Pastoral Leadership

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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The sweetest text from my dad about Winona

Last week I received literally hundreds of texts, emails, cards, messages and calls from all the over the world about the news that Winona (the baby we were working towards adopting) had passed away in China.

They all meant the world! Every single one. 

Here’s one that I’ll cherish forever and its from my dad

What I’m really sorry for is Winona won’t get the chance to experience the love that you and Tracie would have given her here on this earth. Right now she is the presence of perfect love. Right now Winona Raitz is playing with Winona Riker (Tracie’s grandma). Love you.

My dad is my hero. He’s my spiritual hero. He’s a man of great faith. He’s a man in love with Jesus. He’s a man in love with family. And, he seemingly always knows what to say.

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!

Thrive Church…A Rewind Video of 2015 and a Major Announcement!

 

Yesterday was an amazing Sunday at Thrive! Actually, one of my favorites EVER!

Here’s why…

ONE…We celebrated Baptisms!! It just doesn’t get any better than that! What an honor and a privilege to baptize amazing people going public in their faith! What a day!

TWO…I made a major announcement about Easter at Thrive. It’s a HUGE step of faith, but one that is so EXCITING! It will position us to increase our REACH and IMPACT in Central MI and it’s pretty darn exciting!

We are going to have Easter at Thrive on the campus of CMU!

The crazy reality is this…Easter has grown exponentially the last few years at Thrive and by moving it to CMU, we will be able to reach more people with the Gospel. If we stayed in our current location, we couldn’t reach many more people than normally come on a Sunday.

THREE…And, we showed our Rewind video from 2015! 2015 was a GREAT year for Thrive Church and God did some amazing things!! It was so awesome to celebrate together as a Church!

 

 

 

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!