Sun, Feb 2, 2020
Given that we’ve had a couple busy months over the holidays and we have exciting upcoming plans for 2020, there’s way more to cover than space and time, so I’ll try to be brief and will keep peppering upcoming Scott’s Thoughts posts every couple(ish) weeks with important stuff you need to know that doesn’t make it onto our normal informational and promotional channels. (I.e., make sure you frequent FCC social media, receive the FCC/Kids/Students texts and emails, and check out www.fccgreene.org/news! See “The Places Information is Available” at this previous Scott’s Thoughts post.) Also, friendly reminder that I’ll be working to get back to a weekly rhythm of rotating between Scott’s Thoughts and Great Questions Answered.
End of 2019 Wrap-Up and Prayer for 2020
What a whirlwind of a year it’s been, eh?! We launched our second campus and began a new era of restructuring and learning to scale to expand our vision of Helping people find and follow Jesus so we can reach more people throughout Greene County. So… NBD–just another year of trying to be faithful with the responsibility God has given us to declare the gospel!
Please pray with us that we will continue to learn, as a church, to fill in gaps and vacuums with humility and grace. We need help being flexible and learning to jump in and contribute in whatever way is needed. This kind of humble flexibility is key if we’re going to become a campus launching strategy.
Scott’s Thoughts Readership (Or Is This Really Worth Me Writing?!)
Just a quick for-the-record… (and to try to measure, at least for myself, whether spending time writing Scott’s Thoughts is useful!) … In the last ST, I joked about our “7 regular Scott’s Thoughts readers” and a couple folks thought I was being serious. (I wasn’t. That’s just how it feels to me!) So just to clear up things, during November and December 2019, we had ~475 users who spent an average of ~3m45s per visit. Feels useful to me, at least. Hope it is helpful to you, for keeping up to speed on the latest goings-on at FCC!
A Few Random Ministry Needs, Updates, and Thoughts
- Serve Wall – We need volunteers in a number of places. We place a strong emphasis on regularly serving, not only so we become a church that produces producers, but so we can teach kids the Bible, sing a killer harmony line, turn knobs that ensure that our preacher’s voice sounds like it has authority, and welcome someone with a smile that communicates God’s love! There’s a lot to do, and we need you to help. Stop by the Serve Wall in The Hub for more info on our latest needs.
- 180 Students – If you’re a parent of a middle or high schooler and you haven’t been to Wednesday night 180, you just missed a Parents Night. :o( But, it’s worth checking out, on your own, to see how it works, what they do, and get a sample of what your kid is learning! There’s a lot going on and there’s a lot coming up! For more, check out fccstudents.org or email Wes Ford, Student Minister, at [email protected].
- Re:generation Recovery, Re|engage, & Great Questions – Monday nights at our Greeneville campus, from 6:30-8:30p, are a wonderful learning and disciple-making community! We’ve been seeing about 70 for re:gen, 20 for Re|engage, and 8-10 for Great Questions. Marriages, families, individuals, and minds are giving into the process of letting God mold and shape them after His likeness and for His glory! Monday nights are… so good (“you guys.”) And if you haven’t done either re:gen or Re|engage (or you wanna come learn in Great Questions), what are you waiting for, the “right time” to deal with your past hurts, sinful patterns, and relational hang ups?! When’s that gonna be?! How ‘bout next Monday?! Come join us for re:gen, 6:30-8:30p, or make sure to sign up for the next cycle of Re|engage or our other marriage ministry offerings!
- With no context nor specifics nor Scriptural proofs, here are some random thoughts I’m having lately, about life, people, ministry, myself…
- I’m astounded at how many people superficially assess from afar as a ruse to keep from personal growth.
- The overwhelming majority of people are wimps. (That’s right, I’m talking to you, wimp!) Seriously, though. Most folks usually know the next right thing to do but don’t have the guts to do it.
- A relentless pursuit to perfectly even the scales of justice has become for many a form of salvation. But it’s a fool’s errand. Not only is God the only one who can execute that kind of justice; He’s the only one who deserves it. (For the record, this isn’t an argument for eschewing personal responsibility as Christians to “do justice” (Micah 6:8) in practical and meaningful terms that make a difference in God’s creation.)
- The world is filled with unhealthy people who mindlessly pursue the easy thing immediately in front of them as a mechanism for soothing insecurities and feeding pride.
- If you don’t have Jesus as your all-sufficient Savior, you’re doomed.
Shout Out of Thanks to Volunteers and Staff
We just had our annual Team Bash a week ago, which was a really great night of celebrating you, the faithful servants who make FCC go! In case you missed it, here’s a video we showed.
Team FCC is comprised of people who pour their life’s resources into strengthening God’s Kingdom and Helping people find and follow Jesus! Thank you for practicing Habit #2: Serve on the team! Also, special thanks to our paid staff (and some of our Elders) who pitched in extra to help make the Team Bash happen. Don’t miss it next year!
2019 Giving Letters, 2020 Budget, Upcoming Financial Needs
2019 Giving Letters were sent couple weeks ago, along with a letter of thanks from our Elders. If, for some reason, you didn’t receive one, please let us know at [email protected].
Our 2020 Budget changes and highlights were covered in our last Scott’s Thoughts, but I wanted to reiterate our current financial needs. (Yes, we finished 2019 in the black (red is bad; black is good). No, we have no debt.) Our weekly budgeted needs for 2020 are an increase of 8.6%, which is relatively conservative given our weekly attendance has increased about 25% during that same time. This increase means our weekly need is going from $16,810 in 2019 to $18,245 in 2020, which is an increase of $1,435 per week.
In addition, we have a few Upcoming Financial Needs, outside of the budget, that I simply wanted to make you aware of, at this point. We’ll be letting you know more about these in the coming months, not just in terms of how you can give, but how you can participate and pray and help us make these initiatives amazing opportunities for our own people as well as those in our community and world.
- Catalyst Coffee Renovations – 6 years ago we launched Catalyst Coffee with the goal of establishing a marketplace ministry that would not only provide a service to our community but would make money to be generously given away to already-existing organizations and emerging needs in our community. Well now that we’ve begun to accomplish that mission in earnest and Catalyst has a couple years of turning a profit under its belt, (which were primarily used to pay off a couple small debts), wouldn’t ya know it, now we need to repair some major floor and other infrastructural issues as well as replace our espresso machine! That will probably end up costing around $35,000. The Catalyst Board is meeting soon to nail down a strategy for how to approach these needs, but we wanted to let you know as we will soon be asking for some FCC financial help.
- Kenya Mission Trip – 15 of our students and volunteers are headed to Kenya this summer. While they are raising funds in a number of ways, we will likely end up needing to help financially support them, probably somewhere in the vicinity of $15,000.
- Camp in the City – We tried something new last summer and it was a big hit! We sent lots of kids, many from our surrounding community, to an amazing week of camp on our own turf, at our Greeneville campus. Last year, we received $15,000 to help defray costs. I suspect that this year it’s going to cost around $20,000.
- Ongoing Multisite Development – Soon after we launched our second campus at Chuckey-Doak High School, (which we did debt free!), we began keeping extra money to help us fund the next campus. In fact, we’ve been approaching our budgeting and multisite campus development with a vision of staying financially lean so we can build in a nest egg for the next campus. We have been doing so and have somewhere around $125,000 saved already! However, sometime this Fall, Lord willing, we may begin planning in earnest for our 3rd campus, which would mean launching an initiative then to increase our budget to adjust to staffing 3 campuses as well as ensure we launch debt-free.
For now… Just please pray with us that we would remain faithful in serving God with our lives, all the while staying humble to hear clearly from God about His plans for us!