There’s a wall in my office that is significant—not because of the bookcases that line it but because of the person I share it with. It’s the wall that separates my office from Scott Wieking’s. Working next door to this fantastic pastor has given me insider knowledge of his habits and interests.
Here’s some Scott Wieking trivia…
First, Scott’s breakfast staple is oatmeal. After arriving at the office after his early morning swim, Scott’s first task is usually to make instant oatmeal. Not the kind with the pilgrim on the label, but rather some uber-nutritious brand. Scott eats healthy. A pink box of Fluffy’s donuts is safe in Scott’s presence but not in mine.
Having said that, Scott does from time to time enjoy an In-N-Out Burger, but interestingly enough, never with the spread. Scott insists that the only seasoning an In-N-Out burger needs is salt and pepper. Scott has won me to this Spartan-style of burger dressing. However, unlike the ultra-disciplined Scott, I still order fries.
Third, Scott loves trees. A few months ago I mentioned to Scott that I wanted to learn more about trees to enhance my enjoyment of the national parks (another Scott Wieking passion). Two days later he gave me a fancy tree identifier guide and then took me straight out to the front of the church to practice my tree-identifying skills (I nailed it—a California pine!). On the annual staff retreat, whereas Peter favors excursions involving competition (e.g., mini-golf), and Derek prefers indoor fun (bad allergies), Scott favors a hike in the wild, untamed forest.
Fourth, Scott is a serious but unsentimental baseball fan. For years Scott had a large, framed picture of Giants catcher Buster Posey hung on his wall. Recently the picture came down in favor of a Yosemite print. My hunch is that the re-decoration had something to do with Buster’s declining production. When it comes to the diamond, Scott expects results (hold that thought!).
Lastly, and most importantly for purposes of this piece, Scott is passionate about the spiritual life. In Galatians 4:19 the Apostle Paul describes himself as being “in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in” the Galatian Christians. Paul burned to see believers in Jesus be completely renewed in his image. To grow into people who didn’t just have Jesus’ character and competence as a matter of spiritual principle, but in daily practice. Scott burns with the same flame.
Now a story
About four years ago Scott began to question whether the habitual means we were employing as a church to etch Christ into people were really working. What made Scott’s questioning even more urgent was the publishing of our new purpose statement in which we say that as a church we exist “to help everyone grow in love for God and others.” Scott began to ask: “Are we the people at First Baptist Church really growing in love for God and others? Can we say without a doubt that we are all making substantial progress in becoming “little Christs”? If not, what new approaches to discipleship might result in more robust change? Remember me telling you that Scott is unsentimental about baseball? It’s the same with the “game” of Christian formation! Results matter. After all, in I Timothy 4:15 Paul tells his young protégé that he should devote himself to spiritual training so “that all may see your progress.”
Anyway, since that time Scott has read, prayed, conferred with experts, and experimented with new approaches to discipleship. In a recent series of "God, Me, Us" Scott has two main objectives. His first is to explain the goal of the life of faith. In other words, what does someone who is fully “formed” in Christ really look like? How do they act? What can they do?
His second is to explain in the clearest possible terms the pathway for reaching that goal. More specifically, what are the programs, practices and mechanisms we have here at FBC for turning us all into people who really do act, think, and love like our King.
Scott is excited about what he has to share this next month in “God. Me. Us.” However, Scott isn’t the only one. Yes, this series is the fruit of Scott’s study, prayer and experimentation, and as such has been stamped with Scott’s sensibilities. But because these sermons and the discipleship plan they unveil have been filtered through the thinking of Pastor Steve and other members of the pastoral staff, what Scott is presenting is the burden of every single member of the ministry staff.
For Steve and the whole FBC staff,
Pastor Dan Seitz