Elders Letter Dec 2021

Dear Church Family,
"Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture."
—Psalm 100:1-3
In the midst of what for many within our body has been a series of trials, upheavals and change, we are reminded that we serve a God who loves us as our true Father and to serve Him with gladness and singing. As we serve with gladness, we are truly grateful for your faithfulness in serving the Lord through our local church body.

Habit 2: Serve on the team.
Serving on the team continues to be an integral component of our body. While we know that there have been and still are many limited by the pandemic, we are grateful for those who are able to serve and we encourage others to begin serving again when able. (You are missed!) If you are thinking about serving or returning to serve, we especially have needs in the following areas: Youth Ministry Small Group Leaders/Assistants, Kids Small Group Leaders/Teachers/Assistants, Afton Campus Trailer Puller, and Tech Crew. When you’re ready, let us know on the Connect Card and we will follow up with you to discuss your options and get the ball rolling.

Membership Renewal
As outlined in the FCC bylaws, we are required to bring the membership roll up to date on an annual basis. As we have discussed over the last couple years, we have changed our approach to church membership. By way of analogy, consider the contrast between going to a gym versus going to a rehabilitation center. In a gym, you are allowed to work out according to your own whim. You can go every day or every other day. You can stay for 20 minutes or an hour. It is all up to you. As many people will experience over the next few months, workout “anytime” often becomes workout “sometime” and then often becomes workout “maybe now and again.” In other words, good intentions do not translate into physical development. By contrast, think about a rehabilitation center. In rehab centers, others help you determine areas of deficiency and how to improve. Goals are established, then a plan is developed with various exercises or activities that help you reach them. Because of focus and accountability, good intentions translate into physical achievement. Sometimes we treat church more like a gym rather than a rehabilitation center. Unfortunately, more is at stake than just our physical bodies. When we are successful in translating good intentions into results, our spiritual development has implications even for those around us. While we acknowledge that God does the work in our lives, one method He uses is spiritual development through habits and disciplines. To facilitate this method, we want to assess where we are spiritually as individuals and then focus on how to grow together. If, as a church, we are not holding each other accountable for growth, we are failing in our role as the body. As you fill out the Spiritual Health Survey, please make the time to sit down and assess where you are now and how you need to improve through this year. Develop a plan to make these changes and share it with an Elder, Life Group Leader, a member, or accountability partner. Read more at https://fccgreene.org/membershiprenewal.

In addition to the Spiritual Health Survey, this year the Elders decided to ask members to affirm FCC’s Confession of Faith. This was discussed in the previous Elders Letter (which you can read here) and can be found online at https://fccgreene.org/beliefs.

Next Steps
Because Next Steps is so important to the growth of our church body, we want everyone at FCC who is “meaningfully participating” to have and/or be a Next Steps helper. A Next Steps Helper is a personal and ongoing point of contact who can help guide others through a 7 Habits Growth Plan. This complements the Spiritual Assessment and helps both members and ‘almost-members’ grow spiritually. In addition, it helps deepen the relationships which enable us to care for each other in more personal ways we need and than our Campus Pastors are able to provide.

Habit 5: Pursuing generosity.
Through your faithfulness in Pursuing Generosity, our giving for 2021 has exceeded our expenses. As we look forward to next year, our 2022 budget increases by 6.2%. This increase allows us to provide modest increases for the missionaries we support and our dedicated staff, launch a third campus, and increase our spending in the essential areas of Kids Ministry, Facilities, and Outreach.

Student Director Search

Although we have engaged with many good candidates, we have not yet been able to find the right candidate to lead in this important ministry. Please continue to pray as we seek God’s guidance in finding a Godly leader for our students. Looks like we are getting close?!

Third Campus Launch
Launching a third campus has the appearance of a swan swimming. While on the surface it may appear that not much is happening, below the surface things are busy. Supply chain disruptions, Covid surges, and waiting for the right Student Director have forced us to be patient and wait for the right moment to launch successfully. However, under the surface we have been engaging with both existing FCCers to develop a launch team (about 75-100 are ready to go) and with South Greene High School to develop relationships and find ways to serve best. Continue to pray for this developing area of ministry. If you would like to be involved, please speak with your Campus Pastor or Bob Radank.  

Through all these things, we remember that, “the Lord, He is God.” Be in prayer for the things mentioned above and for your personal growth and involvement within the local body. Then, remember to serve with gladness!

Sincerely,
Chuck Bowlin, Carl DelSorbo, John Hamilton, Mark Liebert, and Scott Wakefield
The Elders of First Christian Church