Scott's Thoughts: Sun, Jun 12, 2022

Total Reading Time: 5 mins.

H7 Stories – Our 7th Habit, Tell the story., is one we teach and learn to practice in quite a few ways: sermons, sharing God’s work in our lives in Life Groups, personal testimony in re:gen and re|engage, writing our “Tell the Story” testimony as part of Next Steps, in the weekly Pulse Video, and if you haven’t yet noticed, in our now biweekly H7 Stories. These are quick 3-5 minutes stories of how God is using and working through FCCers. Speaking of which, don’t miss the blurb about Tessa Gourley’s trip to Bolivia and other such H7 stories and highlights! You can always find them in “Latest News” on the “Stay Informed” and “Pulse” pages on the app, or by scrolling through fccgreene.org/news.

Better Sign-up for Splash! Soon! – From Mon, Jun 27 through Fri, Jul 1, we’ve got really cool plans for helping our kids learn how God has gifted them to make a Splash! in His world! They’ll learn from adult experts in music, karate, cooking, farming technology, dance/ballet, sewing/crafts, cosmetology, or science/STEM. How cool is that?! More details and sign-up at fccgreene.org/splash.

Next Steps is Rolling! – Our revamped-for-the-20th-time Next Steps class, which meets at 9a at every campus, on the first Sun of every month, had 15 new folks in attendance last Sunday! (And that doesn’t count another 12 or so Next Steps Helpers.) How cool is that? In the coming weeks you’ll notice a regular flow of new folks serving on the team, connecting in a small group, and identifying with Christ in baptism and/or membership. If you haven’t experienced the new NS, even if you’ve experienced the old NS, you should join us for a refresher course. There’s a new booklet and revamped videos that fully debut next month. Plus, we need more NS Helpers, so going through it is training to help others discover God’s vision for their lives! Find out more at fccgreene.org/nextsteps.

A Few In Case You Missed It Items – From recent Scott’s Thoughts posts (fccgreene.org/st), make sure you’ve noticed these:
Sun, May 29, 2022:
  • Beth Anne Liebert is no longer our Financial Director. (#sadface) But Crista Larsen is taking her place! (#happyface)
  • Sermon Guide Changes: Inductive Bible Study Questions
  • “Grace-Based Gospel” as part of an answer to “What should I look for in a local church?”
  • “Is It Just Me?!” Or is everyone suffering from infowhelm, more responsibilities than resources, and is therefore hesitant to commit?
Sun, May 22, 2022:
  • “Featured" Feature on the App
  • Re:generation as Discipleship Training
  • H7 Stories: Youngsters Serving, Adoption, Kids Camp, Hunting, etc.
  • Be Wise About the Nature of the "Social Justice" For Which You're Fighting
  • Thank You for Serving on the Team!

3rd Campus Update, Multisite Response Cards, Vision Night – If you haven’t yet, or even if you’re not sure where you’ll end up, please help us plan well by filling out a Multisite Response Card with your current plans. You can always change ‘em by turning in another card later. The online version is at fccgreene.org/mrf (Multi Response Form) or on the “carousel” at the top of the Home page on the app. In basic terms, we still need 15 commitments for Afton, 25 for Greeneville, 60 for South Greene, and about $47,000 to reach our goal before our current launch date of Sun, Oct 16, 2022.

Also, if you didn’t attend and you haven’t yet seen it, I would encourage you to watch the Multisite Vision Night (MVN) video here. While it’s a far-away camera angle and isn’t produced for close inspection, it will help you see our vision more clearly. You can also find it on the app (go to “Watch” > “Media” > click on FCC logo).

No Brown Bags & Bibles This Week – In case you’re unaware, Mark Liebert, one of our Elders, and I, do a biweekly bible and theology podcast where we “break down life’s biggest befuddlements with Biblical basics.” It rotates between 3 types of series: doctrinal teaching, reading and discussing a book, and working through one of our Elders’ Position Papers. The name comes from when we did it live at Tuesday lunchtime during Covid. Now Anyway… Just letting ya know, we’re likely skipping publishing one this week, not because we don’t have one to post—in fact, we’re a couple episodes ahead in our production schedule. But we’re upping our game a bit with some onscreen titling and verbiage that will help watchers follow the content and it’s taking a little longer the first time. So consider this week an opportunity to catch up on our current series on “The Doctrine of the Word of God”.

If You’re Well Aware of FCC Goings-on and A Regular Reader of Scott’s Thoughts and the Like… – … then congratulations, that means you’re more exceptional than you know! :o) So, when you see us repeat things week after week, it’s not because you don’t know. It’s because 75% of people who are paralyzed by modern infowhelm aren’t paying close enough attention. When those of us who produce the stuff are getting more than tired of saying it, it’s just beginning to be heard and seen. So, folks who notice we repeat a lot of things, or continue covering things you assume everyone knows, just letting ya know—you’re the weird one.

Some Jumbled Thoughts on Commitment Since Covid – Given that the ongoing political, sociocultural, and economic frustration created since Covid means that many are circling the wagons, some thoughts and things noticed.
  • I am hearing an increase in negative chatter about the failure of “the church” and its leadership, ours being no exception. Seems the large-scale frustration is trickling downward... again. Yay.
  • People are less committed to practicing spiritual disciplines like our 7 Habits. People are attending worship less, serving less, giving less, complaining more, pointing fingers more, and exhibiting more stress and frustration. Again. Yay.
  • Like it or not, agree or not, and regardless of the reasons for whatever you do or don’t, your current practice is already your children’s model for their future commitment to the local body of Christ.
  • Often those who stick around longer are the ones who experience the most “church hurt and pain.”
  • A lot of people expect a lot, invest a little, and then are surprised when they don’t get everything they expect. You reap what you sow.
  • If just about every church in America that is larger than 50-75 is, like us, at least 50% comprised of different people than just 2 years ago, we had better become really good at connecting people to the body.
  • Piggy backing off the previous point, I think our strategy of more small campuses, each with a local Campus Pastor, is wise(r than we could have planned for.)
  • Either we become crazy good at declaring and living the gospel, making disciplemakers, helping people grow in Christ, and using our resources to reach the lost and raise up productive young leaders who will sacrifice themselves for the gospel and for our community to know God's grace or you can find another Pastor. I have zero interest in navel gazing and worldly safety.
  • It is more true than ever that people need to develop and depend on the intimacy of personal connection and relationship in small groups beyond the Sunday morning worship service. It’s like we have said around here for years: (a) If you're not meaningfully participating in "The Big 3," you will experience disconnection, and (b) you don’t stumble upon good Christian community and meaningful relationships; you create them.
  • Though it's counter-intuitive, the world since Covid continues to reveal that your energy is best spent in local investment and institution building. If God had positioned you to be concerned with larger-scale concerns, you’d be there. But you’re not. You’re here. So. Be. Here. And find the freedom of not having to fix everything you can’t or aren’t positioned for rather than the joy of working on things you are.
  • But, the Lord God is still Almighty, altogether Holy, entirely sovereign, and good in all of His ways. If you don’t believe this, you don’t believe in the God of the Bible but a god of your own making that is rooted in this world’s offerings. For the Christian, it is comfort to know there isn’t one iota of truth in our timebound fears that God's holiness is somehow lessened by our lack of control. The truth is you and I have never had the control we idolized and the righteousness of Christ alone is still perfectly able to declare us holy before the Father.
  • This is not the time to go fetal under the desk with a bag of chips. Now is not the time because there is no such time for the follower of Christ. We are people who say yes to daily death to self for the sake of communicating God’s goodness and glory. We are people who take seriously the Great Commission and who are all-in for the long haul of making disciples, building families, creating community institutions, and declaring the glory of God to a world worried it is losing its mind because this world is all they have. Stop being a consumer. Stop acting like a relative smidge of reduction in comfort and ease is just cause for circling the wagons. Grow up. Take responsibility. Be a faith-filled producer for the sake of your family, kids, community, and the glory of God. That's simply what it means to be a disciple of Christ.
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