Scott's Thoughts: Sun, Dec 10, 2023

A lot going on at the end of the year, so just some keep-ya-updated items today.

Christmas Plans — Details at
  • “The Messiah in Micah” — For 3 weeks, starting today, we are tracing the theme of God saving His people from judgment for sin by sending a Shepherd-King who preserves, brings peace, and enables pardon.
    • Sun, Dec 10 – “He Preserves: For He Who Opens the Breach Goes up Before Them” (Micah 2:12-13)
    • Sun, Dec 17 – “He Brings Peace: For He Shall Stand and Shepherd His Flock in the Strength of the Lord” (Micah 5:1-15)
    • Sun, Dec 23 – “He Enables Pardon: For He Treads Our Iniquities Underfoot” (Micah 7:7-20)
  • Giving Catalog — I’ve already heard at least a few cool ways our folks are organically supporting missionaries and organizations we support from our General Fund giving. And did you know our Kids are writing cards to encourage them?! Cool, eh?! Thanks for pursuing generosity in that way, friends. It’s so helpful for those who are in ministry in places that feel especially isolated. Check it out here.
  • Community Outreach — Just letting ya know… Every one of our 3 campuses has been supporting the community by doing things like decorating the campuses for Christmas, leading a cookie decorating event for families at Catalyst Coffee as part of the Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony, and feeding and supporting teachers and the arts at Chuckey-Doak HS and South Greene HS. Boom. Good job, y’all.
  • All-Church Christmas Community Candlelight Service, Sun, Dec 24, 10a, at Tusculum University Gym — Yes, this is the only service that Sunday and it is for everyone. No, there will not be anybody at any of our 3 normal campuses that morning and we are not doing a “Christmas Eve” service that evening. Yes, you should pray for this service and should invite your friends and family because we will singing the glories of God and preaching the gospel, (like every Sunday. And there’s a choir, an orchestral ensemble, and kids joining us to sing!) And finally… No, it will not be hard to find if you simply drive onto the only main road that goes through the middle of campus and look for signs and people. Even if you don’t know or believe that there’s a full-sized gym on campus, just go to the Chick-fil-A there on campus (not on 11E) and you’ll be literally 50 or so feet from the gym. I promise, it’s easy, there’s a ton of parking, we’ll have shuttles for those needing a lift, it’s all ground level, they actually have bathrooms at Tusculum University, we’ll have signs and people everywhere, and if necessary, I’ll stand out on the road and wave my arms and point you to where to park and walk. (And we’ll probably have maps and individual GPS devices for you. In fact, just look for #10 on this map that we’ve linked on our page.)
  • We Need Cookies! — The official verbiage is that we’re looking for those “willing to provide delicious cookies (or other hand-held and bite-sized treats) for our Christmas services at Tusculum University on Sun, Dec 24. Let us know at if you can meet those very specific criteria of “delicious” or “hand-held and bite-sized treats.” In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, amen. (I dunno why that seemed fitting after all that talk of delicious cookies or hand-held and bite-sized treats. Maybe because there’s something holy about good cooking and baking, are we preaching?!)

Follow-up from Last Week’s Sermon on H5: Pursue Generosity — Just a few items and resources to accompany last week’s sermon, “H5: Pursue Generosity Because the Work is Great, For it is Not for Man but for the Lord” (1 Chronicles 29:1-22).
  • Today we posted a really helpful and encouraging H7 Story of a couple within FCC who agreed to share their story of learning the joy of pursuing generosity. Check it out here.
  • Next Steps has a helpful 4 mins video that covers the idea that it’s best to “Give first, Save second, and Live on the rest.”
  • Sermon from 2019, “H5: Pursue Generosity” (Malachi 3:7-12), that addresses the question of “tithing,” (toward the end, I think), and encourages you to start where you are and to prayerfully and freely/willingly go from there.
  • A good 8:30 minutes YouTube answer to “Should A Christian Tithe?”

Shorter, Simpler, Updated, and Easily Referenced Life Group Discussion Questions — We’ll always list them in the Sermon and Worship Guides, as well as this link, but you can now always find the updated questions at in a lovely and universally accessible format. We’ve also included some Life Group vision and basics, for easy reference, (though I’ve still got a few details to finish.) And yes, nerds, all the previous “Longer & More Complex” Inductive Bible Study questions and instructions are all still there as “Option B.” Life Group Leaders, even if you’re using the “Shorter & Simpler” option (“Option A”), the “Application” section from Option B has some helpful additional ideas (and is linked at the end of Option A.) Sheesh—though all that sounds quite complex, it’s simpler and will make sense once you get in there.

Catalyst Mobile — Long story short, because of FCC’s long term commitment to its success, Nathan’s leadership and the employees’ commitment to our mission of “Producing Goodness & Promoting Others,” and our tax money that the federal government used during Covid to help ensure small businesses like ours stayed alive, we have a 16-foot trailer that is launching soonish (within 4 weeks?) on 11E at Sleep Solutions across from Sonic! So we are simplifying our menu, speeding up our processes, making everything app-friendly, hiring a few more baristas, roasting more beans, and getting ready to use the trailer as a drive-through during the day (6a-2p, in theory)! We also have some cool emerging plans that we’ll tell you about soon. For now, pray with us that God will use this marketplace outreach to give away more money to local ministries and achieve the mission of “Producing Goodness & Promoting Others!” Be on the lookout at, (where you can see a couple pics!)

End of Year Items — The 2023 Annual Report and 2024 Budget are almost complete! (Here are the 2023 Budget and 2022 Annual Report, for reference.) We’ve worked hard to cut some expenses and will be presenting a reduced budget for 2024 in the next week(ish).

Some Cool 2024 Plans — Dates and details coming soon, but just wanna letcha know we’ve got some cool plans like 7 Days of Prayer (first full week in January), Adult Men’s & Women’s WinterSpring Retreats, Kids Min Pine Cove City week in the summer, a couple cool Students conference/camp events that are a smidge different than normal, and we are moving Team Bash to an outdoor summer all-church picnicy (picnicky?) type event (as we did with Bluegrass & BBQ themed TB a couple/few years ago.)

Change in Online Giving and Staff Admin Software — This mostly affects Staff, but will also change our membership database and online giving platform. Much more info to come, but don’t worry, vols and Serve Team members, this isn’t a change away from Basecamp (yet.) You can stop hyperventilating (for now.) While this will be short-term annoying, it will be a long-term good, necessary, and important church management software change that will save us a good deal of money each month, work better for us behind-the-scenes, help us shepherd our people better, and it can be used via text messages, with no app, no tech savvy, and no username nor password needed. Luddites unite! We’re not ready yet, but don’t you worry, we’ll let you know, as it will mean needing to redo your online giving with a new platform.

Be encouraged! God is working despite me, I mean, despite challenges! — (Perhaps more than a few are still hung up on the title, thinking, “Same thing, Scott. Same. Thing.”) To apparently no one’s surprise but my own, being an überserious and slightly intense spaz has some downsides?! (So they tell me.)  I’ve learned I have to be intentional about naming what’s working, being grateful that God is gracious to advance His Kingdom among our people, and have had to practice the admonition in Psalm 100:4-5 of coming to worship counting my blessings and being grateful for God’s faithfulness through His people. So I leave you with a couple verses that encourage me to find the things that are working, because here at FCC, there are a lot of them!

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,  
     and his courts with praise!
     Give thanks to him; bless his name!  
5 For the Lord is good;  
     his steadfast love endures forever,  
     and his faithfulness to all generations.
—Psalm 100:4-5
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