Tomorrow is a Significant Day for Thrive Church and I can’t wait!

Ok, every Sunday is a Significant day at Thrive ChurchIMG_4652

AND…every Sunday is a Significant for every local Church!

They’re all important!

It’s the day that we get the privilege and blessing to gather together as a body.

Because at least for Thrive, Sunday is just a tiny moment of the week and our goal for Sunday is point people to Jesus and then release them to go be Jesus. To go be the CHURCH!

So, tomorrow is a HUGE DAY for that! 

There has never been a time when people need Jesus more than right now! There is so much pain, so much hurt, so much hopelessness and so many needs.

And, Jesus is the answer.

So, tomorrow is a HUGE DAY for that! 

And, for our young, 81 week old church, we are in a growing season and honestly, every Sunday is vitally important for us to gather together.

To be…encouraged, challenged, taught, to serve, to give, to meet new people, to be prayed for, to laugh, to cry, to think, to be pointed toward Jesus and to worship Him.

So, tomorrow is a HUGE DAY for that! 

Also, we’re experiencing communion together tomorrow and that’s just a major moment for every Christ follower. It’s a time that we really get to REMEMBER and CELEBRATE what Jesus did for us on the Cross.

Plus, we’re going (I believe) to have a powerful moment to go along with it.

So, tomorrow is a HUGE DAY for that! 

Lastly, I get to update our Church on our progress to hire a Next Gen Pastor! I can’t wait! It’s a HUGE honor to bring on another staff member and we believe God has brought an amazing candidate to our attention. AMAZING candidate!

Don’t miss out on hearing the details and how EVERYONE can be a part of this! Not just people with kids. EVERYONE in our church.

Because, if we want our Church to continue to grow and flourish, we have to POUR into, INVEST, RESOURCE and want kids and students to love Jesus and our church.

I love what Perry Noble said about this…

‘Student ministry is only important if you want life in your Church’. 

So, tomorrow is a HUGE DAY for that!

Please be praying! Please invite someone. Please show up early. Please reach out to someone you don’t know. Please serve. Please give financially. Please look to Jesus.

Tomorrow is a significant day and I can’t wait to gather together with my Church! 

I just want more of Jesus

I’ve been pretty stressed lately. Lot’s going on for our family. Lot’s going on at Church.

Life is full. Too full. 

Just like any family, we have a lot going on. We have kids in baseball and track and we have kids with special diets and lots of homework. We have a teenager, a pre teen and two who think their teenagers. For the first time in years, my wife is working again. She was a full time stay at home mom, but now she works for our church 25 hours a week (unpaid) and our family has adjusted to that.

Just like any Pastor, my week is insanely full. I take my work home. I’m constantly thinking about my messages, the people who haven’t been to Thrive in awhile, our church finances, are we an accepting church, future hires, spouses who don’t know Jesus, the upgrades we need, fundraising, who we can help, who we can’t help, our staff, our staff families, upcoming outreach events and the list goes on and on.

And, when I get too busy…I take my eyes off Jesus. It’s that simple. I’m not proud of that.

My morning quiet time is replaced with hustle or sleeping in or something else. 

My prayer walks go away or are less frequent. 

My reading of the books I love (typically about spiritual formation) is replaced with Yahoo news. 

My patience goes out the window.

My eating habits go from bad to even worse. 

I hug my wife and kids less. 

Again, I’m not proud of any of this. But, it’s amazing how easy it is to slip into this mode.

But, I can’t let my life stay in this mode! And, the only solution I know of is…

Jesus. 

I just want–Need–long for more of Jesus. 

So, I’m going to keep my eyes focused on Jesus. I’m going to make sure to pay attention to my life when it starts to get too full and I’m going to do everything I possibly can to protect my soul.

I just want more of Jesus in my life.

A Powerful Moment at Camp

*I wrote this post last Wednesday night but am just now getting around to posting it.

The last two weeks have been a blur. photo

I’ve slept in my own bed once in the last 10 days.

Why? Because I have been a part of 2 amazing summer camps for students as the speaker.

Last week I was one of the speakers for CIY MIX and this week I’ve been the speaker for Camp Velocity. Both are amazing camps. Both do an amazing job of pointing students to Jesus.

This is my second year of being a part of MIX and believe it or not, my 7th year being a part of Velocity. My first year was 10 years ago!!! How crazy is that?!?

For some reason, one that I can never figure out, God keeps opening doors for me to passionately share scripture and Jesus with students. It’s an honor and a blessing that I do not take lightly.

But, right now, I’m typing this during an amazing time of worship. Yes, I know I should be focused on worship, but I just had to get this post written because of what I’ve experienced this week.

Not only do the leadership of Camp Velocity do an amazing job, our worship leader this week (@philwing) has just killed it in leading us toward Jesus.

If you’ve never been in a room with hundreds or thousands of students worshipping, you are missing out!

These powerful moments are incredible and remind that there is a BRIGHT future ahead for the Church!

IMG_0795

To Thrive Church and the Thrive Volunteers

To Thrive Church and the Thrive Volunteers,

I love you. I really do. And, I so proud of our church.

Today we are taking a HUGE step for a church our size. We’re hosting an event that has the potential and power to reach an amazing amount of people…especially men. Which is HUGE!

And, we’re doing this today even though were missing some of our regular high impact volunteers.

To be honest, there were a few times this past week that I let the anxiety of hosting this event get to me. I had to keep going back to the basics:

  • Taking a prayer walk
  • Opening up God’s word
  • Reading God’s word
  • Believing God’s word
  • Thanking God
  • Listening

You have been amazing. Praying. Praying some more. Texting me that you were praying. Inviting friends and family. Inviting some more. Praying for them.

Many of you have worked your butts off for today!

  • Filling water balloons
  • Making food
  • Buying food and drinks
  • Working on details
  • Making calls
  • Setting up

Here’s what I know…we’re not doing this in vain! There are men, dads, grandpa’s, uncles, moms, kids, women that are coming today that would have normally never come to Church…That’s just HUGE!

Let’s be praying. Let’s humbly seek God and ask Him to pour open the floodgates of heaven today.

We are only 9 months old, but God is up to something HUGE in our midst. Keep trusting Him, Keep looking to Him, Keep crying out to Him, Keep calling out to Him and Keep looking outward!!

Again, you’re loved!

Jason

PS…I am so EXCITED!

Parents of teens…Yes, YOU Should be checking their phones

I love being a dad.

I love being a parent.

I really believe its one of the greatest gifts God has given me.

My family is my life. Some days I think I’m doing pretty good as a dad. Other days, I think I’m not not doing all that good.

Regardless of how I feel I’m doing, I have a tremendous privilege to parent my kids and I love doing that with my wife.

But, it’s really hard. And, I find, it gets harder the older my kids get. I know you’re probably saying…’no duh sherlock’, but it’s hard.

Why is it hard?

Life is crazy. Intentionality is tough. You have to be consistent. Kids grow up. They question. Friends influence them. They crave freedom. They’re becoming more independent. Life is busy. Life is rushed.

There are so many reasons its hard. But, I’m finding in the midst of all that, I can’t take my foot off the parenting pedal.

One of the areas that has been pushed to the top of the parenting importance list is…

My kids cell phones. 

Yes, two of my 4 kids have cell phones. My 14 year old daughter and my 11 year old son. They obviously love having iPhones. Although, they have older models and remind me of it all the time…but, I really don’t care. hah!

But, I love technology. I mostly got them phones for our convenience and so we could get ahold of them whenever we needed too.

Obviously, that’s not out of the ordinary now a days with 83% of middle school students having a phone.

So far, it’s a good investment. I like having that safety net when they’re staying at friends houses, when they have practice after school or when I’m late at picking them up from school.

It’s worked out well so far.

But, as I lead parenting workshops and talk with parents, there is a common questions that comes up…

Should I be checking my kids phone?

And my short, quick and loud answer is always…

YES! Yes and more Yes! 

I’ve had parents tell me that their kids wouldn’t like that. NO DUH!

It doesn’t matter. You have to check their phones. And, more than that, you have to lay down the phone expectations. And, do it continually. Remind them that you pay the bill, they are under 18, your job is to protect them and you will be checking their phones whenever you want.

If you’re new to this idea, here’s a couple of starting points to think about:

1. Realize that you’ve given your kids a computer. They will only use 10% of the time to actually talk! And, I don’t know if you call what they do on the phone talking! Unless, you’ve given them a flip phone from years past.

But, today’s phones are computers. So, you must set up some internet protection. You can do that right on an iPhone.

Recently, one of my sons friends looked at something inappropriate on youtube on their phone. As soon as my son came home, he told me about it. Why did he tell me about it? Because I’m talking to them all the time about what’s appropriate and inappropriate. Make sure you are protecting them by setting up some internet filters.

2. Talk through the privilege of having a phone. And, don’t just do it once. Do it all the time! Recent surveys are showing teenagers would rather give up their sense of smell or their pinky finger than give up their phones! It’s important to them.

It also should be important to you. Every single week, remind them that you pay the bill and it’s not free. That means they need to help around the house or whatever you come up with. Remind them that you will be checking it.

3. Teach your son or daughter phone etiquette. Teach them how to be respectful on the phone. Teach them that even though they can’t see the person they’re texting, that doesn’t give them the right to be nasty, mean or a bully. Give them the skills to use their phone properly.

It’s really a big deal. Mom and Dads, I can’t implore you enough, be checking your kids phones.

A privilege I do not deserve…being a guest speaker

This past weekend, I had the honor of being a guest speaker at SpringHill Camp.IMG_4425

Honestly, I know this is a GIANT privilege that I do not deserve! I know there are so many more qualified men and women, but for some reason God keeps tapping me on the shoulder and has been giving me these opportunities for the past 15 years.

Yeah, 15 years. Crazy! 

I can’t even express how heavy the responsibility is to be a guest speaker. For years, I wanted that responsibility and I DREAMED of having opportunities to go and be the speaker. Then, after about 5 years of having more and more of them, the reality of the weight and privilege began to sink in.

I mean, holy cow! I get to stand in front of a lot of students and present Jesus. That’s something that I do not take lightly.

It’s something that I cherish and I love, but it is also something that I take very seriously.

I know it’s amazing privilege and I hope that I’m stewarding it the best that I can. 

Now that I’m Thrive Church’s full time pastor, I am definitely speaking less and less away from home. Actually, I hate to miss Thrive on Sunday’s. Why? Because I just love my Church. I just being with the Thrive Community. And, I love the privilege of teaching our community at Thrive.

But, a few times a year, if I’m asked, I will travel and continue to speak. Why? I just love telling people about Jesus. And, right now, I’m blessed to be in a place where I have more opportunities to pick from that I can go and do. That could change overnight and I may not ever be asked to speak again somewhere else. And, that’s ok!

So, for now, I will continue speaking 3-5 times a year away from Thrive. Whether it’s a retreat, a camp, a conference or a parent seminar.

I will continue to to respect and thank God daily for giving me these tremendous opportunities to be the guest speaker. I will continue to learn, and to grow and to develop my gift.

Thank you God for blessing me with this tremendous privilege.

Can Students help Lead a Church?

So, today at Thrive Church I witnessed something amazing.

Now, let me preface that by saying, most Sundays I have an extraordinary seat to witness some amazing things.

I hear all kind of incredibly cool ‘God’ stories every Sunday. I have the privilege of listening and hearing all kinds of stories week in and week out.

But, today was special. Not because of a story I heard or something someone told me, but because of what I witnessed.

What did I witness? 

I was able to experience students helping lead a church. 

AAHHHMMMAAAZZIIINNNNGGGG, Right?!?

Today, our production was primarily set up and run by two high school seniors. Actually, they are there every single week. And not just ‘there’.

They show up way early and stay way late.

They unload the trailer. Set up. Run the production. Tear down. Re-load the trailer. EVERY WEEK!

They have been mentored and discipled by an amazing man, Jim Burkhart. Jim’s poured into them and he’s showed our church how to replicate and disciple. It’s just truly awesome!

Oh, our sound guy this morning turned 18 today! He came in at 7am! Man, his dedication puts some adults dedication to shame!

So, yes, students can and should help lead a church. 

And, at Thrive Church, it will always be a priority to invest and pour into students and release them to lead.