Sun, Dec 20, 2020

Scott Wakefield   -  

Friendly Reminders – See last week’s Scott’s Thoughts (unless otherwise noted).

  • Future Plans for Coffee Convos
  • 2 Services Start Tomorrow, Sun, Dec 20, 8:45a & 10a – Note: Time changes apply to Sun morning online services.
  • 2021 Budget – There are a few updates from last week that are noted below. Find the budget at
  • 7 Days of Prayer – During first full week of 2021, Sun–Sat. You should check out because our Residents have some great stuff planned!
  • Christmas Candlelight Services – Details on last week’s ST and
  • Elders “Position” on (Long-Term) Distinctions Between In-Person and Online Services
  • Elders Quarterly Update Letter (see or “Pulse” tab on app)

Updates and Upcoming

2021 Sermon Series Plans

  • “H4: Pray and study the Bible.” – Next 2 Sundays
  • “Galatians: The Gospel of Free Grace” – Book study through entire Spring (except break halfway through for Palm Sun & Easter)
  • “The OT in 7 Verses” – Overview of the Old Testament this Summer

Worship & Serve not Worship/Serve – Real briefly, moving to 3 services this past Summer meant morphing from “Worship & Serve” during 2 hours on Sunday morning to many doing “Worship/Serve” during the same hour on Sunday mornings. Just a heads up that moving back to 2 services means we will increasingly need more people to do “Worship & Serve” over 2 services. It won’t be an instant change, but a weeks-to-months-long morphing, so just letting ya know.

No Next Steps, Brown Bags & Bibles (& Books!), nor Coffee Convos — We’re taking a couple weeks off and will pick up again the first week of January. Gives you time to catch up on The Gathering Storm, which we’re reading together in BB&B(&B!)

2021 Budget — A few updates and additional items I forgot to include in last week’s ST blurb about the budget.

  • The following overall financial picture is worth including again, (with a few further details added), if you didn’t see it in last week’s ST: ”The basic gist is that (a) giving is a smidge down during Covid compared to the same period last year (by a couple percentage points), but (b) overall 2020 giving has been better than 2019 (by about 4.5%), (c) we are in the black when it comes to income versus expenses by about 7.5%, (black is good, red is bad), (d) we have no debt, and (e) are slowly building adequate emergency and multisite funds. So we are well-positioned to keep moving forward with our vision to launch another campus as God blesses! We are financially healthy thanks to your faithfulness in pursuing generosity.”
  • Weekly giving overall during 2019 was a little more than $17,215/wk compared to $18,015/wk during 2020 (through early Dec.) Again, thanks for being generous. We take seriously our responsibility to steward Kingdom funds wisely.
  • I somehow got our Global Missionaries increase for 2020 wrong. Instead of 3%, we are giving them a 5% increase (which isn’t as huge as it sounds given that we support most at around $3-5k/yr. Nevertheless, ‘twas different than I reported in the original budget so wanted to reflect that.)
  • Also wanted to mention that during 2020 we are financially supporting and helping send our own Paul & Debbie Pinckley to Portugal! They are launching a storefront library and educational outreach much like Jim & Laurie Barnes in Prague, whom we have supported for many years. Pretty cool, eh?! More details coming soon…

IMPORTANT: Please Help us by Liking, Sharing, Checking-In, & Commenting on the Socials

I hesitate to bring this up in as public a setting as this, but I think it’s important to let you know because I’d like to ask for your help.

Without going into detail, in the last year or so, I am aware of about 8-10 mostly minor attempts to “silence” or “cancel” us, corporately, and me, personally. (I don’t wanna know how many I’m not aware of!) These have occurred mostly online but also in-person. Half have involved outright flagrant lies, slander, or intentional mischaracterizations. The half that has been true is that I/we consider the Bible our authority and hold traditional positions on marriage, LGBTQ+ issues, and men in pastoral leadership.

Here’s why I bring this up… We were going to run some ads starting yesterday to promote our Christmas Candlelight Services (CCS) on Facebook and Instagram, but I found out that we’re no longer allowed to do so because, according to them, we have run ads on “social issues, elections, or politics” in the past. (I can’t for the life of me think of an example.) So, I would like to ask y’all to help us by personally inviting friends and by making a practice online of liking, sharing, checking-in, and commenting on the socials. You can find our original CCS posts here, if you’d like to help us get some positive online momentum going:

Also, I think it would be best for us to not make some big statement about all this in our commenting and posting. Let’s just kind keep it to ourselves, work positively to redeem the cesspool social media often becomes, and use them to be a winsome online witness. So, like, share, check-in, and comment (kindly and wisely), but complaining about it online and making an issue of it there won’t help.

Quick Thoughts & Lessons Learned (Particularly from Leading Through Covid)

I’m taking a little break from some thoughts I’ve got simmering, not because I don’t have any but because I have too many… and it’s Christmas… and I’m tired… and I don’t wanna create any more drama for a while.