What an EXCITING Sunday ahead at Thrive!!!

Yes, if you know me or read anything I write about my Church, I am often EXCITED!

i love my churchIt’s pure. It’s real. It’s authentic.

I am EXCITED about what God is doing at my Church. I am in AWE of how HE is moving. I am HUMBLED that I get to be a part.

Today though, wow, my goodness! Today is NOT a day to miss!

Here’s why it will be off the charts EXCITING!

ONE…We worship Jesus! Yup, every time is exciting! Get ready! [Col. 1:18]

TWO…We gather together! Yup, something that we can’t take for granted! [Heb. 10:24-25]

THREE…We love Kids and Students! We don’t give them the scraps at Thrive Church! [Mt 19:14]

FOUR…We pray for and introduce Thrive’s first Elders. We are a Staff Lead, Elder Protected Church and it will be great to get them going. [Titus 1:5]

FIVE…We finish our ‘I love my Church’ series! [Acts 2:42-47]

SIX…We experience Communion together. Always a powerful moment at Thrive. [1 Cor. 11:27]

SEVEN…FREE STUFF! Yup, we have something to give every Thriver today!

EIGHT…You can pick up an ‘I LOVE MY CHURCH’ T-Shirt from the Thrive store.

It’s going to be a GREAT Sunday! Please join us!

See you at Celebration Cinema at either 9 or 1015!

Don’t forget…No perfect people allowed! Dress comfortable. Be you!


Thrive is coming HOME this Sunday…

Wow, August has been an amazing month for Thrive Churchthrive no perfect people

And, this Sunday we’re coming HOME. 

Let me back up! August has been a little out of the ordinary for our Church.

One of the principles we run Thrive on is this…’the less you do, the more effective you will be’. That’s why we don’t have a million different ministries. That’s why we don’t plan a million different events.

Until August! Hah! August was just jammed packed, but it has worked out.

  • We did a series called ‘I love my Church (check out the link if you missed any messages). We went over our values as a Church and what a fully devoted follower of Jesus looks like! GREAT series!
  • We had an outdoor Baptism & BBQ event! We set up tents and we baptized 63 people on August 16th! It was Thrive’s best day as a Church!
  • Then, we hosted a worship and teaching night. I asked my good friend Dr. Tom Rundel from Liminal Leadership to come and teach on the Gospel! It was overwhelmingly powerful!
  • And then Thrive LEFT the building! We cancelled our morning experiences and we served 5 schools and Hopewell Ranch! It was P O W E R F U L! All of the principals sent me emails and they were so encouraging! What a day!
  • Vollapalooza! Two nights ago we hosted our Volunteer Kick Off Night! It was so much FUN!! We partied, worshipped, opened up scripture and met as teams! We believe that #savedpeopleservepeople!!
  • HUGE Sunday! We finish the month with an important Sunday! We’re introducing our new Elders to Thrive Church! Can’t wait!

This Sunday feels like HOMECOMING Sunday! Even though we were only out of the theater for 2 weeks, it feels like a life time ago!! So, this Sunday is going to be HUGE!

  • We come back to the theater!
  • We finish our ‘I LOVE MY CHURCH’ series. Make sure you pick up the final Value card!
  • Thrive Kidz has a ton of fun planned!
  • Matt and the band will lead us in worship.
  • We introduce our brand new Elders.
  • I’m sharing a HUGE personal Miracle.
  • And, we take part in Communion!!

Do Not Miss!! Let’s come back together as a Church family and worship! Invite and bring family and friends. Pray before, during and after. Meet someone new. Laugh, Sing, Learn.

Thrive is coming home! See you on Sunday!

Vollapalooza is tonight! #SavedPeopleServePeople.

Tonight is going to be a fun night!

Thrive is hosting our first ever…

Vollapalooza! IMG_6490

It’s our volunteer kick off and training night for our upcoming ministry season. So, if you’re currently on a Thrive team and or would like to be on one, please come up to the Hub at 645pm. We’ll feed you, but we don’t have childcare available.

What are the Thrive teams? 

Thrive Kidz, One Youth, First Impression, Road Crew & Trailers, Office, Small Groups, Creative or Production.

We’re also going to go over some changes to our Child Protection Policy, giving out all the team handbooks, teams will meet together and we’ll start off our time with some worship lead by Matt.

What an awesome night ahead!

If you’re interested in serving and can’t make it tonight, just email Lindsey.msibi@thrivechurchmi.cc and she’ll get you all set!

See you tonight!

Thrive left the building yesterday and we just simply loved on Schools!

serve 1Yesterday was just awesome! Actually, I’m still overwhelmed by it! Thrive Church took a Sunday off from our normal worship experiences and decided to serve 6 schools and a local ministry…Hopewell Ranch.

Seriously, we left the building! 

Let me be very honest, this was a tough decision. This was our second week in a row where we did something different. The Sunday before was our baptism and bbq out at a park (amazing Sunday!) and then yesterday we were all over the city. It was a hard decision because summer is already hard enough on attendance and giving. Anytime you break the natural momentum, it’s hard to get it going again.

But, this decision was also an easy one. It was just a no brainer! From the beginning, we dreamed of being a church FOR the community, not just IN it. And, we’ve wanted to practically serve schools.

And, that’s what we did!

We served schools! 

We put together packets. We cleaned windows. We weeded. We painted. We put together stuff. We raked! We cleaned. And we did so much more!

It was so cool to be so welcomed by school principals! I had some amazing conversations with them and it was just humbling to hear them say things like…

  • ‘thank you’
  • ‘you have no idea how much this means’
  • ‘this gives us such a boost to start the school year’
  • ‘tell me again, why would you do this?’

It was just another Sunday that I stood back and thanked God for allowing me the privilege to be a part of this Church! It’s just a crazy HUGE honor!

I don’t know what you’re doing this Sunday, but I would be honored if you would join us at Thrive!

We meet at Celebrate Cinema at 9 or 1015! See you then!


I’ve been thinking…

For whatever reason, I’ve been doing a pretty good amount of thinking and reflecting lately.

Maybe it’s because I turn 40 next month. Maybe it’s because Thrive Church turns TWO on October 4th. Maybe it’s because my kids are becoming teenagers.

For whatever reason, I’ve just been in a pretty reflective state the past couple of weeks.

I’ve been thinking about August. We’re not even done with it yet and for Thrive Church, it’s been one of our best months ever! Not so much when it comes to some of the data that churches track. Our attendance hasn’t been off the charts (except for our baptism Sunday!!) or either has our giving. But, when it comes to impact. Wow! 

  • We kicked off a 31 Day Prayer Walk and it’s been so awesome to see people post photo’s from the their prayer walks online.
  • We kicked off a series called ‘I love my Church‘ and I think it’s been one of our best series yet!
  • We baptized 63 people!
  • Facebook literally blew up for several days and thousands of people looked at the photo’s that were posted online.
  • Our One Youth interns have been posting update videos and their second video ever had more than 700 views!
  • We hosted a night at the HUB where my friend Dr. Tom Rundel from Liminal Leadership taught on the Gospel and it was just stupendous. Plus, he poured into our staff and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room!
  • Today, our Church leaves the building and serves schools all over the place! Yeah, we cancelled our experiences to do this! It’s kind of nuts! The worrier in me wonders if people will come back next week! Hah! But, this is going to be AMAZING!
  • This Wednesday we have our Volunteer kick off or Vollapalooza as we call it and we’re making and making huge steps towards training and encouraging our volunteers.
  • Then, on Saturday, we send out teams of Thrivers to pass out waters to a concert in downtown Mt Pleasant. And at the same time, a group of Thrivers are going to be passing out frisbees and other fun stuff at MainStage, an event that welcomes CMU students.
  • And finally, we finish our ‘I love my Church’ series on August 30th! If that wasn’t enough, we introduce and pray over Thrive’s new Elders! Plus we’ll watch our baptism highlight video! Whew!

What a month! 

Needless to say, in my humble opinion, Thrive’s impact this month has been Off the Charts! We’ve been a little too busy for my liking, but I’m praying like crazy that all of this momentum is setting us up for a truly tremendous fall launch!

I’ve been thinking about turning 40. I looked forward to turning 30 and welcomed it. I don’t have a crazy aversion to turning 40 and my world doesn’t seem to be falling a part. Am I where I want to be? No. Do I get stuck in the rut on ‘what if I would have done things differently’? Sure. But, I’m excited to turn 40. I’m excited to welcome my 40’s and finally make some of the changes that I’ve known for a long time need to happen.

I’ve been thinking about my kids. We have a 10th, 8th, 6th and 2nd grader. I just can’t figure out when that happened. It really does seem like yesterday that they were toddlers and we were filling up strollers and wagons. Don’t get me wrong, I love this age. But, wow, we’ll blink and they will be done with high school.

I’ve been thinking about Jesus. Gosh, I just want to know Him more. I want people to see Him in my life. I want to spend great amount of time with Him. I want to be hungry for the ways of God. I want to be covered in the dust of my rabbi.

I’ve been thinking about the future of Thrive. We’re just turning TWO. We’ve accomplished so much and yet, I believe with ever ounce of my being that the best is yet to come! We have some giant goals this next year for Thrive and I can’t wait to lay them out in September during our REACH series!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I’ve been reflecting. I’ve been talking to Jesus about it all. I don’t have many answers. I actually have more questions. But, I’m just trusting. Just reflecting.

Thrive is Serving Schools tomorrow!!

Ok, ok, ok! Let me lay this out. Tomorrow is Sunday! Yes, its my favorite day of the week! Why? Because my church family has the privilege of gathering together!

Well, tomorrow, we’re gathering together. But, it’s going to look a bit different.

Here’s what I mean. Thrive Church is unashamedly attractive. We design, plan and pray for our Sunday experiences to be attractional. We use pop culture, creative elements, rock worship and teach on topics that people are really dealing with. So, we want people to gather on Sundays to hear about Jesus, to learn how to live like Jesus and then be released to go be Jesus!

Tomorrow we’re doing things a bit different.

We’re leaving the building! 

We’re meeting at Celebration Cinema at 9am and then heading out Mt Pleasant and beyond to serve our community. And mainly, to serve our local schools!

How freaking awesome is that? 

So, don’t miss out! Be there at 9am! Wear work clothes. Bring a rake, shovel, weed whacker if you have one. Bring your families. Your kids can serve right along with you. There are inside and outside jobs. It may not take all morning. Some may. But, plan on at least a few hours. Go grab lunch with the people you served with afterwards!

If you’re a social media person. Please post photos! Tag the school you’re at. Use the hash tags…#forCentralMichigan #ThrivehasleftThebuilding #everychildhasachurch #thrivechurchmi

Can’t wait to see how God moves tomorrow!


A real life Thrive Church MVP…Happy ONE year work anniversary Sarah!!

This past Tuesday was Sarah Burkhart’s 1 year work anniversary as a staff member at Thrive Church! 


Here’s the deal. I’ve worked with a lot of great people over my 20 years of serving at local churches and I can whole-heartedly say without any hesitation, SARAH is one of the BEST! Thrive Church is ridiculously blessed to have her leadership and her heart for people and the Church on our staff!

Sarah’s job title is technically…Executive Assistant to Jason Raitz, but she does so much more! She’s an amazing assistant. She protects my time and my time with my family. She organizes my calendar and makes sure I’m doing what only I can do. PLUS…she handles and takes care of a litany of administrative tasks for Thrive Church. AND THEN…she runs point on all of our big event Sundays. And, can I point out an only God thing?? Every big event Sunday from the beginning of our Church has seen a 100% and then some growth with Sarah running point! How crazy is that? That’s an ONLY GOD thing!


She loves Jesus with every ounce of her being. She’s always listening to messages and pushing others to do the same. Don’t show her a baptism video because she will lose it and start crying. Her heart for ministry is off the charts and she loves people! She’s a Pastor and she doesn’t even know it! She’s a Shepherd who cares for people and points them to Jesus.

If that wasn’t enough…

  • She’s a real life MVP! She’s an amazing wife and mom!
  • She’s a rock star without all the drama and self-love.
  • She has a heart of gold.
  • Thrive would not be the Church we are without her!
  • She makes our Church better!
  • Sarah works tirelessly to serve people.
  • Sarah sacrifices a lot to be on staff. Like many Church staff, she works WAY over the hours she’s paid. She doesn’t get overtime. And yet, she just humbly serves.
  • Sarah makes our entire team better! She brings so much energy and a spirit that just doesn’t let us worry!

Sarah Burkhart is the MVP of the Thrive staff team!

Thank you Sarah for all you do and your heart for Jesus and to love!