Scott's Thoughts – Sun, Jun 9, 2024

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Some News & Miscellany

Pine Cove City Plea

Financial Update

“The Big 3”— Engage in Worship, Serve on the Team, and Connect in a Life Group—is how we are Designed to Work (and it’s not Gonna Change)
Some News & Miscellany
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  • Team Bash was so fun, y’all! Always is. I love when we get together as a church and have some extended time of fellowship and fun. But more than anything, I love recognizing our people who make things go around here, those who “Worship & Serve” and are the secret sauce at FCC. Check out this H7 Story for more about what happened and for a link to the video of the night, if you wanna watch any of it. It’s actually quite funny! (For more on “Worship & Serve,” see “The Big 3” below, “Worship & Serve” on pp 3-4 in the Next Steps Booklet, and here on our website.)

  • Did You Know…?! that we have an H7 Story every single week that highlights God’s work among us?! It’s worth keeping up with as it often gives color and insight into ways our people serve, what a missionary or ministry we support is doing, and how God is working in our own ministries. You can always get there on the app or at

  • Did You Know…?! that we are currently in an extended Brown Bags & Bibles series covering the major world religions, religious movements, and cults?! With a couple exceptions, each episode (30-45 mins) covers one religion and we’ve covered Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Judaism, Islam (2 parts), with quite a few more on the way. Check it out on the app (“Watch” > “Media”) or at

  • Did You Know…?! that, as part of aligning kid, student, and adult curricula around each Sunday’s sermon content, we have a Weekly Bible Study Podcast? where we do a 30-min session of working through the gist of the basic Life Group Study Questions ( We hope this will help anybody and everybody, of course, but especially leaders of Life Groups, 180 Small Groups, and Kids Small Groups/Classes prepare for the coming Sunday’s lesson/content (as well as helping Staff.) It’ll be on the “Watch” tab on the app, under “Resources” on, or on the normal socials (FB & YT, which can also be gotten to by searching w/in FB or YT for “fccgreene” or by going to or

  • I recently reread Christianity and Liberalism, by J. Gresham Machen (pron. GRESS-um MAY-chen) and I want to commend it to you. While it’s a smidge heady and the first third or so is a bit to wade through because, like many scholars, he spends a lot of time laying groundwork, it is a classic about the categorical differences between liberal/progressive theology and orthodox Christianity. It is short, eventually pithy, and as important for what it says about today’s theological and moral landscape as when published in 1923, namely that theological liberalism is not Christianity. (And for those perhaps worried about this—no, it isn’t at all about progressivism/liberalism in the political sense.)
Pine Cove City Plea
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Listen y’all… The time to sign up is yesterday! Even if your kid has never been to PCC, sign them up now! It is so daggone good—a fantastic week of high-quality fun and teaching for elementary kids. Trust me, the previous two times we had PCC, every kid and parent raved!

So here’s why the plea… We have financial help that is currently going unused and we need another 70 or so kiddos to hit our goal of ~120-130! Do not let finances be the reason your kid doesn’t go. And if your kid is hesitant, invite a friend—we’ll make sure it happens. We have generous people among us who want to help make sure your kid, grandkid, and friend have one of the best weeks of their lives!

For more, check it out on the app or (and watch the highlight vids!) and/or talk to a Campus Pastor, a Kids Check-In person, or one of our Kids Min Directors, Michael and Samantha.

And, did you know we are also offering “Splash” for Early Childhood kiddos?! Info at
Financial Update
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I recently(ish) mentioned that I’d try to provide more frequent financial updates and have only gotten around to it a couple times. So voila, trying to be more consistent with providing financial updates. Nothing much to say here other than this: like many churches in a post-Covid, socioculturally intense, extra fidgety, and high inflation world, we are both growing and not growing. In terms of baptisms and memberships, we have been consistently adding a person a week for the last couple years, even more when accounting for new folks who begin calling us their church home. But, and this is no surprise to anyone, everything is costing more and lower giving is beginning to hit us.

That being said, we’re doing fine through April 2024, the last month for which we have a closed report, but things are feeling increasingly tight as we’ve already been looking for ways to go lean (during 2024, after our 2024 Budget,, which is down 4.3% from 2023. You can see the 2023 Budget at

So through April:
$ 366,667 Budgeted Amount (pro-rated)
$ 361,928 General Fund Income
$ 340,105 Gen’l Fund Expenses
$   21,823 (in the positive!)

Thank you for generously supporting your church! We Elders and Staff will continue to steward it faithfully.
“The Big 3”— Engage in Worship, Serve on the Team, and Connect in a Life Group—is how we are Designed to Work (and it’s not Gonna Change)
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A Small Disclaimer: I fully realize we at FCC are filled with people who are wonderful exceptions to this blurb, and you may be one of them. But I also want to recognize that, to the extent that this shoe fits for you, this blurb may evoke a jolt of offense, guilt, agreement mixed with sadness for inability to connect, or some such complex combination of responses. Shoot, I get it—there are times when this shoe fits me and I struggle with fitting in “The Big 3,” and this is my job! So this may hurt a little, but here goes.

If you need care and crave community but you don’t work to make these happen, it’s because you’ve chosen other things. Which means you are functionally clueless about how much deep connection and care is already happening and available all around you. Which means you may begin thinking such connection and care aren’t available here at this church. Which means that, no matter how much you like or appreciate FCC, you will eventually feel disconnected, uncared for, and in need of searching elsewhere all the while feeling sure you did not contribute to the problem. So if this blurb feels a bit harsh, heartless, or offensive, it may be because it’s the truth about how you relate to church or any such group where, despite your thinking, previous experience, or sanctified expectations, meaningful participation from you is a necessary prerequisite for experiencing meaningful care and connection.

I’ve seen this disconnection problem a few hundred times, over a lifetime of ministry, and it needs to be addressed head on. I believe the stakes are that high for you when it comes to your spiritual health and growth. And so I think it’s helpful to be aware of 3 things:

(1) Disconnection doesn’t happen merely because the church isn’t doing enough for you, but that seems to be most people’s default explanation. While there is almost always a complex mix of factors that are unavoidable, insurmountable, or about which one or both parties are unaware, but because connection and care are always a two-way street, you are by definition a contributing factor, regardless of your self-perception, and perhaps far more than you may want to acknowledge. Much more than you may be seeing, it’s not us, it’s you. Now, are we a perfect church (which doesn’t exist this side of heaven)? No way. Are there things we get wrong or could do better? For sure. But, ultimately, disconnection is never a one-way street, regardless of the circumstances, and 25+ years of ministry have made clear to me that, of all the contexts about which people make confident pronouncements of blame like, “They do/don’t do…” followed by offenses of connection and care, somehow the church is always the worst offender.

(2) Connection doesn’t (and won’t) work differently than “The Big 3” here. We have intentionally designed it to work this way because we think it parallels the Biblical role of Elder/Pastor and the “one anothers” that together create and support connection and care in a way that works best for your growth and health. We put it on the website when talking about our vision, we cover it in Next Steps, I’ve said this in writing in easily 6+ previous Scott’s Thoughts, and our staffing, ministry structure, and programming all support it. So you dismiss what we are communicating about how this works at the expense of personal connection and care.

(3) If you will buy into “The Big 3” of Engage in Worship, Serve on the Team, and Connect in a Small Group, you can be fed and cared for, and you will enjoy the beauty of how Christ-as-Head is already working to make personal growth and missional unity happen at FCC! So whether intentionally or by allowing the reactionary default to slowly rule your life—which I would argue is ultimately no less intentional a decision—if you end up ignoring the importance of “The Big 3,” you will eventually experience a self-induced disconnection from the body. And this isn’t just at FCC but it relates to how community works (or doesn’t) at any healthy church. And yes, I get it, you may have a dozen good reasons to not show up at half of what we offer and, sure, some of them are circumstances that legitimately hinder involvement, but most of them are choices we make. So if you want or need connection and care, “The Big 3” is how it works here because that’s exactly how we’ve designed it to work, and it doesn’t work differently, and we won’t be changing it anytime soon enough for you to hold out for something different.

Your own version of the ‘The Mediocre 1’ will not sustain your need for growth and encouragement through the God-designed and Biblically-communicated context for that growth—the body of Christ. It’s just math—those who show up most grow and learn most. And straight up, we’re not here to accommodate your particular ideas of how a church should work to fit you. We’re here to facilitate a 7-Habits-based context for your growth, so that you will become a disciplemaker—a producer of producers. That is what a Christian is and what a Christian does. And if you’ll commit to Engage in worship, Serve on the team, and Connect in a Small Group, we believe you’ll begin to enjoy the community you need and the beauty of a church that is Helping People Find and Follow Jesus. And yes, we can help you get there, but we can’t do it for you.
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