So, here’s the story, I do not feel this way!
I love my Church!
Like a lot! For 20 years I have served at and been employed by local churches and I can say that Thrive Church is my favorite (I did spend some time on staff at a Church called Willow Creek and that was pretty spectacular)!
Ok, I know what you’re thinking, ‘of course you love your Church, you started it’! Yes, that’s true! I helped plant Thrive Church and I lead it, so I am just a little bias! But, the reality is, I feel very connected at Thrive. There’s a good reason for that! More on that later.
But, from time to time, I meet with folks who tell me that they don’t feel connected and I totally get that! Our team spends a lot of time thinking through how people get connected at Thrive. We have charts and diagrams and lots of white board drawings.
In the end though, after many years of conversations like that, I think it comes down to a very simple diagram and 3 short phrases.
Here’s the deal, Thrive exists to help people Find and Follow Jesus! That’s it! We are a Church for people who have given up on God or on Church, so we actually try to not be ‘churchy’. We try to create an environment on Sunday’s where people are welcomed, accepted and loved!
So, we ask 3 things of every Thriver…
Show UP, Jump IN and Do GOOD.
And, we ask them to do these three things over and over and in time, we believe they will become a passionate follower of Jesus.
Show UP…Every Sunday. The reality is, people just don’t attend Church every Sunday any longer. And, we don’t want them to attend, we want them to be a part. We hope that every Thriver would serve at one experience and attend one. But, if you’re not there to hear the heart beat of the Church and to be a part, how can you feel connected?
Jump IN…To a Team, to a Small Group or to Shift. We believe people have to get connected to each other. So, there are 10 different Thrive teams to serve on. And, for three seasons of the year, there are Small Groups. Lastly, for those looking for some Seminary level teaching, we have Shift.
Do GOOD…Every day, every chance you can. We want people to live a lifestyle of generosity. With their time, their gifts and their finances. We want them to expeirence the joy of giving and sponsoring children and buying shoes and serving schools and the homeless shelter.
So, I think, if someone puts in just a little bit of effort, they will feel connected. Now, sometimes people try these things and still don’t feel connected, I don’t know what to do with that.
But, its amazing what happens when you put yourself out there.
I feel very connected because I love my Church! I fight for it! I serve it! I pray for it! I pray for the people of Thrive! I ask God to bless it. I give to it. I tell others about it! I read every email and every Facebook post from it.
If you’re looking to get more connected at Thrive, just email our amazing Connections Coordinator and she’ll get you all set up. Lindsey.firstname.lastname@example.org.
My prayer and hope is that I won’t have to have many conversations with folks with people who don’t feel connected, but I know we will do everything we can to help get folks connected and growing closer to Jesus!