Leadership

The Thrivie’s! Our Staff Awards!

Last month at our all staff meeting, I gave out our first ever THRIVIES!!

Yes, it was a complete rip off of the Dundies from THE OFFICE, but I hope it was a staff morale booster and encouraged them. It wasn’t to as much fanfare as the great Michael Scott gave out the Dundies, but I hope that it was an encouraging experience.

I tried to give everyone a Thrivie from the unique perspective they bring to the team.

I thanked them, encouraged them, did my best to speak truth to them and raved about how God is using them to lead our Church. Believe it or not, working in ministry can be a thankless role sometimes, so I’m hoping to add as much encouragement as I possibly can!

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.

We have an amazing team at Thrive!

I’m just so blessed that I have the awesome privilege of leading this team! It’s a responsibility that I don’t take lightly and it’s been amazing to see our team come together!

Here’s why I love our team and yes, this is a little shameless bragging:

  • Their hearts are just outstanding! They love God passionately and love others selfishly.
  • They work hard!
  • We have a ton of fun together!
  • Our full time Pastors all raise different levels of support for their positions at Thrive. That means they have built up a network of friends and family who donate funds to Thrive that help pay their salaries. It’s not fun raising support, but it has helped our church so much.
  • Our team prays together.
  • People send encouraging text messages to each other.
  • We support each other’s families.
  • Our team loves our church. That’s just evident as you drive into the hub and everyone is sporting a Thrive Church car decal! Hah.
  • We laugh and we cry together! We especially cry when we hear stories of life change!!
  • Our team loves our vision and mission and really goes after it.
  • We have a few volunteer staff who just faithfully give of their time! It’s just absolutely amazing.
  • I know we’re not even 2.5 years old as a Church, but none of our paid staff has ever received a raise and no one has ever complained. They all work more hours than their actually paid for and have all said they would take a pay decrease to help the church.
  • They just desperately want to see people fall madly in love with Jesus and surrender their hearts to Him!

I’m just so honored to lead this amazing staff team!

Here’s one of the ‘Thrive’s I gave out! Can’t wait till the next time!

 

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You never know what to expect at Thrive

At Thrive, every Sunday is just a bit different from the last Sunday and that’s very purposeful.

This past Sunday was Thrive’s Tailgate Party and it was just AWESOME! 

And you know what? It was ridiculously different from the Sunday prior to that!

When we started Thrive Church over 121 weeks ago, we said we would always EMBRACE CHANGE. 

We love Change at Thrive!

Why? Because we don’t ever want to get stuck doing the same thing over and over, even though its not effective any longer. I know for some Churches, they embrace some traditions and that’s great for them. We have decided to take a different route with our vision and mission. We value tradition as well.

But, we don’t want the traditions of the past to dictate our future if they’re not effective any longer.

So, we embrace change. Two Sunday’s ago, we had a very different feel for the experience than our Tailgate party. We had experiential prayer stations, longer worship with communion, 3 speakers, an artist who was painting and a video that helped us concentrate on Jesus.

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Then came the TailGate Party!

Two days ago at Thrive…well, it was just the total opposite! We had the Central Michigan University Pep Band playing the lobby! People wore jersey’s to represent their favorite teams on Super Bowl Sunday. We grilled hot dogs, and had popcorn and pop. Matt and the band kicked off with ‘eye of the tiger’ and we had a lot of fun. We even had a T-Shirt cannon!

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Don’t get me wrong. It’s not just about the FUN!

Fun in Church gets too much of a bad rap sometimes!

We believe the fun helps build trust with people who have given up on God or Church. And that fun helps break down barriers and then people will start to trust you. And my goodness, when they will laugh with you, they will trust you and they will be so much more open to learning!

So, in the same Sunday, we still worshipped, we prayed, I taught from God’s word and we challenged people to turn away from the sin that’s holding them back.

It was just different. And, it was awesome!

So, we embrace change. We love change. We want to keep changing so we can reach the people that nobody else is reaching!

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Sunday Night Thoughts on Life, Family and Thrive Church

Honestly, this week has been a tough one. Can’t really sugar coat it at all.

So, it’s hard to process some thoughts about it, but, I’ll give it my best shot.

Here’s what I know…

Psalm 34:17-18 (msg)

Is anyone crying for help? God is listening,
ready to rescue you.

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

In the midst of some pretty good sadness, some pretty good ‘why’ questions, I know that I know that God is right here with me and my family!

He is faithful. He is loving. He will never leave us or forsake us.

Thoughts on Life…

This week, Tracie and I asked God a lot of questions. If you don’t know, we found out that the little girl we were going to adopt passed away over the weekend. She had been fighting a virus and her orphanage didn’t have central heat and her little body couldn’t fight it off. It was heart breaking to get that call.

Even though we had not held her in our arms yet, she was very much a part of our family! So, it’s tough to understand why this had to happen. But, we trust God and know He has a plan.

Thoughts on Family…

I’m just overwhelmed! This week, our family experienced such an outpouring of support, encouragement and love from friends and family all over the country. It was just so humbling!

We have decided to continue our home study for the adoption and we told our adoption agency that we would like to see more information on other kids with PKU. So, we’ll see what God has in store.

On a side note, its just amazing how awful people can be! I’ve received a few pretty hateful and hurtful messages about our future adoption. It’s just awful how mean people can be. But, we’ll just keep loving.

Thoughts on Thrive Church…

Wow! I am just absolutely and completely blown away by how amazing God is! He just amazing!

I have no idea why I get the GREAT privilege and JOY and blessing of leading Thrive Church! I am completely overwhelmed and I am so thankful!

Today was just an awesome day for Thrive. The energy and enthusiasm was awesome. Our  volunteers were just incredible!

Here are a few highlights:

  • The Central Michigan University 6th Man (Pep Band) played in the lobby before and after our experiences. They were amazing!
  • Our creative team made this commercial and people loved it!
  • The Thrive band was awesome today! They opened with ‘eye of the tiger’ and then lead us in worship with some amazing songs!
  • We kicked off our new series…XOXO…friends, flings and relationship things. It was a GREAT start!

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Faith…Football…Fun = Today at Thrive Church

What are you doing this morning? tailgate

Maybe you’ve thought about checking out Thrive Church for awhile now. You have a few friends who go to Thrive and you’ve read a few posts on Facebook about Thrive.

Every Sunday you come up with an excuse and that’s ok.

But, what about taking the leap of faith and checking out Thrive?

Why today?

Thrive is hosting our annual Tailgate Party and it’s the perfect Sunday to check out the Church. Free food, the CMU pep band and cheer leaders are at Thrive. It’s Jersey Sunday, so wear your favorite teams swag! And, we’re starting a new series about relationships.

Who doesn’t have relationship questions?

So, check out Thrive today. 

  1. Head to Celebration Cinema by either 830am or 945am. The experiences start at 9 and 1015 and the adults head to theater one and the kids are in a bunch of different theaters.
  2. Wear your favorite teams swag.
  3. Come hungry.
  4. Come and be a part!

We’re ready for you! See you soon!

6 Things Every Thriver Needs to Know for tomorrow

Happy Saturday Thrive Church!!!!! OH MY GOODNESS!! I am so EXCITED for tomorrow at THRIVE!!

It’s our second annual TailGate Party!!

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Here are 6 Things every Thriver needs to know about tomorrow at Thrive:

1. PRAY! Seriously, pray like 1 Thes 5:17 says…’without ceasing’. Pray for the lost to be found. Pray for a spirit of unity and of fun. Pray for people to experience God’s love! Pray for kids to fall in love with Jesus. Pray that God would be glorified.

2. INVITE. There is still time. Share the Facebook post about it. Use the Facebook header. Text someone. Call them. Message them. Pick them up.
 
3. BE EARLY. Seriously, like 30 minutes! Come and hang out. Listen to the CMU PEP BAND, watch the CMU cheerleaders fly through the air and get ready to have fun!
 
4. BE EARLY to the experience. Please sit in the middle of rows and if you can, attend the 9am if you can. The 1015 has been stuffed lately and this will free up seats. If you can’t switch, don’t worry.
 
5. CREATE the ENVIRONMENT. Clap, cheer, sing loud, worship Jesus, raise your hands, pour out to God, listen, learn and soak it in.
 
6. WEAR something fun. Your favorite team jersey or sweatshirt or t-shirt or hat.
 
Alright, we’re ready! We have some really fun things planned during the experience, you don’t want to be late!!!!
 
Plus we start our new series…XOXO!! Woo Hoo!!
 
See you tomorrow!!
PS…Bring cases of water for FLINT!! Just leave them by your car!

My Ridiculously Random Monday Thoughts

It’s Monday! And it’a Snow Day!

The kids are super excited. Tracie and I…not so much. HAH

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It’s Martin Luther King Day.

As I think about the impact Dr. King has made on my life and on mankind, I’m just blown away. As I read about his life and I listen to his speeches, my life has been changed for the better and he continually pushes me to not settle to live in a world that seems to strive on hate and darkness!

I love the quote in the picture above and I work hard to apply it to my life!

Isn’t the Local CHURCH AMAZING?!?

My goodness, I don’t know what your local church is like, but I LOVE MINE! Here’s what I love the most…the people! I love our love for Jesus! I love that we strive to be a place where everyone is welcomed and accepted and loved. I love that we’re passionate about kids and students. I love that we’re not churchy. I love my church.

I absolutely LOVE my Small Group!

We had our first small group night of the winter season of small groups for Thrive Church and it was just awesome! Our house is packed…like stuffed with people! Men, woman and children! We ate. We laughed. We caught up. We prayed. We talked about God. We sang Happy Birthday to an awesome 10 year old!

My small group fills my soul!

Our adoption process is heating up! 

We have raised about half of what we need and we’re in the midst of filling out mounds of paperwork for our home study and adoption. It’s very exciting! We have so much to do! We actually bought a crib last week! What the heck! I honestly thought we were done and God had other plans.

I can’t wait to get Winona home!

My oldest is turning 16 next month! 

Wowzers! I can’t hardly believe it! I love Bekah and I couldn’t be more proud of her and I can’t wait to celebrate her 16th birthday! She is just a joy and I’m proud of her leadership, how hard she works in school and how much she loves and serves her church.

We have a HUGE couple of months planned at Thrive Church!!!!!!!!

LIKE HUGE! We are taking some major steps of faith and we’re praying for God to move powerfully! Whew, as I think about it, I’m a big overwhelmed and that’s GOOD! We don’t ever want to be complacent as a Church and we want to continue to rely on God as we live out His vision for our Church!!!

I am praying for 5 people to join my monthly (financial) support team! 

My goal is to raise $1000 a month in outside support for my position at Thrive and I’m praying and searching and asking friends and family to consider joining my support team.

Even if you could give $25 or $50 a month, that would be huge! That will help us continue to help people find and follow Jesus!!!!

If you would like to give, head here.

I can’t wait for our Thrive staff meeting tomorrow! 

I love my staff team and the culture that we’ve built! We work hard, but we also play hard!

And tomorrow, we’re handing out our very first ‘Thrivie’s!! This is going to be fun!!

Can’t wait for the week ahead! 

 

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My personal ethics for Facebook in 2016

Here’s the deal…I freaking love Facebook! I love it! 

It’s true, I do. I think its awesome and I think it’s one of the best things ever!

But…and this is a BIG BUT…

If I let it, it can take over so much of my time. If I let it, I can let its negativity ruin my day. If I let it, I can let the jealousy of watching everyone’s best moments get the best of me. If I let it, it can be really destructive.

But…there’s the deal…

IF I LET IT

I don’t have to let it. I can search and recognize and scroll and reap the benefits of how freaking awesome it can be!

Now, I’ve almost given up on it in the past and I wrote about it here. But, I decided not too.

Why? Because ultimately I believe Facebook is a great tool for the Kingdom of God. 

Even though I think its great, I still have decided to set up some Facebook parameters and safety guards. These help protect me and my heart  from all the crap that can happen on Facebook and also protect others from the moments that I decide to say something hurtful or hateful or ridicoulous on Facebook.

My personal ethics for facebook

1. I will NEVER like or engage with anything that is even remotely negative.

If someone is bashing another person, an organization or whatever it is, I just don’t have time for that.

And, if I start reading and get the hint that the author is heading down a crazy negative trail, I immediately unfollow, not unfriend. It actually takes a lot for me to unfriend someone. It happens, but it takes awhile.

Here’s the deal. There is enough negativity in my life, so why would I want to add anymore? Now, I’m not talking about people who push back on a philosophy or a worldview or anything like that. I’m great with people who disagree with each other’s stances on issues and I routinely read authors who fall in different camps than mine. But, I’m done with the negativity. I’m not with the negative person, just their negativity on the Facebook airwaves.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~Phil 4:8

2. I will do everything in my power to represent Jesus as His ambassador.

Now, I’m not perfect. Actually, far from it! I don’t have all the answers and I screw up a lot. But, I will do everything possible to not make Jesus or His Church look bad on Facebook. I want to represent Him well and so that means I have some questions that I ask myself before I post something:

  • Will this post honor Jesus?
  • Will this post honor someone else?
  • Could what I say be easily taken out of context?
  • Is this post something I would be embarrassed of if I read it later?

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. ~2 Corinthians 5:20

3. I will not send or post subliminal messages.

Have you ever done this? I have! You’re trying to get a point across to someone and you hope they see your Facebook page and the post you put up just for them. Well, my days of doing that are over!

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. ~Matthew 5:37

4. I will use Facebook to encourage others. 

Whether it’s through helpful articles, inspiring pictures, helpful thoughts or just good old fashion humor, I will use this incredible tool to bring encouragement, not hate! I try to send dozens of encouraging messages a week through private messages, posts on walls and my commenting and liking posts.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. ~ 1 Thes 5:11

5. I will use Facebook to invite people to be a part of the Kingdom. 

I am unashamed to use Facebook to talk about Jesus, the CHURCH or my Church. I know some people disagree with that, but I think it’s a tremendous tool for the kingdom. Now, I will never become soap box preacher and finger pointing preacher on Facebook. That stuff is ridiculous and I think makes little 7 pound, 5 ounce baby Jesus cry! See, I probably just offended someone with that last sentence, but it was funny! Haha.

I will post scriptures, encouraging quotes, helpful articles and challenging Christ filled messages that hopefully will bring hope and joy and peace and truth to someone’s life.

Here’s my guide verse for this:

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.  ~ Romans 1:16

6. I will NEVER bash another human being, organization or the CHURCH! 

This happens all the time on Facebook and it makes me nauseous. This just hurts the Kingdom of God and makes Satan smile! Even when someone bashes me, I’m just not going to lash back out on Facebook. Or my food took too long at a restaurant, or the cashier was rude at Target. Nope, just not going to BASH!

Here’s my guide verse for this:

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ~Eph 4:29

A few last thoughts…

Obviously, I’m not the Facebook captain of the world and these are just my thoughts and ethics. But, for me, I have found these helpful as I passionately do everything I can to follow Jesus with my whole heart and life.

And lastly, its easy for your identity to get boosted by Facebook. Likes, comments and friends. But, don’t let it. Our identity is rooted in the fact that we were created in the image of God and we’re His children!

Imagine if Jesus followers used Facebook to make a giant impact on the world for Jesus? Wow!