Leadership

Think Church is boring?

Have you ever had the thought…

Church is boring. 

I bet you have. I have. My goodness, I have had that thought a ton!

I grew up in very traditional churches and that thought swirled around in my head quite a bit!

Let me ask you another question…

Has that kept you from being a part of a Church? 

If it has, I’m asking you to give the church one more shot. I know, I know, you said you never would again!

I have had lunch with people who have told me that church is boring, that its outdated, that its lost its touch and that its not relevant any longer.

But, for some reason you came across this blog post this morning and I’m guessing that’s because you have a friend who has asked you to check out their church.

So, what about one more shot?

And, if you live in Central MI, what about checking out Thrive Church this morning? Thrive is a non-denominational Church that started about 60 weeks ago by people who wanted to create a church that people who are done with church, would love.

Yup, that’s it.

Thrive is a church for people who don’t like Church. 

Thrive is Simple, it’s Real and it’s Fun.

Our HUGE goal is that when you check out Thrive this morning, you will step into an environment where people want you to be. We’re a church that believes there should be no perfect people allowed. So, just come. Don’t worry about dressing up. Don’t worry about not understanding what’s going on.

You’re probably going to hear songs you’ll recognize from the radio, see a clip from a movie you’ve seen and hear a message from the Bible that will deal with everyday stuff.

 

At Thrive, we believe the message of hope and life that Jesus offers is the most EXCITING message ever. 

So, it could never be boring! 

I so hope you can check out Thrive this morning! If you have kids, there is a special kid church for them called ‘Thrive Kidz’. Get to Celebration Cinema about 15 minutes early. You can grab some coffee and donuts and then head to the big Thrive Kidz sign and our Thrive Kidz volunteers will get your kids all checked in.

After that, head down the hallway to theater one!

And, please let me know if your experience at Thrive was boring! Email me at jasonraitz@thrivechurchmi.cc.

Ok, see you in a little bit!

3 Ways to Invite Someone to Thrive this Sunday

Ever feel like there isn’t enough time?

Ever get all stressed out because there isn’t enough time to do something?

Ever convince yourself that the week is over and there isn’t enough time to invite someone?

Well, guess what?? I have good news for you.

There is time to invite someone to Thrive this Sunday! taming tech header

Yes!

So much time!

And, who knows, your invite could lead them to surrendering their life to Jesus. It could lead them to experiencing hope. It could open up the doors for them to experience being accepted and welcomed. It could put people in their life who will care for the first time, maybe ever.

It could!

So, what are you waiting for?

Here are 3 ways to invite someone…

1. The telephone. I know, this is crazy, right!?! But, it’s still pretty darn effective! Just call and ask. Say something like…

‘Hey, what are you doing Sunday morning? I’m heading over to Celebration Cinema to be a part of my kicking awesome church. Oh, it’s called Thrive. Super fun. Super laid back. Super casual. Super great music. Super easy to understand and the messages are real and meaningful. So, I’ll pick you up at 10′?

2. Hand them an invite care. Every week at the info table at Thrive are piles of invite cards. Just start passing them out. At work, at home, at school…wherever you are!

3. Use the power of Facebook. Amazing how easy this is! Either…

  • Share a current status from Thrive’s main Facebook page
  • Just write out an invite as a status on your page
  • Message a friend and ask them to go with you
  • If one of your friends posts a status about looking for something to do…comment and let them know about Thrive!

Ok, that’s it! Simple. Easy.

You can do it!

Let’s never get tired of inviting people to hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Week One of ‘Pull your head out of your App’

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Sunday Night Thoughts

It’s Sunday night.14015_10154866857590235_7952495633490854902_n

My mind is racing and my heart is full.

Today was an absolutely fantastic day.

As a Pastor and a leader, I am so humbled and honored and can’t believe God would give me such an amazing Church to be a part of and lead.

I’ve spent a bit of time reflecting and thinking about today and her are some of my thoughts.

Thoughts

…My family amazes me. Every Sunday morning we all get up at 530am and get ready and then we head into church. Every body has a role and I’m so proud of my kids for helping turn a movie theater into a church environment.

…My wife amazes me. Seriously, every week she just does what needs to be done to serve and to love kids at our church. She doesn’t get paid, and she just tirelessly works. This morning she fought through a terrible headache and again, was just awesome.

…Thrive’s set up team are amazing! I mean, really! They get there at 7am and unload the trailers, set up and then tears it all down and loads them back up! Just simply awesome!

…Thrive’s Kidz volunteers are awesome! This is area that we are praying for more people to step up, but week after week, we have some of the best and most amazing adults who love kids!

…Thrive’s band and tech team just killed it today. They attempted some really cool and powerful and unique songs and videos and they were just awesome. They totally tied into to our big idea and it all went so well!

…Hearing stories of life change never gets old. My Facebook messages have been going crazy lately with people sharing what God is doing in their lives. Wow. Just simple awesome.

…We also had an amazing After Party after Church and I got to hear so many stories! I love that !

What a great day!

I’m so blown away and I’m so humbled by what God is doing at our Church.

 

 

Are you looking for a Church, but don’t like Church?

Ok, maybe that title grabbed you a little. But, for some reason, it resonates with you. IMG_2484

‘Yes, I am looking for a church, but honestly, I just don’t like church’. 

Lately, you have wanted to find a church. But then, after that thought sinks in, you think you’re crazy.

Maybe you grew up in a church you didn’t understand. Maybe your family dragged you on Christmas and Easter. Maybe you think all Christians are hypocrites. Maybe you think all Churches are the same. Maybe you think people who go to church are perfect. Maybe you think you could never find a church that you could understand.

Or, you are…

  • Skeptical about God?
  • Curious about Jesus?
  • Desperately searching for hope.
  • Needing peace.
  • Looking for a place to belong?
  • Searching for a church where you can laugh.
  • Need to be around people who will care for you.
  • Want to get your kids in a church that they will be excited about.

Check out Thrive Church this morning at either 9 or 1015am at Celebration Cinemas!

We’re not perfect and don’t have everything figured out, but there are no perfect people allowed at Thrive. thrive))church-no-perfect-allowed

And, just come to church. Doesn’t matter what you wear (most everybody is in jeans and comfortable clothes).

We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes early.

Grab some coffee, check the kids into Thrive Kidz and then head to theater one!

See you soon!

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.

Thrive’s ONE Year Celebration…Our Best Day Yet as a Church

Overwhelmed.one

There is no better word to describe how I feel about Thrive’s ONE year celebration this past Sunday.

Just simply overwhelmed! 

Actually, most of Saturday, I fought back tears. All day long memories of the past year would flood into my mind and my tear ducts were working overtime to stop them from opening up!

This past year has been…hard.  AND…This past year has been…amazing.

This past year has been…painfully hard. AND…This past year has been…ridiculously rewarding.

This past year has been…excruciatingly hard. AND…This past year has been…so powerfully overwhelming.

I am just so thankful for God’s faithfulness, His provision, His hand, His favor, His direction, His guidance and His mercy and grace!

Our Best Day as a Church

We’ve had a lot of amazing days, but this past Sunday, was by far, our best as a Church!

The amount of volunteers that came together and worked so incredibly hard, was inspiring.

The amount of Thrivers who invited, prayed, and then reached out to friends and family was just amazing.

Here are some of my favorite moments…

The Friday before. We hosted an online Facebook flash mob and it was AWESOME! Our engagement and total reach on Facebook has been out of control because of it. Actually, it’s been up 383% over the previous week! Crazy!

The Saturday before. I was at Tim Horton’s and I felt prompted by God to go and pray at the movie theater we rent for our Church. So, it was 930am. No one was there. I sat in my car and started to pray. God said to get out and walk around the building. So, I walked and prayed. I walked around that building 7 times! I begged God for His favor. I asked Him to bring people who didn’t know Him. I asked for His favor on our Church and I prayed individually for every Thriver. It was a special time with God.

Rolling out the red carpet. Since we meet in a movie theater, we tried to add some extras to the theater to make it feel like a movie premiere. We had students from our youth ministry, ONE YOUTH, pass out popcorn. We rolled out a red carpet that lead to a picture wall where families could get their pictures taken. We made a giant Instagram sign and people posed in it, it was a blast!

Having Pastor Travis Hall Pray for our Leaders. I asked my friend and local Pastor, Travis Hall from Faith Community Church to pop over during our volunteer huddle and encourage and pray for our leaders. It was AMAZING!! Such a great moment.

Praying with our leaders before our Sunday experience started! This one was special! Why? Because it was out last all volunteer huddle! Prayer Circle ONE 2Next Sunday we launch TWO Sunday morning experiences and there just isn’t time for a large huddle. What made it special? I can remember Sunday’s where the huddle was smaller, where we had new leaders and when the energy was off the charts. It’s just always so powerful to gather together and pray!

Matt, our worship pastor, kicked our experience off with a Lenny Kravitz cover. It rocked and it rocked hard! So awesome. Then, he lead us through an amazing worship set!

Colette and Jesse! Need I say more? They are rock stars up front and they did an amazing job of leading us!

Thrive Kidz worship. Thrive Kidz packed out an entire theater and it was amazing.

Congrats Video. Many leaders and pastors sent us personal videos to say congrats on ONE year. Thanks to the Stadia team and Thrive’s management team for sending over those videos. Check it out HERE

Side note. Even Perry Noble from Newspring Church sent us a congrats video! That’s just awesome!

ONE year highlight video. Of course this was a favorite moment! It was so awesome to look back and see how incredibly faithful God has been to our church! Check it out HERE. 

Honoring Brian Kreider. I wanted to honor everybody! I mean, there are so many people who do so much and give so much, I wish I could have honored them all. But, Brian is special. If you want to get a glimpse of what Jesus is like, just spend some time around Brian. What Brian gives week in and week out to Thrive Church is amazing! It was a blast bringing him up and honoring him!

Our largest Sunday Yet! So incredibly humbling that we had more people attend our ONE year celebration than attended Easter! So awesome!

4 People trusted in Jesus as their Savior! This is the most important and most awesome part of the day!

4 Surrendered lives!!!

The VIP Party. We have an amazing events that planned and prepared for a giant party afterwards. We had inflatables, a birthday cake, 200 homemade cupcakes, food and so much more!

If you want to see what the day looked like, check out the Facebook photo album HERE.

ONE was amazing, but TWO will be even better!

This Sunday we launch TWO! We have will now have two Sunday morning experiences. One at 900am and one at 1015am.

I hope you can make it and be a part.

more people matter to God