Month: May 2014

10 Ways to Help Your Church Grow pt. 1

Your Church should be growing. Let me just start there. Some churches are growing like crazy. Some churches aren’t growing. Some churches are just flat out dying. Some churches dream of growing. Some churches get together and talk about the ‘the good old day’s. And then some churches are in a holding pattern and have been in a tough valley for a long season.

Whatever season your Church is in, the reality is, it should be growing. We have been given the Great Commission and a charge to ‘make disciples’. So, how can you help your Church grow reach more people for Jesus.

Before I jump in to these very simple ways to help your church grow, let me quickly address the word growth. So often when we think of church growth, we purely think about Sunday attendance.

It’s so much more than that! 

Yes, more people on Sunday’s are a part of that. And, actually, at Thrive, we pray for all the churches in our area and that their parking lots would be packed on Sunday’s.

But, its not just more people. It’s so much more.

  • It’s more people crossing the line of faith…one at a time.
  • And, more kids making a decision to follow Jesus.
  • And students living out their faith at school.
  • And people deciding to live out and in the sacredness of community.
  • And people stepping up to serve the poor.

It’s so much than just more people in the seats of your church.

It’s about life change. Lives being so wrecked for good because of the Gospel that they have turned towards Jesus and have given their lives to Him.

What’s great about this list is that each of these ways are incredibly simple and easy for anyway to live out.

10 Ways to Help Your Church Grow pt. 1

1. Realize that God is in control

Yup, its up to Him. Yes, we should do whatever it takes to help our churches grow, but in the end, it’s on God. We have to look to Him. We have to talk to Him and ask Him for His favor and hand of blessing on our churches.

2. Understand that your Church does need to grow and that’s a good thing

Understand that Church growth is good! It is, it really is! It’s tough though sometimes. Especially if you help plant a church and you love that early community. You do everything together and you love that group of people. Of course you want your church to grow, but sometimes its tough to think about your community changing.

3. Really want your church to grow

This is closely related to the second way, but there are people sometimes that just flat out don’t want their church to grow. They like things how they are and honestly, they don’t want any new people. I have had dozens of conversations that went along these lines over the years and it just amazes me that they really don’t want their church to grow.

4. Pray for your church to grow

Yes, daily! Seek God on your churches behalf. Beg God, talk to God, cry out to God and ask Him to move through your local Church. Pray for your Church to have favor with the unchurched in your area. Pray for your church to have favor with local leaders and businesses. Pray for your church to have a passion to reach people who are fed up with Church and done with God. Pray for your church to be a catalyst to grow disciples. Pray for your church to have a strong desire to care for the poor and provide real needs for your community.

Just Pray.

5. Embrace Change because its a major catalyst for growth

No, I’m being serious! Want Change, Desire Change, Help bring Change, Love Change, Support Change.

Now, I’m not suggesting you support ridiculous change like changing the name to something absurd. But, churches need to change. So many churches are tied up in internal battles over music and tradition and honestly they have been effective for years because of all the internal battles.

So, embrace change! Welcome it! Help bring change.

Ok, there it is. The first 5 ways you can help your church grown.

What did I miss? Let me know. Or, wait till tomorrow and read the next 5 and then tell me what I missed.

 

 

 

Super encouraging things I heard at Thrive

Every Sunday I have the privilege of being on the front lines of hearing some amazing things. 1175433_10152037511128455_1659779187_n

Yup, EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY! 

Lately, I’m trying to keep track of them by writing them down very quickly in my phone.

As I looked back and reflected on last Sunday, I just had to share there here on my blog.

Super Encouraging Things

“Best part of my week”

“Hell must be freezing over because I haven’t been in church for 15 years”

“Today the friend I brought to Thrive trusted in Jesus”

“I want to get baptized”

“My son is going with One Youth to serve on the drive by raking”

“I love my church”

“I was shocked when my boyfriend said he wanted to come back”

Our mission at Thrive is to help people Find and Follow Jesus and that’s why we’re ridiculously focused on creating an environment that people with absolutely no church experience will love. And, an environment that pushes people who have been around church a long time to realize it’s not about them but helping people find Jesus.

I love my church.

Parenting 101…Don’t miss the small moments

In my 14 years of being a dad, here is the one thing that I try to remind myself of all the time…

Don’t miss the small moments.IMG_3312

I have missed my fair share of big and small moments over the years.

Big

and Small. 

It’s probably one of my biggest regrets in life. Far too many years I was off chasing something that I probably didn’t need to be chasing and I missed way too many big and small moments.

I’ve tried hard. I have. I love being a dad and I love my kids. But, I have missed too many moments. I just have.

But, daily, I’m reminding myself to take advantage of the small moments.

Like, the other night, Madie and I had a few moments alone. Her brothers and sister were off and the living room was quiet for just a minute.  So, I just played a simple game with her…I just asked her as many questions as I could.

Her face lit up. 

She danced as she answered.

She got more and more animated.

She loved telling me her responses.

I asked her about everything. What she loved about school, stuff about her friends, her favorite movies and so many more.

Those 8 minutes were the best. 

She still talks about them.

I still talk about them.

I want them back. And, I know they will happen again.

I just can’t miss the small moments.

I played catch with Bob last night…and it was awesome!

This may not seem like its that big of a deal. 324908_10152862376760235_887330409_o

I mean, in the almost 12 years Bob’s been on planet earth, he and I have played catch literally hundreds, if not thousands of times.

But, for the last 6 months, we haven’t played catch at all.

Not once. 

After Bob decided to bow out of a fall baseball league, something happened with he and baseball.

Most likely, something happened with he and baseball and I. But, he tells me he just needed a break.

Now, it’s not like we had him doing a million sports or anything like that, Bob just needed some space.

And, this spring is the first time he isn’t playing since he was 5.

It’s kind of weird, to be honest.

But, we just didn’t feel like it would be helpful to push him into it and force it on him. So, we gave him the choice. Now, he had to choose something else to do and he chose golf. And that’s going awesome. But, he’s been done with baseball for quite a few months.

So, we’ve given him his space. I have given him his space.992934_10153091566510235_341593620_n

And then, out of the blue, we’re at Zach’s game last night and he says…

‘Dad, let’s play catch’. 

Of course I jump out of my seat and he warns me…”I may be a little rusty”, but he finds his grove quick and he smiles the whole way.

I even had him pitch me a few and he popped the glove.

It was just awesome to see Bob smile as we played catch.

Yes, I love being a dad.

Thrive Church…3 Musts to know for Sunday

It’s almost Sunday! 

YES…it’s almost here! 

You know what that means?

I’m sure you do, but let me remind you…

We have the privilege of gathering together as a Church! 

That’s right Thrive Church, we get to live out Hebrews 10:25…

“Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching”. (message)

So, let’s do this!

Invite a friend. Message a co-worker. Tell a family member. Text your kids. Whatever it takes!

And be at Thrive on Sunday! Why? Great question! Here’s why…

3 Musts for Sunday

1. We start a new series called ‘Get Rich’. Everyone wants to be rich, right? Does God want you to be rich? Are you rich facebook-group--Get-Rich---1now? So many questions we’ll answer in this 4 week series! Don’t miss the first week!

2. One Youth is serving on Sunday. If you have a middle or high schooler, then send them to be a part of the Drive by Raking. We’re grabbing lunch at Subway and then doing some drive bys.

3. Join a serving team. Yes, it is time for you to step up! If you haven’t yet joined a team, then sign up. Fill out your connect card and check what team you would like to be a part!

Can’t wait to see you on Sunday!!

Mother’s Day at Thrive ROCKED!

There are some Sunday’s that just stick out as special at Thrive and this past Sunday was definitely one of them. Honestly…IMG_0257

It just rocked!

It was just awesome! It was definitely one of those days that I’ll aways look back too when those days come that don’t go so well. And, I know those days will happen. But, right now, I love Sunday’s at Thrive. Every Sunday at Thrive! And, I know Sunday’s are just a small piece of the Thrive puzzle, but it is a big piece.

Here are a few reasons that mothers day rocked at Thrive:

1. We have an amazing team! One of Thrive’s team is our special event team. They plan and execute our bigger momentum building days like…Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Well, for Mother’s Day, this team out did itself. They prepared a wonderful breakfast for moms and I think they did an amazing job honoring moms! And, they were all moms serving moms! Just awesome!

2.Hearing stories of life change!

Again, this just never gets old! Every Sunday I have the honor of hearing story after story. And, they’re amazing stories! Stories of people being radically changed by the hope that Jesus offers!

3. Meeting new people! 

Every single Sunday there are brand new people who check out Thrive Church and its awesome! I have met so many new people in the past few months and I love it!

4. Hearing ‘my kids love to come to church’! 

I am so proud of our Thrive Kidz team! Every single week they transform movie theaters into incredible environments for kids and follow that up with some amazing large and small group stuff. I am so proud of our team!

If you’ve never checked out Thrive, I sure hope you will! We meet on Sunday’s at 10am at Celebration Cinema!

 

Want to be a ‘Partner’ with Thrive?

Today is Thrive‘s first Start Partnership Class.10247205_601710133257638_663172745761290165_n

Woo Hoo!

We don’t have ‘members’ at Thrive, we have Partners. A Thrive partner is someone is who is ‘All In’ at Thrive and commits to helping build and grow our church.
Today, I’ll dive into a lot of the ‘why’s behind what we do.
  • Why we’re passionate about reaching unchurched people.
  • Why we’re passionate about helping people follow Jesus.
  • Why we’re passionate about message based growth groups.
  • Why Sunday morning is an Experience and not a Service.
  • Why we try to steer away from the normal traditional elements of church.
  • Why we use all kinds of music and videos in our experiences.
  • Why we care a ton about kids and students.
  • Why we’re passionate about making a giant dent in Central MI for the kingdom.
  • Why we’re passionate about the Bible and what we believe about it.

It’s going to be a GREAT morning!