Sun, Sep 8, 2019

Scott Wakefield   -  

Note: As promised, Scott’s Thoughts is (at least slightly) shorter than last week (because we’re cheating by including this week’s Great Questions Answered answer as a teaser link!) We’ll work toward concision. Friendly reminder you can get to Scott’s Thoughts by using the shortlink

New Service Times Follow-Up: Worship & Serve, Buckets, Giving, Invite Cards, Worship & Serve

Our first day of new service times at 9:20a and 10:40a seemed to go pretty well, all things considered! It’s definitely a shorter overall morning, isn’t it?! We are hoping to make it easier on families with kids and to remove hindrances to participation in our Worship & Serve Sunday morning strategy. So… be part of our vision to turn Sunday morning into an environment that produces producers and start serving on Sundays! (But, if you’re a Greeneville campus person and you’re not yet serving, see the next blurb re our upcoming “Go!” campaign first.)

One change you likely noticed is that, as you leave the Worship Center, our Guest Team is holding buckets for Connect Cards and Offering while handing out Invite Cards. (Which reminds me… If you haven’t yet done so, this is a good time to setup online or text giving.) While this new bucket method will take a little getting used to, I think it can serve to be a helpful trigger of our calling and responsibility as Christians who are blessed to be a blessing. Think of it like this… As you leave each Sunday, the moment you hand in a Connect Card saying you want to Connect in a small group, or you put in a check to Pursue generosity (or don’t because you’ve already set up recurring giving online or via txt!), or you grab an Invite Card as a reminder to Tell the story, you are not only practicing some of our 7 Habits, but you are declaring that you are a missionary sent to reach your community for Christ! Boom. Love it. It’s another way we try to intentionally point every nook and cranny of FCC toward Helping people find and follow Jesus.

Why We’re Asking 50 Greeneville People to Switch to Afton During our Upcoming “Go!” Campaign: Create Space at Greeneville and Momentum at Afton!

You needn’t do anything about this yet, as we’ll be using our next sermon series as a platform for this campaign, but I wanted to provide some background for this initiative that was recently mentioned in the most recent Elders letter.

There are two big reasons why we’re asking 50 Greeneville people to move to Afton and they have both emerged as factors since launching multisite 6 months ago. First, in just the last 6 months, we’ve added 55 new people per Sunday, on average, at our Greeneville campus. (That’s from 270 to 325.) Meanwhile, our new Afton campus has begun to settle recently at 200 people a Sunday after an initial post-launch average of around 225. This “decrease” shouldn’t be surprising because, every time you launch a new church or campus, there is a period of finding equilibrium that happens where initial interest evens out and many who come early to check it out do not end up connecting. (One lesson we’ve learned is to launch in the Fall so we have as much momentum as possible from Fall through Spring before hitting the summer slump!) Well, we think we’ve reached our basic equilibrium at Afton, because we’ve had 8 recent weeks of consistent attendance of 200 and we’ve just had 2 entirely new Afton Life Groups form in just the last few weeks and they are largely composed of newcomers to FCC (Yay! Thanks for jumping in new Afton peeps!) So, it shouldn’t be surprising that Greeneville is growing while Afton is still just getting started. Our Greeneville campus has been growing for years and Afton is not only a brand new campus, but a brand new concept for us. To make the capacity issues clear, if 70-80% is “full”, according to well-attested space-dynamics stats, then we have fewer than 50 seats open at Greeneville and more than 500 open at Afton!

The second big reason we’re asking 50 Greeneville people to move is that we have a lower percentage of people serving at Greeneville than at Afton. So, bottom line… Not only would people moving from Greeneville to Afton mean more seats for guests at Greeneville, where we are experiencing consistent growth, but it would mean more people serving who are currently not serving! This is the kind of symbiosis that can happen in multisite and these are “good problems” we need to figure out together as we learn how to best achieve what we believe God’s called us to do: plant life-giving FCC campuses across Greene County!

So please begin to ask God if He wants you to help us “Create space at Greeneville and momentum at Afton!” We’ll give you more specifics as we get closer.

Friendly Reminder: Yearly Membership Renewal, Health Survey, and Congregational Vote

If you’re a Member, make sure you either show up on Sun, Sep 22, when you can complete your Yearly Renewal, the Spiritual Health Survey, and vote on Mark Liebert for another term as Elder, or do so beforehand at or by going to The Hub on an upcoming Sunday morning for a hardcopy. If you need some background, read the letter from the Elders that was sent out about 5-6 weeks ago.

This Yearly Membership Renewal Process, which involves taking our membership list down to zero, and asking people to recommit to FCC and participate in a Spiritual Health Survey, is a new and better way to track members. It is not only easier than letting lapsed members remain, but the Elders believe it will make us stronger, help us better know whom we are responsible to care for, and provide insight for directing resources toward the greatest point of need! Thanks for your help in this.

Some Important Serve on the Team Tidbits

Habit #2, Serve on the team, is a key strategy for producing producers who build up our church and transform our community. I wanted to share a few things worthy of note…

  • 6 Month Reviews have just been sent out, from Staff, Directors, Coaches, Leaders (see, mostly via Basecamp (see below for more about Basecamp). If you are serving somewhere and haven’t yet filled out one, please do so at In keeping with FCC Team Code #2, “We preprayer” as if the Word does the work, souls are at stake, excellence matters, and feedback helps” (, we are very much helped by your feedback. In fact, here are a few things we’ve recently changed because of feedback from the field, i.e., not from paid staff:
    • We are moving toward manned check-ins at both campuses.
    • The Admin Team and Kids Min Team are working toward better processes for tracking attendance.
    • Each Team is moving toward doing its own scheduling rather than having one person for all Teams.
    • We now have biscuits in VHQ!
  • Huddles – If you serve on Sunday mornings, you are likely familiar with the Huddles we’ve begun implementing in recent months. Just wanted to help us get on the same page about the What and Why of Huddles…
    • What is a Huddle? It’s teams getting together before they serve together, for 5-10 minutes, to get on the same page. While there isn’t yet a consistent Team-to-Team pattern across all Teams and campuses, here’s the basic framework we’re trying to implement:
      • Training – This includes things like a ministry-specific concept or policy, highlighting a Team Code maxim, FCC Habit, or initiative we’re trying to communicate.
      • What is working? – What’s going well for you? Share some “wins” you’re seeing. Give someone a High 5 of thanks for being a team player.
      • What needs work? – Where are you struggling? Is there something we need to fix?
      • What are you doing today? – This includes, for most Teams, assigning of duties.
      • Pray – This is about getting our hearts and minds on the same page about serving Jesus, our kids, and our guests well!
      • Quick Insight: Huddles and Sun serving are where we pair up intergenerational pairs/threes, as a small form of disciplemaking. Boom.
    • Why is a Huddle important? Huddles are important because (a) in our busy and fractured world, getting everyone together monthly/quarterly for training and planning currently has no hope of actually working as it once did, (b) having many Teams meeting over multiple campuses requires more right-on-time and on-demand training that piggybacks onto times when people are actually serving, and (c) it gets our hearts and minds on the same page for why we’re doing what we’re doing, y’know, like a “Team”?! So please be on time for your Huddle. When you miss it, you not only miss out on important information that will help you serve well, you miss out on the Team camaraderie and sense of purpose that comes from sharing and praying together. “Go Team!”
  • Basecamp – Basecamp is the software we use to manage our Teams and keep them on the same page. You can chat, have theme-specific message threads, share to-dos, schedule meetings, upload docs, files, and videos. Basecamp is where most of our Team Directors post a weekly “Heartbeat” that runs through the Sunday plan, reminds Team Members who is scheduled and for where, and shares pertinent information or gives a pep talk. You can use it on a smartphone, tablet, desktop, or online. (See if you need to download it.) If you need some introductory help, here are a couple videos that Alicia Gourley, our Admin Director, recently put together! Just remember this shortcut: More vids coming soon! If you need further help, find a tech-savvy fellow Team Member who seems to know what they’re doing.
  • Serve WallKendra Hinkle, Guest Director, is working with Nathan Dickerson, Communications and Tech Director, to develop a “Serve Wall” that will soon be displayed in The Hub at both campuses to let you know the latest most important ways you can Serve on the team! Be on the lookout in the coming weeks.
  • Bigtime Thanks – I get a pretty unique window into the amazing work God is doing through many hundreds of people who serve faithfully, day after day, whether as part of one of our Teams, or throughout the week as part of God’s Kingdom in the world. I see so many FCCers putting in lots of time and effort at home, at work, at church, and in the community in ways that make me proud to have the privilege of serving you amazing people! Seriously, every day I see FCCers serving God with their gifts, finances, time, and in a way that can only be described as whole-hearted! Keep up the good work. Like Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:9, Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up! So thank you to all of you faithful FCCers who are all-in for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. Your work does not go unnoticed.

Parents Email for Kids Min (which is new!) and 180 Students

If you’re not already signed up for the Parent Email for 180 Students or the new Parent Email for Kids Min make sure you do so here:

Great Questions Answered: What Must a Person do to be Saved?

(Friendly reminder that you can get to Great Questions Answered by going to the shortlink

This is an important question, in many ways. In terms of whether or not we have an essentially Biblical answer to this question, this certainly goes into the category of “Essentials”! But in terms of how we answer some secondary questions about the specifics of how to respond in faith in Christ, this Keep reading…

A Couple Quick “Who Are My People?” Thoughts

  • In this current sermon series, if it isn’t abundantly clear, we are focusing on calling you to Connect in a small group, especially Life Groups or re:gen. It’s like I said in last week’s Scott’s Thoughts, You do not simply stumble across meaningful Christian community; you create it. The reality of living in a broken world that is frustrated by sin means that finding your people requires personal effort, regular involvement, and committing to vulnerability. Deep and meaningful relationships take work. So don’t miss out on the amazing people God has made available to you here at FCC! It’s like I say all the time to people, “We are absolutely crawling with amazing people here!” If you will commit to “The Big 3” of Engage, Serve, and Connect, you will find some amazing Jesus people with whom you can have deep and meaningful relationship!
  • About 3 months ago, at our Greeneville location, I looked out my office window at about 8a on a Sunday morning, and saw a line of cars parked at the far front edge of the parking lot with a large lot of empty space between them and the building. It was so encouraging because it showed how our people are committed to doing great work, showing up “preprayered”, and are thoughtful to park where it leaves space for new folks who may not yet be connected to Jesus or a local church. Makes me think, “These are my people–making space for someone else to know Jesus!” High 5, y’all!