Sermon Notes. #ForCentralMichigan. Week One. We have to be a Church FOR the community, not just in the community.

Message Notes    |    |

Slide # 1…Series Graphic

    • Good morning Thrive church!! How are we doing today?
    • Today we start a new series where it’s basically one of those…less talking, more doing kind of series.


  • For a long time, it seems, the CHURCH as a whole has been known for what we’re against and not we’re FOR.FullSizeRender
  • Shouldn’t we change that?
  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if the CHURCH and THRIVE CHURCH was known as a place that cared so passionately about people that everyone heard about it because it was so different?


  • And, it’s so important, we believe, if you’re going to experience the full goodness is to SHOW UP, JUMP IN and DO GOOD!
  • See, so many Churches are like Cruise Ships. A Pastor I admire a ton in South Dakota just used this analogy.
  • Sometimes, if we’re apart long enough, we just expect a nice ride. We have a saved seat. We like things our way. We don’t ever think of what someone new would like or want. We come to expect a club environment.
  • The Pastors and staff are just event directors. Make me laugh. Get me the answers I need. Make me feel comfortable.
  • Thrive cannot and never will be a Cruise Ship Church. That’s one of the reasons Tracie and I started this Church. We looked around the area and we couldn’t find a church that we wanted to dive into with our family. We found lots of cruise ship churches in our opinions. Lots of denominational churches with their stuff. And, I’m not speaking bad about them, that’s one of our biggest rules, we don’t talk bad about other churches.
  • But, we have to be a COAST GUARD type of CHURCH! A church that never gets too comfortable and loves to change. Why? Because when we hate change and we get really comfortable, we start to care less about the sinking ships around. We care less about what we need to do reach others.
  • So, we have to be the coast guard!
  • That’s why we’re doing this series! That’s why we have a Shirt for you to buy that says we’re all about Central Michigan.
  • So, let’s jump in! How can we be about CENTRAL MICHIGAN?

Story: Mother Teresa Story

  • There was a little boy once who asked his mom if he could send a letter to Mother Teresa and his mom said yes. So, he wrote out a letter. The mom thought for sure she would never reply.
  • Well, the boy worked on the letter for a week! He was very proud of it.
  • He had his mom read it.
  • Dear Mother Teresa. I really like how you care for people. I really want to do that as well. Where do I start? Signed little boy.
  • Well, a few months went by and a letter did come in the mail. The little boy opened it up and Mother Teresa wrote out a reply

Slide # 2…’Find your own Calcutta’ ~Mother Teresa

  • Right?!? That’s it! So many people are like, there’s just nowhere for me to serve. For me to make a difference.
  • So, for the next three weeks, we will dive into how we can SERVE our city and LOVE our city. Oh, and get ready for our next series! I haven’t been this excited about a series since, well, I don’t know. Oh, and just a heads up, we’re doing a series called ‘Better Together’ after that to help strengthen our marriages and relationships.
  • So, if you live in Mount Pleasant, great. Clare. Alma, wherever.
  • We now have people who are a part of Thrive over a 40 mile radius!
  • So, together we are going to SERVE and LOVE the Central Michigan area.
  • And, we have to remember that….

Slide # 3….We have to be a Church FOR the community not just IN the Community!

    • So many churches are just IN a community, doing their thing.
    • Now, we have a VISION and MISSION.


  • Our VISION is To create environments that people who are done with church and God will find irresistible.  
  • Our MISSION is to help people find and follow Jesus.


    • So, what we do on Sunday mornings is vital, because we share the Gospel, the good news of Jesus and give people a chance to invite Him into their lives! That’s why Sunday’s are so important. And, us who have done that, it’s important so we can serve and continue helping others.
    • But, its not all about what we do in here. It’s so much about what we do and how we live out there. Our hope is that you learn how to follow Jesus in these gatherings. That Jesus will inspire and encourage and lift you up!


  • So, we can go out there!


  • We’re basing this whole series on a great verse from the Old Testament in the book of Jeremiah.

Slide # 4…

And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” ~Jer. 29:7

  • We’re encouraged to LOVE and SERVE the place we live.

Story: Jason’s story of learning to love Central Michigan

  • Maybe this is to honest, but I really struggled with living in Central Michigan when we first moved here almost 7 years ago!
  • I grew up in Detroit. Lived in the suburbs and then in the suburbs of Chicago and then bam, Mt Pleasant.
  • I searched for the Mountain of Mt Pleasant the first 4 months we lived here. Where is it???
  • After a year, I tried to get us back to Chicago. 15 months in I had two job offers, one in FL and one in TX. I was packing!
  • But, God just kept saying, you’re supposed to be here.
  • I’ll never forget taking one of my kids to work on their homecoming float at a farm and the only time I saw a farm as a kid is when we went to Greenfield Village. Amazing, right!?! That’s it!
  • Then, God did something in my heart! I love this area now.
  • And, I’ve experienced serving at Churches like Willow Creek and what they offer just doesn’t exist around here and that’s why I’m so passionate about Thrive! Because I think we offer something new to this area.
  • We are FOR the community, not just IN it.
  • If we’re going to be FOR this community, we have to…

Slide # 5…Dump our PRIDE. Dump our pride. Get it out of the way.

  • Two types of Pride. The good and the bad.
  • The good takes pride in who we are. A Child of the risen Savior. A son or daughter of the most high king. A beloved creation.
  • The bad side though, well, it’s bad. We exclude others, we remind others how great we are, we talk about ourselves all the time, we never ask questions in conversations. We post everything about how awesome we are.
  • If you’re going to Love and SERVE your area, you have to dump your pride.

Slide # 6…

God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Eph. 6:10-12 MSG

  • Often Christians think that it is us vs the evil people out there. But Paul makes it clear that our battle is not against flesh and blood people, but against spiritual evil powers.
  • In our walk with Jesus, we are going to battle against some very powerful evil forces that don’t us to work together or be for others.
  • That’s why Satan loves when we’re Prideful. Because It’s all about us!
  • So, that’s why we have to rely on God and not ourselves.
  • I love this quote by CS Lewis.

Slide # 7…“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” -C. S. Lewis

  • You cannot love someone you are at war with.
  • Jesus says to love even our enemy
  • Humility is the crowning virtue of each Christian (Phil 2 mind of Christ)

Big Idea: We have to be a Church FOR the community not just IN the Community!

Slide # 8…Wear some GLOVES

Slide # 9…

Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life. John 13:12-17 MSG

  • You didn’t become an elite human with privilege when you said yes to Jesus, you became the servant of all, just like our Master
  • My dad taught me a valuable lesson when I was 15 years old. We were building a deck, a big giant one for this massive house and we were talking about work.
  • He said, you’re number one job as an employee is to make your boss’s job easier. That’s it. Don’t’ make extra work for them. Take things off their plate. Be reliable. Show up on time. Have a great attitude.
  • Wow, that has stuck with me. If we’re going to serve, we don’t walk in all high and mighty.
  • We have some incredible servant leaders at our church. One of our elders, all of them do, but one of them models this amazingly well. During the work week, on the org. Chart, he probably oversees 300 employees. He’s a big deal!
  • But, at Thrive, he’s a servant. Help set up, sure. Pray for you? Sure.
  • That’s the kind of attitude we need if we’re going to serve our City.
  • We often times replace humility with self righteousness (moral superiority, doctrinal correctness, which leads to an attitude of entitlement and privilege)
  • Jesus came not be be served but to serve. He is our model, pouring out his whole life for the benefit of others.

Slide # 10…

“Christians don’t simply learn or study or use Scripture; we assimilate it, take it into our lives in such a way that it gets metabolized into acts of love, cups of cold water, missions into all the world, healing and evangelism and justice in Jesus’ name, hands raised in adoration of the Father, feet washed in company with the Son.” ― Eugene H. Peterson

Big Idea: We have to be a Church FOR the community not just IN the Community!

Slide # 11…Work for your CITY

  • We are a church FOR the community and not just IN the community. Loving our community helps them see the face of God

Slide # 12…

Work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” Jer. 29:7 NLT

  • A church FOR the community asks,
    • “what are the needs we are gifted to meet?”
    • “Where are the hurting and forgotten cast aside to?”
    • “Who has not heard the Message, and how can we bring it to them?”
  • A Church IN the community asks,
    • “What’s in it for me?”
    • “Do I have to reach out to THAT group?”
    • “Why are people NOT coming to hear our message?”

A mosaic consists of thousands of little stones. Some are blue, some are green, some are yellow, some are gold.  When we bring our faces close to the mosaic, we can admire the beauty of each stone.  But as we step back from it, we can see that all these little stones reveal to us a beautiful picture, telling a story none of these stones can tell by itself. That is what our life in community is about.  Each of us is like a little stone, but together we reveal the face of God to the world.  Nobody can say:  “I make God visible.”  But others who see us together can say:  “They make God visible.”   Community is where humility and glory touch.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen

Big Idea: We have to be a Church FOR the community not just IN the Community!

So, here’s your action step, go and sign up to be a part of serving our City next week.

We are serving at Morey School, West, Fancher, Vowels and Ganiard. The Foster Closet. Downtown, parks, the cemetery, the airport and a few homes of shut ins.

Buy a shirt and wear it with pride!!


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