Week 2 - Old Vs. New


As we continued through our Reset series, Scott talked about the transfiguration. This event is detailed in Mark 9:1-8. Take a minute to read it.

Scott pointed out that Peter’s response was to default to his old religious practices. He wanted to build an altar or something commemorating Moses and Elijah. God did not even acknowledge Peter’s statement, but told him to listen to Jesus. 

We can be like Peter in the way we live out our faith. Instead of looking and listening in wonder, we think conventionally about what we have always known, and how we have always operated. We all experience a gravity that pulls us toward what we know. We can become fonder of the comforts and familiarities of the past than of the excitement and potential of the future. We can become more passionate about people who are like us, than we are about the people God wants us to reach.



What is an object that you no longer have, but brings back fond memories for you?


Why did you have to let go of that thing?


We have a tendency to romanticize the past. Do you have memories in your life that are probably sweeter than the reality once was?


When Peter witnessed the transfiguration, he immediately defaulted to the mode of religion that he was familiar with. Are there things in your life that you immediately default to?


In Mark 2, Jesus says not to put new wine into old wineskins. He did something new, and what he was doing could not be contained by the practices of the past. How can past practices become detrimental to forward momentum?


Peter Drucker said, “If you want something new, you have to let go of something old.” Have you had an experience where this rang true in your life?


Is there something new that you want for your life or the lives of those you love?


What will this new thing require you to let go of?



Pray that we will let go of any old things that prevent God from doing new things in our lives. Pray that we will actively seek out new things that God would like to do in us and through us. 

Week 1 - Building Momentum



We all have momentum in our lives, leading us toward something. If you think about your decisions, habits, and routines, they are leading you somewhere, even if there is no plan or intention behind your actions. This weekend, Scott talked about how some of us have positive momentum that is leading us in good directions, while others have momentum that is not leading us to great places.

Changing this momentum requires two things: a catalyst, and a progression. Change doesn’t just begin without a catalyst. There must be an event, a decision, a crisis, or a circumstance that drives us toward change. But this catalyst alone is not enough. There must also be a progression of actions that follow. These actions must be planned and intentional.


Just for fun, do you have any stories about failed new year’s resolutions? Where is the current momentum of your life leading you?

How do you feel about new year’s resolutions? Do you make them? How good are you at keeping them?

Did you make any new year’s resolutions this year? If so, what are they? What is one thing that you would like to change in your life?

What was the catalyst that prompted this change?

What is the progression of necessary steps you will need to make if you want to see this change become a reality in your life? Take a minute to list them out. Share them with your group.

If time allows, give one another input and advice about additional action items, and how to stick to the action items they have listed.


Pray that we will follow through with our plans. Pray that with God’s help, we will be able to see real life changes that go beyond new year’s resolutions.

Week 3 - Shepherds



This week Scott talked about the shepherds in the Christmas story. These were uncivilized country folk. They were not accepted, included, or trusted by the rest of society. In spite of this, God chose them to be the first recipients of the greatest birth announcement of all time. The outcasts became the guests of honor. The nobodies became the VIPs.

This is at the heart of what Christmas is all about. You matter to God. He doesn’t care about if you are on the inside, outside, upside, or downside. With Jesus there is no longer an in crown or an out crowd. Everybody is loved and accepted and invited to participate in what He is doing.

Scott contrasted this idea to the Roman way of life that serves as a backdrop for this story. In the ancient world that Jesus was born into, you had to be a free Roman citizen to be on the inside.
Today we can still feel like outsiders at times. And sadly, as Christ followers, we can often make others feel like outsiders.


Tell us about a time when you felt like an outsider. It could be an instance when you weren’t invited, felt excluded, or just didn’t feel like you fit in.

What is your emotional response when you feel like you are on the outside?

Do you think that we do anything at church; intentionally or unintentionally, that can make visitors feel like outsiders? If so, can you think of an example?

Is there a place in your life where you presently feel like an outsider?

Is there someone in your life who may feel like an outsider? What can you do to make that person feel included?


Thank God for the fact that Jesus includes everyone of us. Pray that we will understand that we matter to God and that to Him we are insiders, no matter how we may feel. Pray that we will reach out to marginalized people, and those who need to know that they matter to God. Pray that as a church, and as individuals, outsiders will matter to us.

Week 2 - Herod



This week Scott talked about King Herod. Herod is traditionally viewed as the “bad guy” of the Christmas story, and for good reason. He unsuccessfully attempted to kill Jesus, and, in the process murdered an unknown number of innocent children. Herod is not a man with whom we typically want to associate ourselves. However, we all have one thing in common with Herod. We all have a deep-seated desire to protect what is ours. We all have our own “kingdoms” that are compiled of our possessions, our relationships, our goals, and our lifestyles. And as we follow Jesus, at some point we understand that He is a threat to our kingdoms. If he is in charge of our lives, we may not be able to have what we want, or do what we want. His lordship over our lives threatens our desire to decide what is best for ourselves.


Tell us about a time when something precious to you was threatened. What was your gut reaction? What did you end up doing about it?

How does following Jesus threaten the status quo of your life?

What Biblical commands or teachings are most threatening to your own lifestyle and preferences?

Is there one area of your “kingdom” that you need to work on surrendering to God? What is an action you can take to begin to surrender this thing?


Pray that we will be honest with ourselves, when we are protective of our own little “kingdoms”. Pray that as we grow in maturity, there will be nothing in our lives that is not surrendered to God.

Week 1 - DOUBT


This week Scott kicked off our Christmas series by talking about Joseph. Joseph was faithful to God, and obedient in taking Mary as his wife, but his obedience began with a struggle. He struggled to believe Mary. He struggled to trust what God was doing. In the end, we see that Joseph was a man of faith. Faith isn’t about blindly believing. We see a lot of people “of faith” throughout the Bible, who also struggle with God. In our current Christian culture, struggling with questions, or having doubts are often judged as being a sign of faithlessness.

Joseph was never judged for his struggles. Within the church, people often conceal their struggles and doubts. We can think that it is weak to doubt. We can feel like it is embarrassing to have questions.


Just for fun...
Tell us about your favorite Christmas tradition.

Have you ever been in a situation where you were afraid to ask questions?

Do you often deal with doubt?

What are the things that can cause you to have doubts and struggles with God?

When you have doubts and struggles, do they make you feel like you are not faithful, or spiritual?

Struggles and doubts are not a sign of faithlessness. To the contrary, they are things that great leaders in the Bible endured as well. Knowing this, do you need to allow yourself to struggle with some things?

What do you need from other people when you are working through struggles and doubts?

How can you be there for others who are working through these kinds of things?


Pray that we will be honest with each other, with God, and with ourselves when it comes to the struggles and doubts that we face. Pray that we will not pretend that these things don’t exist, but that we will learn to face them head-on.

Week 3 - Love


This was our final week of Be Rich. On week one, FCC stepped up to the challenge to be rich with our resources by raising $81,000 to give to organizations who are doing great work in our community. Last week we stepped up to the challenge to be rich with our time by serving others. This week’s challenge is a bit more personal. The challenge is for each of us, individually, to be rich in love by doing something selfless, loving and kind for another person.

Our hope is that these things will not just be a one-time occurrence, but become a lifestyle of richness in generosity, in good deeds, and in love. Be rich is about having a generous spirit that looks for opportunities to love others in our everyday lives.
When talking about love, Scott used the example of your first youthful crush. Whether it was internal or external, you pursued that crush in some way. You made efforts to be around that person, or you daydreamed about them. In some way you nurtured and pursued your feelings toward that person. Love is the same way. When we pursue it, we find ourselves experiencing it. If we want to feel love for others, we must pursue it. We must be intentional about it. We must work for it.


Tell us about your first crush. Who was it, and how did you nurture your feelings toward that person, or pursue them?

How does real love differ from a crush?

This week’s challenge was to perform an act of love for somebody. Have you done this already? If so, tell us about it. If not, who is someone in your life who could use an act of love? What can you do for them?


Pray that we will love the way that Jesus loves us. Pray that the “Be Rich” series will not be a season of isolated incidents, but the beginning of a new way of living as we are rich toward others in generosity, in service, and in love.

Week 2 - Serve


This was week two of our Be Rich series. Last week we stepped up as a church and together we gave $81,000 to local non-profit organizations. This week Jericho Rhoten talked about how we can be rich with our time. At the heart of sincere service, lie sincere motives. The Bible shows us that our motives matter to God.

Philippians 2:3-7

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very natureGod, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very natureof a servant, being made in human likeness.

People have all kinds of motives for serving. Humble service is about truly valuing the person you’re are serving above yourself, and above your own effort and recognition.


Have you ever had somebody help you in a way that left you wondering about his or her motives?

Have you ever helped someone out of false motives? What are the things that motivate you to help others? According to the above verse, what motivated Jesus? What are some ways that you like to serve?

What are some kinds of service that you are not so interested in?

How can you keep your own motives in check?


Pray that we will have hearts that are motivated by the things that motivate Jesus. Pray that we will learn to serve selflessly out of love for God and others.

Week 1 - What Makes You Angry


This week we kicked off our Be Rich series by talking about giving. A special “above and beyond” offering was taken to share with partners in our community who are doing great things to love and serve people. The idea behind Be Rich is that we would reflect the love that Jesus has shown us. If our hearts are in step with God’s heart, then the things that matter most to God will matter most to us. And what matters most to God is loving people.

We looked at the example of the religious people who criticized Jesus for healing on the Sabbath and we discussed how religion can actually oppose God. When we focus more on preferences, traditions, and rules, than we do on loving people, we use our devotion as an excuse to not love like Jesus.

When we peruse God, we will be people who love others, serve others, and give to others. We will be “rich in good deeds.”

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in
wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.


This question is just for fun, let’s talk about being rich in worldly terms. If you won millions of dollars in the lottery, what is the most extravagant thing you would do?

What are some examples of people being so religious that they actually oppose God? How do people use “devotion,” as an excuse to not love others?

Tell us about a time when somebody was rich toward you. Don’t limit the conversation to financial matters. We can also be rich with things like our time, energy, and compassion.

What is your favorite way to be rich toward others?

What is a way that you find it difficult to be rich toward others?


Pray that we will be a church that is known for being rich in love and good deeds toward our community, and that we as individuals, will love others like Jesus loves us.


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Good News


“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves that we ever dared to believe, yet at the same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

-Tim Keller

“The gospel is not a doctrine of the tongue, but of life. It cannot be grasped by reason and memory only, but it is fully understood when it possesses the whole soul and penetrates to the inner recesses of the heart.”

-John Calvin

The New Testament is all about the Gospel, or Good News, of Jesus Christ. If you are in a community group, then this is something you are probably familiar with.
This Gospel belongs to Jesus. It is His Good News. It was created by Jesus. It is about Jesus. It all points to Jesus. But in the book of Romans, Paul refers to this message as his own Gospel.

Romans 16:25
Now to Him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus...

This is confusing until we understand what Paul is getting at. He is not claiming that the message of the Gospel is all about him. He is showing how Jesus’ story becomes our story. As the Gospel of Jesus Christ lives itself out in our lives, we express it through our own experiences in different ways. His good news becomes our good news. And we have a unique story and a unique gospel. It is told through the story of our lives, and what Jesus has done in us and through us.


This week we just have one discussion question. What is your gospel? Describe how the Gospel of Jesus has become your story. Share what Jesus has done in you and through you.


Take some time to pray prayers of thankfulness, for what God has done in our lives, and how His gospel has become ours.

We have a huge “Block Party” event coming up on September 23rd. There will be four simultaneous parties in four different local parks, where we will be loving our community in a fun way. Pray for the success of these events, and that because of them, people will get connected to FCC, and ultimately come to know Jesus.

Week 7: Robin Vs The Avengers

Read –

This past week, Scott discussed the idea of a moral circle. In Psychology Professor Richard Beck’s book, Unclean, he discusses how we all have a moral circle. Inside circle exists the people we would consider a part of our tribe. Traditionally, they look like us, act like us, think like us and even vote like us. Then there are those outside of our circle. Oftentimes, we treat those outside of our circle differently, but not necessarily intentionally. Scott shared how sometimes it happens at an unconscious level.

It happened in the first century just like it does today. The gospel of Matthew shares this story.

When the Pharisee saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” – Mathew 9:11

For first century Judaism, eating together was a sign of acceptance. You would only eat with those inside your moral circle. Even today, we operate in this way. We are cautious with who we share a meal and with who we hang out. In reality, our very own moral circle has a way of elevating ourselves at the expense of lowering those outside of our circle.

Jesus would lower himself in order to elevate others. Paul writes,

“...being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!”

Paul is saying Jesus is God. Because of that, everyone was outside of Jesus’ moral circle. Jesus didn’t live the way people of the first century lived. Jesus didn’t live the way we live. Instead, his circle was all about giving himself up for others.

Jesus flipped the idea of a moral circle upside down with the way he lived. It ended up permeating throughout the early church as His followers found themselves elevating those around them in the same way Jesus did.

Discuss –

Describe your moral circle? Who is in it? Who is outside of it?

Think back to Scott’s illustrations (gas station, Ikea). Share a time when you have seen someone intentionally or unintentionally treating people outside of their circle differently. Share a time when you have done it.

Go back and read Acts 2:42-47. What would it look like if we lived like this? What are tangible ways we can begin living a life without moral circles or barriers?

Scott said, “The person of Jesus, his life, his love, and his resurrection inspired the early Christians to change the way they lived.” What are some things we need to change in our lives in order to live the way Jesus lived?

The examples of Batman, Robin and the Avengers paint a picture for us. They help us understand how to live as a community, working together for the betterment of said community. How have you lived as a Batman or Robin? How have you lived as the Avengers?

In John 3:30, the author records John the Baptist as saying, “He must become greater; I must become less.” It is a choice to ultimately choose to see and treat others as if there is not moral circle. How can you make choices this week to live with a wider moral circle? How can you begin to eliminate your circle completely?

Who is one person you can invite to be a part of a group during the Freeway series?

Pray –

Pray for your Life Group
Pray that your group will begin to widen their moral circles or eliminate it completely. Pray that you will start to see people the way Jesus saw people. Pray that will change the way we live in community with those around us.

Pray of for FCC and Our Community
Pray for our upcoming GroupLink on September 16. We believe groups are the place to pursue healthy relationships and spiritual growth. GroupLink will be an event to connect people into our community groups for the upcoming fall season. Pray for those who have registered, for those on the fence and for those who show up to GroupLink.

Pray for our Global Partners
Praise God for continued healing for baby Silas with the B Family, FCC global field workers in India. Their baby boy was born stateside 4 months ago and they've continued to ask for prayers for his growth and development of his brain. He's suffered a brain injury but is continuing to exceed expectations. Pray that our field workers' ministry in India continues to thrive and impact people's lives despite our field workers' current absence.

Week 6: Suit Up


This week Scott talked about the fact that as followers of Jesus, we need to understand that our true enemy is the devil. This can be a real struggle for us in this age of secularism. If we believe what the Bible teaches about spiritual forces, it will reframe our worldview. We will no longer see people as our enemies. We will understand that our real enemy is not flesh and blood.

Ephesians 6:12

Many of us are familiar with this verse, but we feel more like our struggles are, in fact, against flesh and blood. Our present culture has rejected the spiritual, and when we do this, other people become our enemies. C.S. Lewis speculated that the secularization of modern society is all a part of Satan’s strategy. In his book The Screwtape Letters, a fictional demon writes to his protégé...

My Dear Wormwood,
I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command. Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves. Of course this has not always been so. We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and skeptics.

“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.” -From the movie The Usual Suspects (1995)

Regarding those who were plotting to kill Jesus, he said...

John 8:44

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Jesus consistently attributed evil to the devil. The fact is, that if we believe the words of Jesus, then we will understand the world around us as a spiritual battleground, where the enemy works against God and his purposes.


Describe your default worldview. Do you have more of a spiritual or secular way of seeing things?

Is it ever a struggle for you to believe what the Bible teaches about spiritual forces?

When you think about an enemy, is there a person, or group of people who comes to mind?

How is the perception of other people as our enemies changed, if we really believe and apply Ephesians 6:12?

If we believe what the Bible says, then all people have a common enemy. How does this reframe the conflicts you experience with other people?

Look up and read Ephesians 6:10-17. Is there a piece of gear in the “Armor of God” that you feel like you are missing? What can you do to grow in this area?

This section of scripture ends by encouraging us to pray. Why is prayer so important? How does an active prayer life affect your spiritual worldview?


Pray that we will see reality. Pray that we will understand that our struggles are not with people, but with the devil. Pray that we will reject the secular worldview that permeates our culture.

Keep on praying for our “Snow Way Event”. This is an opportunity for us to invite friends and neighbors to FCC, and connect with people who need Jesus. Pray about who you might invite, and that the event will be a success.

Spend a moment giving praise to God and thanking Him for the impact the FCC Mexico Global Connection Team had 2 weeks ago. They built a home for family that makes $177 a week and the team finished two other unfinished homes in Tijuana. Pray for the 3 families living in those new homes that they would be surrounded by an encouraging group of like-minded Christians and that they would be able to continue seeing positive transformation in every aspect of their lives.


Week 5: Take A Stand


This weekend Matt talked about Gideon from the book of Judges. Gideon took a stand against the false gods that his people worshiped. In doing so, he angered his friends and neighbors to the point that they were ready to kill him. In the next chapter, we see thousands of men ready and willing to follow him into battle.

When you take a stand, many won’t like it at first. Change is difficult for people to deal with, and change often threatens the things that people hold to be sacred. In the long run, we follow those who stand for something.

We learned about the progression of Gideon’s character. He started out in a place of cowardice. He initially took a small stand, and then went on to something bigger. Sometimes the stand we need to take is big, but smaller stands prepare us for what lies ahead. Gideon’s journey to leadership had it’s bumps and obstacles. In the end, he became the leader that he was because he was willing to take a stand.


Just for fun...
Sometimes we don’t choose our battles wisely. What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever taken a stand for?

Who is a person that you admire for taking a stand?
For you, what is the most difficult thing about standing up for what you believe? What do you wish more people would take a stand for?
What stand do you need to take? How can this group support you in it?

Pray that we will have the courage to take stands in our lives, and that God will bless our actions when we follow him.

Keep on praying for our “Snow Way Event.” This is an opportunity for us to invite friends and neighbors to FCC, and connect with people who need Jesus. Pray about who you might invite, and that the event will be a success.

Spend a moment giving thanks and praise to God for three baptisms that took place this week where FCC field workers work in the Middle East. Pray for those who committed their life to Jesus, to remain bold in their faith and encouraged by a surrounding body of believers.


Week 3: Kryptonite


James 1:15
Then, after desire is conceived. It gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

As people, sin is our Kryptonite. Sin is what brings death and destruction into our lives, dreams, and relationships. Sin damages our ability to love and trust others, and separates us from God.

God takes sin so seriously, that Jesus used extreme examples to describe what measures we should be willing to take to avoid it. While his statements are obviously hyperbolic, they are communicated this way to convey the severity of the destruction that sin can bring to our lives.

Matthew 5:29-30
If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Scott focused the second half of his message on the idea of “guardrails.” These are preventative measures that we can take to make sure that sin does not get a grip on our lives. Guardrails are in place to keep us “away from the edge.,”

In the book of Genesis, Lot is a man who could have used guardrails. In chapter 13, he separates from his Uncle Abraham, and chooses a new place to settle.

Genesis 13:11-13
So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.

Lot chose to live not in, but near a city full of wickedness. A few chapters later, where do we find Lot?

Genesis 19:1The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.

Unless our boundaries are defined and in place, they do not guard us from anything. It is easy to imagine that over time, Lot inched closer and closer to Sodom, until he was eventually a part of the wicked culture that he once only observed at a distance.


What are the things in your life that you value the most?
How can sin threaten these things?
Have you defined guardrails when it comes to protecting these things from sin?

What are some possible guardrails that we can put in place when it comes to the following sins?

-Drunkenness-Sexual Sin -Greed -Gossip

-Hate -Envy

What does it take for guardrails to work?
If we set boundaries in our lives, how are they enforced?


Pray that we will guard our hearts by setting appropriate boundaries in place that will protect us from the destructiveness of sin.

Continue to pray for our “Snow Way Event.” This is an opportunity for us to invite friends and neighbors to FCC, and connect with people who need Jesus. Pray about who you might invite, and that the event will be a success.

Pray for FCC field workers in the Middle East as they run a second center to help give aid to marginalized people groups and refugees. Pray for many to sense the presence of God in our workers and their programs and to then have the boldness and courage to ask faith questions and pursue following Jesus.



Week 2: You Were Born For This


As we continued through our “Heroes” series this past weekend, Scott talked about our identities as follower of Jesus. We were born to be the heroes of this world.

Ephesians 1:4-5
For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship in Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-

We have been adopted into the family of Jesus. His holiness belongs to us. His sonship belongs to us. His selflessness and self-sacrificial love also belong to us. Our lives are to be lived in response to what Jesus has done through us. In this way, we are called to be heroes.

In the same way that Jesus went to the cross to give all he had for us, we are called to lay down what we have for others. If I don’t live my day-to-day life like this, it is because of a lack of understanding about who I am. If I look into the mirror and don’t see a hero, then when the opportunity to do something heroic arrives, I won’t behave like a hero. The more we view ourselves as who we really are, the more we will behave in a way that is consistent with our heroic reality.


Just for fun...
Who is your favorite superhero, and why?

Look up the following verses and share what they say about our identity as followers of Jesus...

2 Corinthians 5:17 1 John 3:1-2

1 John 3:16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

John 15:15 Galatians 4:7 Ephesians 1:7 Genesis 1:27
1 Peter 2:9 Philippians 3:20 Romans 8:31-38

When you look into the mirror, do you see a hero? If not, who do you see?

If the Bible is true, then we should be defined by what God says about who we are. Sadly, most of us allow our society, or our self-perception to define us. What keeps you from allowing God’s words to define your identity? Why do we allow anything else to define us?

If you really understood yourself as a hero, how will this effect the way you handle day- to-day situations?


Pray that we will begin to see ourselves as the heroes we really are. We are all called to a life of loving and serving others as children of God.

Next month we will be having a huge Summer event called the “Snow Way Event.” This is an opportunity for us to invite friends and neighbors to FCC, and connect with people who need Jesus. Pray about who you might invite and that the event will be a success.

Pray for the FCC Global Connection Team to Southeast Asia departing Monday, July 16. Pray that our field workers will feel encouraged and rejuvenated by our team. Pray for many people who do not follow Jesus to be impacted by the team and to feel comfortable and bold in asking questions about who Jesus is and the hope he brings.



Week 1: What Is A Hero?


We just started a new series called Heroes. During this series, we are having some fun talking about superheroes and what it takes for us to be heroes. Scott focused us on a very short verse that tells us the story of a hero named Shamgar.

Judges 3:31

After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.  

Although this verse doesn’t seem like much, it reveals a lot of truth about what it takes to be a hero. Shamgar was not a hero because of some incredible superpower, or laboratory accident. Shamgar was a hero because he used what he had and where he was, to do what he could. 

God places a high value on the idea of people using the resources that we are blessed with. 

1 Peter 4:10

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

 Read Matthew 25:14-30

In this parable, the servants are not judged by what they have been given, but by what they did with what they were given. The servant who buried his money was called wicked and lazy. 

The greatest thing that we can do with what we have been given, is to place it into Jesus’ hands. When we give our time, money, talents, energy, skills, aptitudes, and efforts over to God, He can do great things with them. We have to decide each day if we will put to use what we have been given, or if we will use it for our own advantage.


Scott shared these three simple ideas, that reflect Shamgar’s success…

1.   Start where you are.

2.   Use what you have.

3.   Do what you can. 

We are going to take a few minutes to think about these three things and how we can follow Shamgar’s example.

Where are you? How would you describe your present situation, circumstances, and phase of life?

What do you have? What has God blessed you with? What are your assets, skills, talents, passions, and resources?

What can you do? Dream about what you could possibly do with what you have in your present situation. Dream big. Have fun imagining what you might accomplish.

Prayerfully consider if God may be leading you to be a hero for others in a new way. 



Pray that we will be open to God’s leading, and that we will look at our place, resources, and potential with a fresh sense of vision.


Pray that FCC will effectively be a hero to our community; using what we have to serve and love others in a way that consistently reveals God’s love.


(Jericho will provide this)




This week’s we wrapped up our Focus series by talking about our call to love, and what it means for us to love others. His main teaching text was 1st Corinthians 13...

IfIspeakinthetongues[a] ofmenorofangels,butdonothavelove,Iamonlyaresoundinggongor a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all
knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I giveallIpossesstothepoorandgiveovermybodytohardshipthatImayboast,[b] butdonothave love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

We often approach this famous passage as if it were a checklist. We think that the challenge is to try our best to master the items on the list. The truth is that this is not a comprehensive “to do” list for believers. Instead, it is a description of the traits that characterize a person who follows Jesus. It is not about acting a certain way. It is about our very motives being permeated by the love of Jesus that lives inside of us.

Scott also talked about the fact that Christians tend to fall into two general categories, those who are about grace, and those who are about truth. Those of us who more highly value truth tend to be more judgmental. We want people to do what is right and we will speak to our convictions with little regard for the feelings of others. Those of us who fall in the “grace camp” value harmony and despise tension. We err on the side of forgiveness without accountability. Most people look at this as a balancing act. We ask how we can practice grace while balancing it with truth, but Jesus didn’t do this. He was

one hundred percent gracious, and one hundred percent truthful. The book of John tells us that he was “full of grace and truth”; two things that live in tension with one another. And when we follow Jesus, we live in that tension. In all situations, we seek to answer the question, “What does love require of me?”


Have you ever interacted with a person who displayed some of the traits described in 1 Corinthians 13, but was not motivated by love? How could you tell the difference? What made you suspect that their motives were not sincere?

What are the negative effects of looking at 1 Corinthians 13 as a checklist?

As we grow closer to Jesus, our lives become characterized by the attributes of love. In the same way that a tree doesn’t try to bear fruit, a Christ-follower naturally produces Christ-like attributes. What fruit has grown in your life as a result of following Jesus?

Would you describe yourself as a “grace” person or a “truth” person. How would you defend your position as being more valid than those on the other side of the argument. Go ahead and rant a little bit if you want to.

How does the cross show us that Jesus is completely gracious, and completely full of truth at the same time?

When we deal with difficult people, how can we be both completely gracious and completely truthful? See if you can come up with some examples.


Pray that we will embrace the tension between grace and truth, and learn to live in it. Pray that we will develop Christ-like traits in our lives that are motivated by love.

Pray that people will experience the love of Jesus through us this week on the third, fourth, and fifth of July, as we serve our community. Pray that every interaction is full of love and authentic care for others.


WEEK 4: Fully Engaged


This week’s message was about the primary purpose of Jesus’s mission here on earth, and the call that is central to everything we do as a church.

Luke 19:10

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Matthew 28:19-20

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you...

While the church is made up of people who are “found,” its purpose is all about people who are “lost.” When we lose sight of this, our focus gravitates inward. We start to focus on our own experiences, our own preferences, and our own comfort. This is what happened in Antioch, when Christians began to insist that Gentiles must be circumcised in order to be saved. They longed for the spiritual journey of the Gentiles to look like their own. Ultimately, it was determined that past practices were not beneficial to the process of bringing people to know Jesus. These religious requirements only served as obstacles, making it difficult for people to be saved. Their personal preferences stood in conflict with the mission of the church, and the church leaders did not allow these preferences to stand in the way.

Regarding the issue of whether or now Gentiles should be required to undergo circumcision, James said this...

Acts 15:19

"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.



What are your personal preferences when it comes to church? If our services and events were designed around your own personal tastes, how would we do things differently?

When you talk about the church, do you find yourself discussing the mission of the church and how we are to bring people to know Jesus? Or are you more likely to discuss your own preferences regarding the way we do things?

Acts 15:19

"It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.

Do you think that there are things that we do (individually or corporately) that make it difficult for people to turn to God?

Do you feel that your own focus is more about the mission of the church, or your own preferences?

If you feel that your focus could use a shift, what can you do to make that happen?


Pray that we will have a focus that is more about the mission of the church than our own preferences.

The Fourth of July is approaching. Pray that as we use this opportunity to serve our community, people will be drawn to the church and to Jesus.

Spend a few moments in prayer praising God for the successful trip of our FCC high school global connection team to Chile last week. Praise God for the positive relationships that were built and for the Chilean church to continue to remain encouraged from our two teams this summer. Pray for the pastor and his family with Ibero American ministries, that they’d feel encouraged and equipped to continued guiding their church community in El Monte, Chile.



This week’s message focused in on the things that we are about accomplishing as a church. At the very core of our existence, God wants us to be about two things, loving Him, and loving other people.

John 13:34-35
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Our love for one another is our trademark trait as followers of Christ. It is the characteristic that the world should know us by. Our goal for the church is that as we follow Jesus, our faith in God increases, along with our love for one another.

2 Thessalonians 1:3

Our goal as a church is to love God more, and love people more. The strategy for this goal is summed up in the pursuit of three things; intimacy with God, community with insiders, and influence with outsiders.

Intimacy with God is not just knowing things about God, but having a personal relationship with Him. It is about trusting God as we put the things we believe into practice.

Community with insiders is about letting other believers into our lives. It is about connecting relationally and growing spiritually together.

Influence with outsiders has to do with the way that we love people outside the church. It is about practicing influence that seeks to love and to serve instead of influence that seeks to overpower and manipulate.

Matthew 20:25-28
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.


In his message, Scott pointed out the connection that Jesus makes between loving God and loving people. In spite of the fact that you cannot love God without loving those He created, people have historically attempted to do just that. What does it look like when someone tries to serve God without loving people?

2 Thessalonians 1:3 also links our faith in God to our love for others. How does growing faith in God increase our love for others? How does loving others increase our faith in God?

Matthew 20:25-28 contrasts the power structure of the world against the powerful influence of people who follow Jesus. We are directed to not exercise the kind of power and authority that is prevalent in the world. How do worldly leaders lord their authority over others today?
What are examples of times that well-meaning Christians attempt to lord their authority over people instead of serving them?
How would things change if we used all of our power and authority to love and serve others instead of trying to exert power over them?


Pray that we will have greater intimacy with God, authentic community with each other, and increasing influence with people who need Jesus.

Pray that we will leverage whatever authority, power and resources we possess as a church to lovingly service others, and never to lord it over people.

Spend a moment praising God for the significant progress last week’s adult FCC Chile team made in building a bigger gathering space for a Church in Chile. Pray for peace, smooth travels, and a positive impact and experience for the High School Chile team serving this week in Santiago.




In the second week of our Focus series, Scott talked about how the way that the Jewish religion of Jesus’ day was about preserving the past. Passover was, and still is, the most prominent Jewish holiday. It celebrates the way that God freed the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. Celebrating Passover is done through the use of many traditions and rituals which represent the final plague of death and the exodus from Egypt.

When Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples, he took the old practices of Passover and made them about something new. The unleavened bread traditionally a reminder of the Passover lamb, and of the fact that the Hebrews hurried out of Egypt without time to allow their bread to rise. This time, Jesus said that the bread was his body. The blood was a reminder of the Passover lamb that was sacrificed, but Jesus said that it was his blood. Jesus took the old symbols of the Exodus and gave them new meanings. They became about him. This was significant, because in order to follow Jesus, his followers would have to reject the idea that faithfulness to God was about the 613 written laws of the Old Covenant, and embrace that there would now be a New Covenant with one law.

John 13:34-35

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus insisted that the command to love God and to love others completely summed up everything written in the law and the prophets. This kind of teaching is exactly what got Jesus into trouble with the authorities of his time. Jesus was a threat to their establishment. He was a threat to the things that they were trying to preserve.


In his message, Scott mentioned that during the Egyptian slavery, the Egypt’s religion was a system of justifying and legitimizing their culture. Do you think that in our culture, people use religion to justify their own values?

It must have been difficult for the disciples to let go of the old religious meaning that they had always placed on the Passover meal, as it gave way to a new meaning. Do you ever have trouble letting go of old things? Is there anything in your life that you are struggling to let go of?


It is said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting new results. Have you ever found yourself in this kind of place, stuck in the same old patterns, but longing for something new?

The Bible tells us that if we are in Christ, then we are new creations. What is something new that you would love to see God do in you or through you?


Pray that we will let go of old religion and seek the newness that Jesus has in store for us.

Pray that we will experience newness as a church, and that people will be drawn to Jesus because we look like something new and different in our community.

Spend a few moments in prayer praising God for all that was accomplished through FCC’s Adult Chile Global Connection Team last week. The team was able to help with several Church facility refurbishments in Santiago. Pray for the team as they transition back to normal routine at here at home. Pray for the impact the team had on their new Chilean friends to be an ongoing encouragement and to have long-term positive effects as the Church continues to make a difference in its community.