Scott's Thoughts: Sun, Nov 7, 2021

Total Reading Time: 7 mins.

Friendly Reminder (Or “Minder”?) Re Purpose of Scott's Thoughts (ST) – Quick heads up that, as a multisite church, ST is part of keeping us on the same page with common vocabulary, understanding of vision, and awareness of what's going on. So ST is simply a way to give regular and ongoing voice to that purpose, promoting greater churchwide and cross-campus awareness. All that plus the occasional pastoral rant, recommendation, and random thought that needs to be said/heard, and even a smidge of slightly awkward public carrying out of staff admin.

Quick Personal Word of FYI, Apology, Thanks – There are at least a few dozen folks who have emailed, texted, messaged, spoken to me personally, etc., who are wondering if I’m alive, if I care about them, if they’ve been ignored, etc. I promise, I’m not ignoring you on purpose! It’s just that I can’t keep up and I mostly fall further behind in every category in life. So, anyway, I’m sorry–it’s not you; it’s me. (“Wait, are we breaking up?!” Umm, no, I hope not.) Anyway, I wish things were different, but they’re not. I’ll try to respond as I’m able. Also, on a more positive note, thanks to a few folks who have sent encouraging messages and notes about praying for my Dad. So very helpful, thank you. He’s slowly doing better. (And thanks to a couple folks for gift cards. We took Mom out to lunch/dinner a couple times the last few weeks.)

If You Missed ‘Em, A Few Past Important ST Blurbs Worth Your Time
  • To get to any of the following, just go to and go to the appropriate date.
  • Update Re Changes to Membership, Timeline of 3rd Campus Launch (Oct 24, look for “Few Important Updates Are Forthcoming ASAP”)
  • We Are Designed Such That ‘The First 3’ Are Essential (Sep 27)
  • Re:gen Q&A and Intro Night (Oct 24)
  • Couple Worthwhile Christian Worldview-Based Daily News Podcasts (Oct 24)
  • Why Membership Matters (Oct 24) and Why All This Emphasis on Membership? (Oct 10, last bullet point)

Thank You For Showing Up to Worship & Serve and Pray/Care For One Another – I feel like I say something like this once every couple STs, but it’s worth repeating nonetheless. Your faithfulness to show up to worship and serve, regardless of your role, is an encouragement to someone around you, even if you don’t know it. Your persistence in prayer and care for those with whom you Engage in worship, Serve on the team, and Connect in a small group is valuable and helpful, in ways that help us all remain faithful when it’s hard. Thank you for showing up. When we say that our vision of being a campus-and-people-launching strategy that produces producers, that’s what we mean… showing up when others are increasingly bowing out. Families, communities, and cultural institutions are not built on selfish and passive consumerism that takes but on the lives and backs of servants who show up again and again, one might say, like a “habit.” So thank you, you everyday boring faithful producers who receive little fanfare and who didn’t get a gift card. You are how God makes us a healthy and strong church.

IMPORTANT Book For You to Read & Study With us on Brown Bags & Bibles (& Books!) (I.e., (BB&B, (&B!)) – Yes, our acronyms are many, sometimes convoluted, and sometimes they even change for the same program! So, in case you’re not one of the throngs of dozens that follows BB&B(&B!) closely, Mark Liebert (Elder) and I rotate between theological topics, Elders’ Position Papers (EPP), and reading and reviewing a book of theological and/or sociocultural significance (think virtual book club. Thus the “( & Books!)” or “(&B!)” that occasionally make their way into our acronym amalgam.) Having just finished up the Ordo Salutis (the logical “order of salvation” described in the Scriptures), we next tackle the EPP on “Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage,” (<— Kelly, please help us remember to post that episode on our /beliefs page when done,) and then we’ll read and review The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution, by Carl Trueman. (And no, book titles do not get quotes; they are italicized. And yes, it is now occasionally okay to begin a sentence with “And.”) Now, Trueman isn't exactly light and easy reading, and it’s a smidge under 400 pages, but it's one of the most important books of our time when it comes to understanding the current cultural moment–well worth the time and effort to read. (Relax, spiritually-superior spazzes, I preemptively Jesus Juke your Jesus Juke… Yes, of course the Bible is the most important book to read for understanding our cultural moment. Duh.) Anyway, I’m telling you about Trueman well before we begin–which will likely not be for another 4-6 weeks, probably the beginning of 2022–so you can get a copy and start reading in preparation. (Pretty sure you can get it on most online stores, and even Amazon, who temporarily refused to sell it, but then realized that Christians actually read books. Logos Bible Software Peeps, yes, it is available.) It’s only available in hardcover and ebook, and we’ll have physical copies available in The Hub for $30, which is only 83¢ more than cost through Amazon with tax. The extra 83¢ will help us cover those who can’t easily afford it, perhaps a few of our Pillar peeps, perhaps the rare pilferer, etc. (<— Kendra, Samantha, Sonya, can you please get this going this week? Beth Anne, can you please setup Square? (And I also have another question, BA.) Yes, I use ST to carry out a little Staff biz!)

Changes to Sunday Service Times & Flow – I’ll be giving a bit more detail in the next couple ST installments, especially about how the new Next Steps Intro Session works, but I wanted to briefly reiterate the basics of what was stated in the recent Elders Letter about upcoming changes to service times and flow. On Sun, Dec 12, we change to 9a & 10:30a services at both campuses. The service flow will include moving communion prior to the sermon, having Campus Pastors play a more prominent role, and more explicitly implementing Next Steps. These changes will help in a number of ways:
  • It will provide 5 extra minutes of service time,
  • help establish Campus Pastors as local leaders of the congregation by having them more present through the service to establish emotional and thematic flow of worship,
  • put more emphasis on communion and corporate worship by giving a bit more time for explanation and reflection,
  • allow further time for fellowship between services for the building of community,
  • allocate time for the 10-minute Next Steps introductory session (which starts Sun, Dec 12) near the end of the service, and
  • continue to build a service model that will best translate across multiple campuses.
We’ve made these changes while keeping in mind that we will soon have 2 portable campuses that require weekly setup and cleanup, i.e., expanding our offerings and improving our services while trying to not make for a really long morning for some volunteers. Also, we’re also going to be reintroducing a physical Worship Guide that is akin to what we’ve had in the past.
Transition to Livestreaming – We’ve had a few things we are still figuring out, needing to tweak, etc., as we transition from pre-recorded services to livestreaming, so you may notice a few things here and there. (1) The sermon going long sometimes means the livestream gets cut off early. Sorry. My fault. (And my apologies to you Kids Min Vols. I know, it messes you up. Thanks for putting up with it.) I am trying to shorten the number of verses we cover each week for future sermon series, to make for shorter sermons, better depth of learning in a verse-by-verse exegetical format, and greater Scripture-interprets-Scripture and gospel-in-each-sermon focus. (2) We now have a separate person take care of the online audio mix, so there’s some learning curve there. That means we need one additional person a Sunday at the “sending campus,” where the preaching is happening in-person, so if you need a place to serve (after you’ve already considered Kids Min, which is where we need folks most right now), we could use more Tech Team help. (3) Onscreen verbiage has had to change a couple times, and we are using a new updated version of our software (“ProPresenter,” for the nerds who care), so there has been a bit of a learning curve there, too. Anyway, just letting ya know, we’ve launched lean/agile on livestreaming, iterating as we go, so if you’ve noticed a few hiccups here and there, them’s the reasons why.

Some Thoughts Re FCC Being More “Confessional” & Requiring Members to Affirm our Confession of Faith – Yes, the recent Elders Letter indicating that membership will now require affirmation of our Confession of Faith is a change and is different from our particular church tradition of militant anticredalism. But, this needn’t be feared. We’re being wise and careful to set a Word-centered trajectory for a strong future within our church body and for influence in our community.
  • All we have done, functionally, is make clear where we have been, theologically, for a long time. The only significant change is upping the ante for members, requiring them to affirm what we have asked our teachers and small group leaders to affirm for about the last 10 years, namely the basics of Christian orthodoxy. If you’ll read through our Confession of Faith, you’ll find that, apart from a couple matters of conviction, (namely that we are cessationist regarding tongues/apostolic gift of healing and complementarian regarding church leadership), there isn’t hardly a thing that is theologically controversial.
  • Affirmation is not intended to mean 100% agreement or full subscription. That is clearly outlined in the Elders Letter, our official document stating what Membership entails, and on our website (, which has a link to the aforementioned official doc.) The process helps ensure basic doctrinal fidelity for our congregation, sure, but it also explicitly grants that some FCCers will disagree with parts and provides structure for being clear and unified all the while.
  • We believe being explicit about our doctrinal stances serves people better than obscurity. Without space to fill in detail, we have had many in our past who were part of us for years until they found we are more or less theologically liberal or conservative than they knew, wanted, agreed with, etc. We have shown up on socially and politically charged watchdog websites and social media platforms as being unclear about our stances. (Details about all that are unimportant, but there are about half a dozen such situations in the last couple years.) So, because we believe it is important to clearly teach that the Biblical view of issues like sanctity of human life, gender, identity, sexuality, marriage, family, and how those and other such Christian teachings are foundational building blocks for the flourishing of all in our local community and society at-large. At a root level, a healthy and flourishing society is built on strong marriages, families, and churches. Saying such things explicitly works better than not saying them. And I say, “Bring on the consequences of being explicitly and openly Christian.”
  • Confessionalism is biblical, has historical precedent, serves a helpful teaching function, and is important for unity in the body. See this Great Questions Answered titled “Is Church Membership Biblical?” Btw, you can get to all the GQAs by going to 
  • Confessionalism helps clearly define things: What is a Christian? What is the gospel? Who is in the body and who is not? Etc.
  • Relax, just because I’m a 1689er (see “Important to Note” toward the bottom of, or because the Elders have allowed me to remain Lead Pastor as a 1689er in a traditionally anti-Reformed tradition, or because as a church we are more freakishly theologically conservative than you thought, not only can we still be friends, but you can still be a Member! It’s called being “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the body of peace” because “there is one body” (Eph 4:3-4) and we’re doing our best to do so faithfully.
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