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


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

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!

7 Reasons to Check Out Thrive Church this Sunday

Every single week, I talk to people who are searching for a church home.

Some know it and some don’t.

My conversations range from…“I just wish I thrive))church-no-perfect-allowedcould find the right church” to “I’m done with church and I’m not trying that again”. 

Regardless if you think you need a church or not, here are 7 Reasons I think you should check out my church, Thrive Church.

7 Reasons…

1. You’ve been searching for a church.

Easy. The reality is, many people are searching for a church. They may already realize that or honestly, they may not yet, and that’s ok. But, if you’ve been searching for a church home, a church family that will love you and a Church that is passionate about Jesus, check out Thrive.

2. You’ve heard about Thrive and have been thinking about checking it out.

I was getting my haircut yesterday and the stylist asked me what I do for a living. Well, I told her and she asked what church. I said…Thrive Church.

‘OHHHH. I’ve heard of that place!’

She went on to tell me that she a few friends who have posted about it on Facebook and who have asked them!

3. You’ve been wanting to get yourself or your family back to church.

You have no idea where this thought came from, but you can’t shake it! So, do something about it!

4. You’ve been searching for a church filled with lots of kids.

The truth and reality is, not many churches have a ton of young kids! That’s a huge bummer! But, at Thrive, there are kids everywhere! It’s one of the primary reasons we’ve decided to launch our 2nd Sunday morning experience.

5. You’ve felt for a long time that there was something was missing in your life.

I talk with people all the time that say things like…”I just like something is missing”. Well, that could be a giant void in your life that only Jesus could fill.

6.  You will understand what’s going on. 

Maybe in your childhood you attended a church where you never knew what was going on. You did not understand what they were talking about or what they were doing. Well, at Thrive, I think you will. We’re super simple, super casual and a lot of fun.

7. The Music Rocks! 

Yes, every single Sunday we have a great band at Thrive! It rocks! Some weeks it’s more acoustic an some weeks its more rock, but it is always awesome. So, if you like a great band or you love to worship, you will love the music at Thrive.

More Reasons? Sure, why not! 

8. It’s short. 

Our experience is an hour long. Yeah, you’ll love it!

9. Thrive Kidz is awesome! 

If you have kids, they will love our kids environments!

10. It’s ridiculously welcoming and accepting! 

You may even be annoyed, but we want people to know we want them at Thrive!

I hope you can make it this Sunday! See you at 9:30am at Celebration Cinema!

3 Ways to Engage this week at Thrive

3_Ways_LogoIt’s Friday. Actually, it’s late Friday afternoon.

Do you know what that means?

Yup, you guessed it! Sunday is only 2 days away!

I absolutely can’t wait and I wanted to give you a few ways to engage this week with Thrive.

3 Ways to Engage

1. Catch up on our ‘Messy’ Series. If you have missed any Sunday’s in this series, then head here and catch up.

This entire series has been focused on how to take the messiness out of our relationships and we finish this series this Sunday with a look at how to take the messy out of church families! Can’t wait!

2. Spend some time with Jesus. Tomorrow is Saturday. Get up extra early…I know, but get up and go for a walk and just talk to Jesus.

3. Connect with a fellow Thrive. Go to the Thrive Facebook group and click on names. Read a few names and then pray for them. Then, message them and let you know you have been praying for them!!

See you on Sunday!

Oh, please be there by 945am if you can!! Thanks!

Thrive Church…3 Musts for Sunday

3_Musts_LogoIt’s Labor Day Weekend!! 

You know what that means?

Thrive is just a day away! 

We have another amazing opportunity to GATHER as a church on Sunday and I wanted to make sure you knew a few musts before Sunday!

Here we go…

1. We all need to GROW. We’re talking about one of the best ways to grow spiritually as a follower of Jesus this Sunday.

That’s right, growing people change. We need to change and we MUST welcome the change. And, if you have made the commitment to Follow Jesus, it doesn’t end there. Now it’s about following, growing and becoming more like Him everyday.

So, I can’t wait to open God’s word with you on Sunday!

2. If you missed our Baptism and BBQ, be there on Sunday. We’re going to show you how incredible powerful this day was!

Oh, put this date on your calendar, August 16th, 2015. Our next outdoor baptism!!

The next baptism at Thrive is in November. Get ready!!

3. Alive City is at Thrive next week! Alive City is a great worship band from the Detroit area and they are stopping by Thrive on their tour.

It’s going to ROCK! Trust me, do not miss next Sunday, September 7th!!

Start inviting your friends now!!

Ok, can’t wait to see you this Sunday!

Oh…lastly!! Please be praying big time for Thrive Church, our church family and our experience on Sunday!!!!


Incredible Experience so far at Newspring Church

Here are my initial thoughts about my experience so far at Newspring Church and the Double Conference.


Over the top welcoming. IMG_1956


Powerful worship.

Inspired teaching.

Incredible facilites.

Great musicians.


Incredible organized.

So, SO Practical.


Jesus focused.

Ok, those are my initial thoughts. I really can’t pull out anything negative! So far, my heart is full. I’m inspired. I can’t wait to get back to my church.

What else do I love? 

Perry Nobles teaching.

The authenticity and transparency of the staff in break outs.

The overwhelming concern for attendees by the staff.

The passionate worship.

The concern  and love for the local church!