Thrive

Want to know more about Thrive? Click on these links…

Our vision and dreamno perfect people

My personal dream for Thrive

The Launch Plan

Why a new church…according to Tim Keller

Give to Thrive

Be a part of Thrive

Become a Prayer Partner

Be in the loop 

How you can Pray for Thrive

Where does Thrive meet

Why am I launching this church

What a Sunday at Thrive is like

Why I love Thrive Church

Some behind the scenes answers

Really, another church?

Why this Church

 

Role # 8 of a Church Planter…Stay Positive

So, this is embarrassing…I just accidentally pressed Publish, when I thought I pushed save and I sent out an unfinished post. Whoops! Ugh. I hate when stuff like that happens.

But, I’m continuing my ongoing ‘Role of a Church Planter’ series with this post on staying positive.

I was recently having a conversation with someone about my plans to launch Thrive Church.

It wasn’t the greatest conversation.

Honestly, it was pretty rough. 

Now, I’ve had 1000’s of conversations with people about Thrive Church and I’ve had 1000’s of incredibly positive, helpful and amazing conversations.

But, this one was different. It was hard.

This person just couldn’t understand why I would launch a new church or how I could be called to do this. They questioned why more churches are needed and church planting in general.

I was deflated

I’m not proud of it. I wish I hadn’t been. But, I was.

I told them what Tim Keller said about why more church plants are needed. I told them about the people who have already come to Thrive Church and have heard about Jesus and how they didn’t have a church home. I shared with them the vision of Thrive Church and how we have a GIANT passion to reach people who don’t have a relationship with Jesus.

And…Still…they just didn’t get it.

We finished our conversation and they left and I sat there in silence for awhile. I thought about it, I processed it and honestly, it would have been really easy for me to stay deflated.

But, I reminded myself of this truth…

Not Everyone is going to Support or Understand or Get Behind this New Church

And, that’s ok!

Some people aren’t going to understand. And, some people aren’t going to support it.

The best thing I can do in those situations is…Stay Positive.

4 Tips to Staying Positive

1. Remember Your Calling. I know that I know that God has called me to start this Church. I have to remind myself of that.

2. Remember the truth. When situations arise that Satan reminds you that you shouldn’t be planting a church, remind yourself of the truth of scripture. Remember that the local church is God’s plan A for reaching people and that there is a tremendous need for more churches.

3. Listen to the majority. Out of the hundreds, if not thousands of conversations I’ve had, only a a few have been negative. And yet, it’s so easy to dwell on those! We have to stop letting the few get inside our hearts and minds. Yes, we can learn from their view point, but in the end, we don’t have to agree with them. 

4. Be thankful for those kind of conversations. Yes, you read that right! We need them! We need to be challenged. We need to experience push back. Why? It really does increase our leadership. It helps strengthen our vision and resolve.

Thrive Church meets in a movie theater. 4 Reasons why that’s AWESOME!

When we first started meeting monthly for Thrive, we met in a bar! 2013-02-24 17.13.04

It was awesome! But, we outgrew it quick.

As we were searching for another location, we talked with a few schools in a few towns. Wow, they wanted a lot money! Then, as we were praying and thinking about our target, we realized that we wanted a chance to reach the most amount of people far from Jesus as we possibly could and that lead us to Mt Pleasant. It lead us there because its the hub of Central MI!

Church in a Movie Theater

Then, as I was praying about where to meet, I really believe God put Celebration Cinema on my heart.

At first, we were like…hmmmm. Can we do that? Then, as we researched and learned from other churches and we experienced the amazing hospitality of our local theater, we knew we had found a home!

In the end, it worked out for us to meet there and we hosted 6 monthly services at the movie theater. It’s been great, but starting on September 22nd, we start to meet weekly!

4 Reasons Why That’s Awesome!

1. Everybody knows where we meet? No really, EVERYBODY! We only have one movie theater in Mt Pleasant and just 2013-08-16 18.13.07about everybody knows where it is. When I tell people that we meet in Celebration Cinema, I always get the same response…

That’s Cool! 

2. The environment is super fun! I love our local theater. It’s just super fun, nice, clean, bright and really warm inside. Once we put up banners and brand it a little, it will move from good to great!

It’s Cool! 

3. We have the best seats in town! Ok, this is just fun. But, we do have great seats. I just have to be careful not to bore people, because with the big, comfy seats, people could fall asleep quick!

So Cool! 

4. What better place to prepare people to reach people?!? Ok, that’s more of a question, but seriously! It’s just a great place to teach people God’s word and to train them how to be the light! Every Sunday we have reminders all around (all the seats) of people who sit there every night.

Too Cool! 

Bonus reasons…

5. It smells of butter and popcorn. How could you not love that?

6. The movie screen is awesome to show videos and pictures on!

7. Kids love going to church at the movies and so do adults! 

8. The band sounds great because the room is built for GREAT acoustics! 

5 Easy Ways to Help Launch Thrive Church

There really isn’t anything I’ve done in life without the help of others. 2013-07-21 09.25.17-1

Yup, its true!

There is nothing I’ve really done on my own.

It’s aways with people. Friends, family, and people who want to help.

And, I’m proud of that. I don’t need to be a Lone Ranger, a trailblazer and a guy who does it all be himself!

The same can be said for the launch of Thrive Church.

As I sit and think about how many people have already helped, already partnered, already prayed…

it’s overwhelming!

It really is! To have the support of my wife, my kids, my parents, my friends, other leaders, other pastors…wow, it’s just humbling!

That being said…Thrive Church won’t be able to get off the ground without more help and I would like to ask you to be involved. There are so many ways you can help us and I would be honored If you would consider one of these five.

5 Ways to Help Launch Thrive Church

1. Pray2013-06-16 07.30.35

…Ask God for His favor and blessing on Thrive Church. Ask God to give us wisdom on how to be a church that people far from God find irresistible. Ask God to send us 15 more people for our Launch team. Ask God to protect us from what Satan is already doing to stop Thrive from getting off the ground. Pray for our fundraising goal of $50,000 by December 1st and $15,000 by September 15th. Pray for wisdom for our leadership team. Pray for our small groups and our community. Pray for our kids, our families and our marriages.

Would you just pray?

2. Spread the Word

…Please like Thrive on Facebook (ThriveChurchMI), follow us on Twitter & Instagram (ThriveChurchMI), Follow along the journey on this blog.

…Would you post/email our launch website? (www.thrivelaunch.cc)

…If you have friends and family who are searching for a church in Central MI, would you recommend Thrive?

Would you spread the word?

3. Encourage Us

…You probably didn’t see that coming, did you? But, launching a Church is hard! Don’t think for a second that it’s easy. Satan does not want any other churches up and going. 2013-08-18 12.06.16-1

…From time to time, would you write encouraging posts or tex us and remind us that you’re praying for us?

Would you encourage us?

4. Give Financially

…Every single gift helps and counts. No matter the size.

…It helps us accomplish our mission of helping people find and follow Jesus!

…So, would you help us raise $50,000 by December 1st? and

$15,000 by September 15th? 

…You can send a special gift to help us launch or I need to raise my ongoing salary. I haven’t started receiving a salary yet from Thrive Church and I will soon. But, I am praying for people to support me monthly. Would you give $25, $50, $100 or $250 a month?

…Every gift is tax deductible and you can send checks to: Thrive Church, PO Box 1408, Mt Pleasant, MI 48804 or you can give online here.  Thank you so much! 

Would you give?

5. Donate Items

Here’s a list of Thrive’s biggest needs…

An iMac or MacBook Pro. This will help us with our Sunday service and for our office.

Kids toys (Portable  Play Structure, Toys, Slides)

Kids equipment (tables, chairs, changing stations) *We have a wish list at IKEA for $2000

Kids Portable Sound System

Color Laser Printer

Sound & Lighting Equipment (Speakers, chords, stands)

Bibles

Office Supplies (Stamps, Paper, etc)

Would you donate? 

 

My dream for Thrive Church

I think about Thrive Church…a lot!

I dream about Thrive Church…a lot!

I talk to people about Thrive Church…a lot!

I pray about Thrive Church…a lot!

So, I thought I would share

My Dream for Thrive Church

It’s really simple…

…Thrive would reach people who are far from Jesus.

…Introduce them to Jesus and a relationship with Him.

…Love & accept so well that they find a home in our community.

…Once in community, begin to grow and thrive in their relationship with Jesus.

Goodness, I dream about that! I pray for that. I can’t wait for that.

 

A Humbling week for Thrive Church

The local Church is the Hope of the World ~Bill Hybels

Starting a Church is a an unbelievable journey. Ups, downs and everything in between.

Huge highs and amazing lows.

People that you never thought would be a part become instrumental and people you thought for sure would play a huge role, back away.

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There is money to be raised. There are people to tell.

Incredible amounts of time are spent in prayer and meeting with people.

That’s why we do all we do. That’s why we’re taking a HUGE faith leap.

To reach more people for Jesus.

Thrive Church exists to Help people Find and Follow God

That’s it…bottom line. To see people who were once far from Jesus cross the line of the faith and then to see them become fully devoted followers.

In the midst of a very full week, Thrive received some amazing news.

We’ve been on a journey to raise $25,000 this month and we’re praying and asking God for Him to provide a few HUGE items to help us start.

  • A trailer, a video projector for our kids, a Mac computer, sound equipment, banners, kids equipment, pipe and drape.

I’ve actually been asking church leaders to clean their closets and I’ve been asking friends to consider donating financially or with one of these items.

Every gift counts. Every gift matters. 

This week alone…God provided…

  • A Trailer,
  • A video projector for our kids ministry
  • Some sound equipment.
  • $4500

WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!

We’re still praying about…

  • Raising $15,500 in the month of August
  • Finding 5 monthly financial givers to Thrive ($25/50/100)
  • To have an iMac and or Macbook Pro donated
  • Used Portable Cases
  • Kids Equipment (We’re dreaming about $1500 worth of things at IKEA and another $500 at Target/Sam’s Club)
  • Kids Equipment (Slides, toys, play structure)
  • 50 ft of Black Pipe and Drape
  • Extension Chords, Power Strips
  • Find an affordable office space (When I say affordable, the real word I’m using there is free)
  • A color laser printer

Thanks for praying for us! Thanks for partnering with us on this journey! Thanks for considering help us launch this church.

Every gift matters. Every prayer matters.

If you would like to give financially to Thrive, you can give here. You can send a check to Thrive Church to PO Box 1408, Mt Pleasant, MI 48804. *All gifts are tax deductible.

If you would like to donate one of the above items, email me (jason.raitz@thrivechurchmi.cc) and let’s talk!!!!!

2013-06-16 07.30.35

 

Other Churches and People are donating stuff to Thrive…Are You Kidding me?!?

The first church I worked at, we didn’t have much of a budget for the student ministry.

The second church I worked at was a little better, but not much.

Then, I worked at NorthRidge Church and Willow Creek Church and honestly, our student ministry budgets were freaking AMAZING!!! Holy cow, the resources we had available were mind blowing.

Fast forward to the Launch of Thrive Church. 

We’ve been meeting monthly for 6 months and we don’t own any equipment. We’re borrowed everything. We’ve had no resources, no equipment, no trailer, no nothing.

We just have people! 

And, the amazing thing is, we’ve still come together as a Church.

But, starting September 22, Thrive will start meeting weekly and some of those items are important to have or at least, would be nice to own.

So, we’ve been praying and humbly asking God if he would provide some of them.

This week alone, He’s provided a Trailer!!!!!!! 

No really, a trailer! That is HUGE!

And, a GREAT and GIVING & GRACIOUS Church in TN is sending us some of their sound equipment! WOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!

Someone asked me today what else we need and so I thought I would post it. I would be honored if you would pray for us to be able to come up with these items…Thanks!

  • 50 ft of Pipe & Drape
  • Kids Equipment (Slides, toys, tables, rugs, supplies)
  • Video Projector for kids, Video Project for our Students
  • A portable sound system for our kids and students
  • Laser Color Printer
  • Copy Machine
  • Portable Containers of all shapes and sizes
  • Pro Presenter
  • iMac

If you would like to help with any of these items, please email me at jason.raitz@thrivechurchmi.cc.

Thanks for praying for us as we tackle our mission to help people find and follow God!