Formation

An early morning prayer walk

This last month, I started a new habit…prayer walk

Taking an early morning prayer walk around the building that my church meets in.

I have done this in my neighborhood for years and I have spent tons of time walking around other buildings and other neighborhoods.

But, it wasn’t until recently that I started doing a prayer walk around the movie theater that Thrive Church gathers in weekly.

I’ll post more about the ‘why’ I take prayer walks later in the week, but selfishly…I love the time I spend on these prayer walks!

It’s so refreshing, it’s so powerful, it’s so calming and it’s just an amazing time.

Here’s what I prayed for today:

-Gods blessings and favor on our church

-Lost people would find Jesus and broken people will be healed

-The found would be challenged to take big steps of faith

-That God would use our time in this building to challenge and encourage us to go BE the church

-Thrives kids and youth to be poured into and released to help lead our church

-Thrives future kids and youth directors and for the funds to be raised for those positions

-Thrives future college ministry leader and for favor with students at CMU

-Our staff team and for God to increase our giving so we can increase their pay

-For Gods hand and favor for our outside fundraising efforts

-Spouses of Thrivers who aren’t followers of Jesus

-For continued growth (spiritual, numerical, financial)

-That we would outgrow this building

-We would always be focused and passionate about helping the next person find and follow Jesus

3 Ways to Engage with Thrive this Sunday

It’s Friday night! That means that Sunday is almost here and I LOVE THAT! 3_Ways_Logo

I truly can’t wait for Sundays and this Sunday is no different.

I know I say this a lot, but it’s a HUGE day for our Church!

Why? Because one of the Pastors that are responsible for helping us launch and get off the ground will be at Thrive Church. His name is Steve Andrews and he is one of the most amazing, humble and godly men I have ever met!

I am seriously so giddy! So excited! So honored! I know you will love him and be blessed.

Be at Thrive this Sunday.

So, of all the Sunday’s to miss…don’t make it this one :)

And, if you think about it. Say hi to Steve! Thank him for his help!

He started Kensington with a handful of people twenty some years ago and it is an amazing church that has helped start an amazing amount of churches! They are so giving and share with so many churches! They are truly a church I admire greatly and look too for wisdom and guidance!

Plus Thrive Kidz is going to rock and yes, the band will rock this Sunday!

Leader Community Lunch.

It’s not too late to make it to the leader community lunch this Sunday from 12-130pm. If you volunteer in any way around Thrive, you are invited. Please RSVP right now to info@thrivechurchmi.cc. It’s at 1970 Ashland, Mt Pleasant, MI.

Steve will be with us and will encourage us. Plus, I have some exciting news to share with you about our second year as a church.

Baptism and Family Swim.

Next Sunday, November 2nd (which is also Daylight Savings) is our next all church baptism. If you haven’t been baptized, I highly recommend you take this step to go public with your faith. If you want information about baptism, just email me at jason.raitz@thrivechurchmi.cc.

Ok, can’t wait to see you on Sunday.

Please get to Thrive 15 minutes early and be in theater one 5 minutes early. Thanks!

See you on Sunday!

Week One of ‘Things I Wish Jesus Never Said’ in review

things i wish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case you missed week one of ‘Things I Wish Jesus Never Said’, here is everything you need to catch up on this series.

 

A super humbling facebook post

Sunday afternoons are pretty fun! 

Not because of football! But, if I had cable that would be another reason they’re fun!

Because typically, Facebook just lights up about peoples experiences that morning at Thrive Church!

It’s so humbling to grab my computer and read away.

It’s humbling because I love, LOVE what God is doing in peoples lives. It’s just amazing! To hear stories of life transformation. To hear stories of life change. To hear stories of peoples excitement about what Jesus is doing in their hearts is just…

Amazing. Humbling. Fantastic. Honoring. Awesome. 

And, to be a part of this church, even though its a tiny little sliver…again, is so humbling.

I’m so blessed to be Thrive’s Pastor and it is not something I take lightly. I love that I have been called to be Thrive’s Pastor, I love my work, I love my job and I love the people that are a part of Thrive Church. I love Central MI and I love the vision we have for reaching the unchurched.

On Sunday, there was a Facebook post that really made me sit down. It wasn’t bad. It was so stinking nice and so humbling to read. Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 5.43.47 PM

It was posted by a Thriver I very much respect and her words just hit me.

They hit me hard!

In the post she said I was brave.

Gosh, those words just hit me.

You know why?

Because Church Planting is Hard! Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not. This has been the hardest endeavor of my life.

It has been difficult, it’s been an uphill battle and there have been times that have been so hard, I wanted to scream! Then, hit something and then move to a beach!

No, really! Planting a church is not easy. I’ve learned that and I’m only a year in! I don’t care if you have a ton of start up money or no money, it’s hard.

It doesn’t matter if you start with a large group of people or a small group.

It’s just hard. There are challenges, there are obstacles, there are lack or resources, there are negative words by Jesus following people, there is the weight of being a part of peoples lives and it’s an uphill journey.

Now, it’s a GREAT journey! To see something start from nothing is AMAZING! To pray and pray and pray and then to see God answer your prayers is AMAZING! And it’s all worth it!

Because people matter to God. Because people desperately need a Savior. Because people desperately need a community that loves and cares for them.

The local church is the hope of the world and we need more dynamic–life-giving–not bent on traditions churches!

So, I know this post was a little self-servicing. I hope it didn’t come across that way.

I was just really honored and I wanted to share.

3 Ways to Engage with Thrive Church

Honestly, these next couple of months for Thrive Church might be our most important.3_Ways_Logo

Yeah, that’s not an understatement! Why are they important? Because we’re on a mission to…

Help people Find and Follow Jesus. 

We are locked in and we know how important kingdom work is and we are passionate about helping people become fully devoted followers of Jesus.

So, on the eve of a HUGE day in the history of Thrive Church, I wanted to give you some ways to engage with Thrive Church

3 Ways to Engage

1. Share Thrive’s Facebook post and image about this Sunday on your Facebook page. For those of you who already have, Thanks!

2. Read Mt 19:26 and then read it again. 

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Here’s the thing…do we really believe this? Do we believe this for our lives? Our family? Our church family?

“All things are possible”

I know we can take God at His word and so lets believe that He can accomplish the impossible!! For instance, let’s believe for people to trust in Jesus on Sunday at Thrive! Let’s believe for relationships to be healed! Let’s believe for such an outpouring that our 1 year old church plant would rock Central MI with how much we live Jesus!!!

3. Check out the new Thrive Website. 

In the midst of all the awesomeness of this week, we also had another very cool thing LAUNCH today…our new WEBSITE!!!!

NO JOKE!! Head to www.thrivechurchmi.cc and check it out! We will be adding information for a little awhile, but it’s up and running!

Two things about the site:

1. If you click on the HUB on the right side, that will take you to our church database. If you haven’t made a login yet, do it. It’s simple. Need help, let us know.

2. All the messages are on the right of the main page. It will be much easier to get to them!

Can’t wait to see you on Sunday!!! God is going to do amazing things and our only answer will be…’ONLY GOD”!

You’re loved and I’m praying for you!!

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What to expect when you check out Thrive Church

Every single week, I talk with people who ask me what Thrive Church is like. They ask me what they will experience and they ask what should they expect.

I’ve found that there is a cycle for people thinking about checking out Thrive Church.thrive))church-no-perfect-allowed

The cycle kind of goes like this:

1. God starts moving in their heart

2. A friend or family member posts            something about Jesus or Thrive Church on Facebook and they see it

3. At some point during the week, someone says something about church and it triggers what they just heard and had been feeling

4. Someone passes along a video message from Thrive and asks them to watch or listen to it

5. Its not what they expected

6. They’re now open to an invite or an ask to come to Thrive

7. God continues to move and they sense that have something missing in their life

8. They finally check out Thrive

9. It’s so not what they expected and they so weren’t ready for some of the emotions that are hitting them

10. God smiles

Ok, maybe thats a little longer than the average cycle, but you get the idea. God always seems to have a plan that’s working behind the scenes to get people moving towards Him.

So, if you’ve been thinking about checking out Thrive Church, here’s what to Expect.

Expect This…

1. Our goal is that you will be crazy welcomed, accepted and loved! That means people are going to say hi and ask if you need any help finding your way around.

2. There is going to be music everywhere! There is music in the parking lot, lobby, and everywhere!

3. It may or may not smell like popcorn! That’s because we meet in a move theater!

4. You will hear about Jesus. Actually, our goal is that you will leave wanting to find and follow Him. 

5. The music will rock! During the Sunday morning experience, we have a great band! You will recognize some of the songs and some you won’t. That’s ok.

6. People will cheer, clap and sing…LOUD! You can join in or hold back, whatever is best for you!

7. You will see a lot of videos. We do meet in a movie theater, so we take advantage of the big screen!

8. Your kids will love it! Our kids rooms are super fun and Thrive Kidz just rocks!!

9. Somebody will pray for you if you would like them too. We are a praying church and believe in the power of prayer. Just let someone know whose wearing a landyard?

10. You will be challenged to fully surrender your heart to Jesus. Just want you to know up front, that’s what we’re all about!

Ok, I hope you will join us on Sunday! Be there at 9:30am at Celebration Cinema!

Hey Thrive Church…3 Musts for Sunday

I have a story to share! 3_Musts_Logo

And, it’s a good one!

A few weeks ago, a new family visited Thrive Church! They said their first time at Thrive was overwhelming…in a good way! From the minute they walked in, someone greeted them and asked if they could show them around. They loved the experience and as they were leaving, they were approached by someone who asked if they were coming to the Women’s night, that night. They ended up coming and met a few people. They were overwhelmed and loved it!

Isn’t that awesome! 

Well, guess what? Sunday is coming and it’s only 2 days away!

We have the privilege of gathering together, worshipping, giving, learning, connecting and building our church!

So, here are 3 musts for Sunday…

1. Please get to Thrive early! We start at 10am, so shoot for 930am. Especially if you have kids! Then, make your way into theater one by 9:55am. It really helps! Plus, you don’t want to miss the songs Matt has picked for this Sunday!

2. We need you in Thrive Kidz. No, seriously, you are needed. Especially if you’re a parent. Please email info@thrivechurchmi.cc and let us know you’re ready to step up and help us make the greatest kids environment we can!!

3. All things parenting. This Sunday I’m preaching on one of my absolute favorite topics…parenting. If you’re a parent, will be a parent, or are a parent to someone, don’t miss!!

Can’t wait to see you this Sunday at Celebration Cinema at 930am!