Scott's Thoughts – Sun, Sep 24, 2023

Scott’s Thoughts – Sun, Sep 24, 2023
Click Table of Contents links below to advance to an individual section. To return here, click section heading. (Apologies ahead of time for occasional links that make getting back to this ST post frustrating because they may involve a couple/few extra clicks. We try to avoid that whenever possible, but it’s beyond our control.)

Some Admin Details & Metrics of Note

Lotsa New in Worship Guide

New City Catechism Update

New People Moving into Greene County Ain’t Slowing Down, Y’all! Therefore…

Producing Preachers
  • Elders Voting Ends Today – Members, today’s the last day to vote at (Aftonites and South Greenites using your phones, you may need to do so via “data” because the Guest network prob isn’t letting ya in today. Sorry.)

  • Brown Bags & Bibles – As I said in a previous ST post, we like to keep it light and uncontroversial around here, so Mark Liebert and I have just finished a series explaining and defending the Elders’ Position Paper on complementarianism and then just started a series explaining and defending our Confession of Faith re the charismatic gifts. Available on the “Watch” tab on the app (under “Media”) or at Next comes “book club” time where we’ll read and review C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, which is a well-known basic defense of the irreducible minimum orthodox claims of the Christian faith. Should be fun (and less controversial for a change!) Grab a copy and join us soon!

  • Coffee Convos & H7 Stories – In case you’re not tracking lately, on Coffee Convos ( or on the app) we’re finishing up 30 minutes interviews with our Team Code team ball recipients and then will also hear from a ministry Catalyst has recently supported and also how one of our own did a really cool pro-life summer internship. And did you know that encouraging “H7 Stories” like this are posted every week on the app or at!

  • A Few Metrics of Note: Babies, Worship Attendance, Baptisms, Memberships, Giving – Dunno exact numbers re babies, but it’s been a good 6-8 in the last 6-8 months or so? Super cool! We’re also having a serious uptick in weddings. Also super cool! YTD, (at all 3 campuses), we’ve averaged 507 in Worship (up 20% from 423 in 2022) and have had 22 baptisms and 23 members! Re giving, YTD July 2023 income was $615,500, expenses were $627,500, so through July we’re a little in the red. Same YTD July 2022 was $571,500, expenses were $575,500, so “giving is up,” but so are expenses. (Go figure! It cost me over $75 to put gas in my van this week.) We had a couple extra unexpected expenses this Summer and things have almost evened out by now, inc v exp, so we’re doing fine. Btw, there was apparently a rumor going around that we “made a bunch of extra money” at our Easter @ NPAC service. Actually, it was exactly the opposite—our giving that day was $19,370 and our weekly need is $21,190. No reason to see the sky falling, but I just wanna be straight up about where we really are and what’s going on. Some folks in the community, and perhaps some within FCC think we’re flush, but we’re not and we never have been anything remotely close to that. Not only that, but we have never made any money on Catalyst Coffee Company but rather, helped keep it afloat from our outreach giving during the lean years. We run a tight ship, keep no debt, are frugal, currently have $180,000 in all accounts, (which is $80,000 less than the minimum of 13 weeks of expenses that churches should have on-hand), and you can see our Budget below. To see and manage your online giving, see this previous ST post.

  • Budget – We’ve had so many new folks lately that it warrants occasionally making sure everyone who wants to see it can, member, non-member, your pet cat, etc. So, voila: Please pray for the Elders and Staff as we’re going into “budget season” (October). We’ll be posting plans as soon as we know them.
  • Larger Connect Card – Not much to say here except (a) yes, we want you to turn in your Connect Card every Sunday, even if it means just writing the names of all in attendance, and (b) don’t miss the numerous ways to get text updates, especially the new Kids Min Follow-Up texts that send you a PDF of what your kids learned that day along with ways to engage them throughout the week. Pretty daggone cool, y’all. It’s working in my household! (Kinda. Mostly. I mean, we’re trying.)

  • Weekly Memory Verse – We’re moving from a Memory Verse for each “section” of a sermon series to an actual weekly memory verse, preferably just 1 or at most 2 verses per week that are representative of the Sunday sermon. If you wanna join us, go to That will take you to download “The Bible Memory App,” which is free, and also allow you to request to be in the “FCC Greene” group, where you can find New City Catechism verses!

  • Sermon Notes – Not much to say here other than that we’ve made space for notes. Not enough, sure. But more than the zero we were providing.

  • Update re Sermon-Based “Life Group Discussion Guide” (LGDG) vs. “Inductive Bible Study” (IBS) – Ugh… no time to fill you in on this years-long, ongoing, push-pull dynamic of how to best do Life Group questions. I’ll tell ya more soon, but for now, on the printed Worship Guide you’ll find the Life Group Discussion Guide. If you’d like the “Inductive Bible Study,” it’s available at Both are on the Sermon Guide on the app. Confused yet?
  • A Few Frowns Seem to Have Turned Into Smiles – Just letting ya know that the first couple/few weeks of NCC—that especially involved a smidge of frustrating transition for teachers and small group leaders—seem to have normalized and we’ve been receiving, frankly, in my book, more positive comments and feedback than I anticipated. Teachers, small group leaders, kids, students, and especially parents seem to get the vision of everyone being on the same page when it comes to curriculum. Pretty. Daggone. Cool. If you ask me. I mean, for Kids Min teachers, NCC is definitely more prep work! (So thanks for hanging in and putting in the work, y’all.) But so far, it seems to be working well.

  • Biblical Defense of Confessionalism – Since we are doing a series called the “New City Catechism,” and for those who, like me, grew up in fiercely independent and anticreedal church traditions, I offer a new “Great Questions Answered” post today, “Are Creeds and Confessions Biblical?” (Hint: Yes. Because everyone actually has them. Only some people write them down.)

If you’re alive, live in Greene County, and are at all aware, it’s obvious that new people are moving into Greene County, it isn’t slowing down, so… “therefore,” for the sake of the advance of the gospel and the ongoing strength of our community, we at FCC must take seriously how well we connect with new folks. We must (and we will) become amazing at connecting with new folks, which means, beyond Sunday morning chats to get to know them, connecting new folks with us. It isn’t enough to be friendly. It isn’t enough to be a church who is good at connecting with new folks. We have to become good at connecting them with us, in ways that mean intentionally inviting them to lunch after church, to a play date with the kids, to Catalyst for coffee, and listen, folks, we’ve got the invites at the ready for you: Next Steps, re:gen, 180, Pillar, Life Group. It’s not like you don’t know what they need to be connected. We all need that connection. Let’s be awesome at doing so with the new folks God is sending us.
Just a few quick FYI because I think it’s super cool and worthy of note: (1) David Bowlin is preaching for the first time on Sunday today at Afton! (2) This week 10 of us are at a Simeon Trust Workshop on preaching from Romans! A few of these are non-staff interested in becoming preachers/pastors and we are paying for their registration through FCC giving. (3) As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we have a rotating crew of 10-12 who are preaching at an Anonymous Local (Formerly United Methodist) Church that needs preachers. (4) We have a good half dozen young men who are already in the pipeline to keep learning how to preach and be effective pastors. Just mentioning all that because it’s super cool. I’m so glad we’re a church that takes ministry and leadership development seriously, especially with our youth and young people.
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