucham. And then Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, by Rod Dreher. And then Another Gospel?: A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity, by Alisa Childers. And then…)

Re:gen Q&A and Intro Night – A small tweak that we think will be helpful for introducing new folks to re:gen. Once every other month, we’ll be turning what used to be only a Q&A Night for current re:gen participants into a Q&A and Re:gen Intro Night for current re:gen participants and anyone interested in taking a test drive for a night or two to ask questions, view the curriculum, and see how it works. You can do all those things on any Monday evening, from 6:30-8:30p at our Greeneville campus, but also hearing and/or participating in the Q&A might be especially helpful. We’ll letcha know about the next one before it happens.

Couple Worthwhile Christian Worldview-Based Daily News Podcasts – Because I’m sure you need more media and information inputs in your life, I thought I’d suggest a couple of my go-to daily podcasts that are not only informative but educational because of how they filter current events through a general Christian worldview. I used to follow a few more, but have whittled it down to these two as daily go-tos. The links below are to PocketCasts, my personal fave podcast app. Though they are about an hour, if you listen at 1.5x speed, set your podcast app to cut off the first 30-45 secs and the last 60 secs, and set it to ignore silences, it takes about half that long. (PocketCasts does all those things.)
  • The World and Everything In It” from World Magazine, around 30 mins/day – This is their description: “The World and Everything in It is an Apple Podcasts top 100 News program delivering essential headlines, field reporting, interviews, and expert analysis. Find original coverage you can't get elsewhere, such as a weekly overview of every Supreme Court case, biblical cultural analysis, and key international stories. This podcast is a product of listener-supported WORLD Radio, which provides sound journalism grounded in God's Word.”
  • “The Briefing” by Al Mohler, 25 mins/day –As he starts off each episode, “The Briefing” is “daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.” He’s really good. You may not agree with him being politically conservative, but the dude knows his stuff better than any of us ever will. He’s kind of a polymath. (Look it up.) Here’s a good quote from the recent Oct 12th episode. “If you do not believe in an objective revealed truth, if your worldview is based on truth as a negotiated reality, then whoever has the stronger political argument, whoever has the sway in the popular culture will inevitably pull you towards that contested invented understanding of good."

Today’s Great Questions Answered: “What Should I Look For in a Local Church?” – I promise, I’m working on it, but today’s entry is mostly a Part 1 Intro to the answer, with a little teaser of the first draft of my attempt to name the “Essential Marks of a Local Church.” So it may feel a little like a not-yet-fully-baked answer… because it’s still in the oven. I think it smells good so far, but we’ll see… I tend to overcook most things like this, so there’s that. Also, if you haven’t yet read the “Intro to GQA,” you should probably do so to help you understand that we can still be friends and coworkers in the same local church even if I’m a freakishly theologically conservative Covenantal Reformed Baptist Nutjob (“CRBN,” for short, I guess?) and you may not be. That’s all ok, I promise.

Encouragement Matters & A Quick Thank You – Maybe it’s just me, but one of the main adulthood struggles that seems to kick in during the mid-to-late 40s–when you’ve got a couple decades of work under your belt and the kids start flying the coop–is feeling like your life’s work doesn’t matter. It’s a dynamic over time where your work feels more-important-and-worthy-of-reward-to-you and less important-and-worthy-of-reward-by-others because literally no one else can experience the sacrifice required. When literally nobody else understands the blood, sweat, and tears of raising those kids, establishing that business, getting that degree, keeping that person alive, etc., it’s easy to feel like nobody notices your hard work. As much as anything, I think it’s simple math. At least that’s what I keep telling myself! :o)

So, ironically, it takes some time-in with adulthood to experience enough unrequited sacrifice before you understand well the great importance of encouragement. I know there are some weirdos out there who are natural encouragers to whom this doesn’t apply, and maybe it’s just because I’m a Type A driven achiever type who has needed to learn this lesson this way, but until you’ve experienced enough unrewarded self-sacrifice you can hardly understand the great importance of building up others and letting them know of the importance of their work. Only when you know the sacrifice will you see it in others.

So, a simple bigtime thank you to everyone who shows up. Your work matters. What we do here at FCC matters. It’s all part of the work we do together that God is using to extend His Kingdom in our community. Thank you for the unseen sacrifices involved.

Leadership Responsibility Rant 
– We live in a world that seems to be increasingly rejecting the maturity of taking responsibility for one’s commitments, and while I know I’ve said and done things like this many times, I am tired of hearing such excuses, especially from people who bear leadership responsibility: “Well, I haven’t heard back from [Enter name of person onto whom they are shifting blame for not following through themselves.]” Or “Well, this thing over there is the problem and so I can’t do this thing over here. It’s not my fault.” Ugh. I’m sick of hearing excuses from everyone all the time. Nothing seems to be anyone's fault anymore. For crying out loud, make the call. Do the thing. Get the job done. Fix it. Show up, people. And yes, I get it—we live in a world of easy, meaningless, and ubiquitous communication and infowhelm that seem to make just about everyone’s responsibilities functionally unmanageable, at work, home, with family, wherever. Believe me, I get it. But when it comes to something for which you bear responsibility to care for others or lead a project, please don’t shift blame. It’s gross. That’s a way for others to learn you aren’t trustworthy. It just shows you aren’t committed like you say, like you are paid, and like you are created to be as a Genesis 1:26-28 producer. So just admit and own your failure, correct it if possible, and by all means, please don’t use deflection excuses like “Well, they didn’t call me back” or “It’s that thing or that person over there” when it’s your thing to lead! Don’t be a blameshifter. It’s repugnant. It’s what children do. Grow up. Be an adult. Be an adult who produces adults.

Seemingly random digression that isn’t so random… long story short, my dad’s been close to death a couple times the last week and a half or so. He’s still in ICU, is slowly recovering, and will likely be “ok” after a long recovery. (Just pray for him and Mom. Thanks.) So anyway… Been thinking about how much of a repugnant blameshifter I can often be, eschewing the adult responsibilities I have to lead and steward, in ministry, with my family, in my own walk with The Lord. I sure don’t want to be an immature blameshifter. Lord help me to be an adult who produces adults, for the sake of Your Kingdom which includes this community and the generations of those who follow in my footsteps. Funny how rants about others end up being rants and sermons for oneself, eh?! I’m not sure we should ever rant about all those folks out there who are all wrong about that one thing we despise in them without seeing the logs in our own lives!

Why Membership Matters
  • To catch you up to speed, read this if you haven't yet, toward the bottom of the Oct 10 ST: “Elders Letter, Membership Requirements, Confession of Faith, Annual Membership Renewal & 7 Habits Survey" There’s a lot there. Also, if you haven’t yet, go to to see how membership is “Biblical Commitment to God’s Vision for Our Mutual Growth” that is “Our Commitment to You…” and “Your Commitment to Us…” that is “… for the Sake of the Mission” and that “Has Its Privileges.”
  • 6 reasons why our membership process is important for us to clarify: (1) It’s biblical. See the preceding bullet point for a buncha resources, esp this GQA: “Is Church Membership Biblical?” (2) We have a lot of new folks interested in becoming FCCers who are wondering about our process. (3) We have a lot of not-new folks who need further clarity about our process because it is fairly different than it used to be and relatively new as of just 3 years ago when we went multisite. (4) Multisite, expansion, and rampant Covid turnover mean we all need more clarity about what unifies us as a church. (5) It clarifies who we are and are not biblically responsible for shepherding. (6) Engaging the world we live in means we as a church must take more seriously our responsibility to correct peoples’ misunderstandings of the gospel, spiritual growth, and participation in the body.
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