- Good Morning Thrive Church!! How are we doing today???
- My name is Jason and I’m one of the Pastors here at Thrive and I am so glad you’re with us today!
- If you’re joining us on facebook live, we’re excited! But, sweet goodness, it is incredible here!
- How fun and amazing were the videos? The countdown video was hilarious! What did you think about our special guest saying Congrats?
- Today we celebrate 5 years! 5 years! They have been amazing. They have been painful. They have been miracles. They have been crazy. They have been up and down. They have been glorious. They have been joyful. They have been hard. They have been great. They have been a great journey!
- Let’s take a moment right now, and thank God together in prayer.
- Let’s STAND AND PRAY!
TIME OF PRAYER
- 5 Years ago this happened.
PICTURE OF FIRST SUNDAY PRAYER CIRCLE
- I look at this picture and I still feel so much hope! This was from our first Sunday at Thrive!
- Looking at it, you would think that this is a fight club for babies! And no, we weren’t putting money on which kid would win! Hahah.
- This was our volunteer huddle and prayer circle before we officially opened the doors. The HOPE in that circle was thick! You could feel it!
- We had worked so hard to get this church off the ground and here we were, about to open the doors.
- Now, there have been times in our 5 year history that have been extremely hard. Seasons of great pain. Just like in life.
- Some of us have seen people come to Thrive, their lives changed, friendships made and then poof, they disappear.
- Sometimes our HOPE tank at Thrive gets a little empty. I mean, we set up and tear down every week! Wouldn’t it be amazing to have our own space?
- Sometimes we have requests for financial help that we just can’t help with. Sometimes we have people go through crazy conflict with each other and it creates a riff in our church.
- At one point, we had a little bit of debt and making payroll was pretty tough. Myself and a few other staff were about to go without paychecks to keep ministry happening. We have no debt now.
- Sometimes we invite friends and they don’t come. Or they do, and then they fade off.
- At times I have wondered, goodness, are we going to make it?
- I love quote by the amazing Corrie Ten Boom
Slide # 2…‘Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God’ ~Corrie Ten Boom
- Have you ever felt like God was done with you? Like, you’ve messed up so much that God wasn’t going to help you any longer. Like, God was like, seriously, I am done!
- We were praying at our prayer walk yesterday and a high school girl prayed something profound. She prayed…‘Be with the people who think they can’t come to church because they did something wrong’
- You ever feel that way? About Church? About Family? About life?
- Ever feel like your HOPE tank was just so close to empty!
- I had an empty hope tank moment back in June. I told you about it. My little situation with the car rental at the Jacksonville airport. Being totally embarrassed. Humiliated. Lower than all get out.
- Then, last Saturday I flew into Pittsburgh late at night, went out to the car rental lot and the guy was like, oh man, we’ve given away your car. All we have left is…
PICTURE OF THE MUSTANG
- I WAS LIKE, YOU’RE FREAKING KIDDING ME????
- MY HOPE TANK WENT UP LIKE NUTS.
- I never get to drive cars like this. I love Mustangs. I owned a 1966 Mustang at one point and had to sell it to pay for diapers. Hope tank depleted! Hah.
- Our new series is called Who’s Next?
Series Intro: Who’s Next
- We’re going to look at the story of Moses from the book of Exodus and ask 4 questions from his story:
- Who’s next for hope? Who is it that needs to hear that God is not done yet, that God has a plan, and you are never in a dead end?
- Who’s next for Healing? Who is it that needs to hear that they are not done yet, that God can redeem your heart and wounds?
- Who’s next for purpose? Who is it that needs to learn that their story matters, and they can reframe their biography according to the grace of God and find meaning?
- Who’s next for leadership? Who needs to know that their presence matters in this world? All of us are somewhere on this journey.
- We’re going to look at the story of Moses from the book of Exodus and ask 4 questions from his story:
- Moses’ story is one of hope, healing, purpose, and leadership. In this series we peek into his story to see how God used a man who thought his story was over for a powerful purpose.
- Just when you think that all hope is lost, God calls a little baby into the house of the King of Egypt to be raised up to lead God’s people out of slavery. God’s not done with Israel. God’s not done with Moses. God’s not done with you. God’s not done with Thrive.
Slide # 3…Big Idea: God’s. Not. Done.
- THERE YOU HAVE IT. GOD’S NOT DONE!
- He’s not done with you, with me, he’s not done with our church!
- Let’s look at a time from Moses life when he learned this.
- Also, here’s the deal. I would ask you to bring your Bibles to church if we could light up this room enough to actually read them. If you want to donate about 10,000 grand, we can make that happen.
- Until then, Brian Kreider from our team does a lot of work to make sure that everything from Sunday is in the YouVersion app. This thing is awesome!
Slide # 4…Exodus 1:11-18
So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread;
- Ok, really quick, WHAT?!? How does that work?.
- Well, we’re resilient. We have GRIT! Sometimes when we are burdened or mistreated, we may feel defeated. But our burdens can actually make us stronger and develop qualities in us that will prepare us for the future.
- We cannot be overcomers without troubles to overcome!
- Don’t you want to be an overcomer?
- Be true to God in the hard times because even the worst situations can make us better!!
- Did you catch that??
- Whew! That was worth the price of admission!
- Ok, let’s keep going with Moses…
so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.
- But the CRAZY thing the Israelites learned was…
Slide # 5…God’s. Not. Done.
- God’s Not Done!
- Ok, let’s keep going!
The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”
- How freaking amazing is that?
- Their faith in God gave them the courage to take a stand for what they knew was right! Can you imagine?
- The Bible is filled with examples of those who were willing to sacrifice their very lives in order to obey God or save others.
- Who? Ester. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego. Daniel.
- They took a bold stand for what was right.
- Sometimes nations get caught up in Racial Hatred, Slavery, Bigotry. But, as followers of Jesus, we must stand up for the oppressed! We must stand up for what is right!
Slide # 6…God’s. Not. Done.
Slide # 7…Exodus 1:19-22
The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”
So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”
Slide # 8…God’s. Not. Done.
Slide # 9…Exodus 2:1-6
Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket[a] for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.
Slide # 10…Exodus 2:7-10
Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”
“Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses,[b]saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
Slide # 11…God’s. Not. Done.
- If you’re beat up. If you’re tired. If you’re skeptical. If you wonder if God even cares. If you’re bored with life. If you think you’ve already experience all there is to experience. If you’re sick. If you’re sick and tired. If you think you don’t need God. If you think God’s taught you everything you need to know.
- God’s not done with you!
- If you’re breathing, God can going use you on this planet for His Kingdom!
- Know this though, and we see this in a crazy way in Moses’s story…
Slide # 12…Life will oppose you.
- That’s a NO DUH, right? Moses’ life should have never happened. Now, that’s opposition!
- But, there is still this rumor out there that I trust in Jesus, give Him my life and I’m baptized, then poof. Nothing stressful anymore.
- False! Life will probably start throwing you big curve balls.
- I’ve seen so many times when Tracie and I have taken bigger and bigger faith steps in our financial giving. Like, ok, God, we’re giving an uncomfortable amount now, its def. Changing us, shouldn’t like a pot of gold show up at our door.
- And so often the opposite happens. A car breaks down. A bill comes in that we had no idea exists. The hot water heater goes.
- Life is going to try to oppose you. To try to get you to take your focus off God and how He is not done with you yet.
- One of the things that breaks my heart so much are Jesus Followers who aren’t engaged in a local Church. Maybe they once were. Maybe they think they are, but they rarely Show Up. They hardly Jump in.
- Talk about wasting the gifts God’s given you for His Kingdom.
- Don’t let life oppose you! Trust in Him. Trust that He’s not done.
Slide # 13…God’s. Not. Done. [super big]
- You gotta keep going! You attack it.
- You take on the courage of the midwives in Moses story! Imagine if they did what they were ordered to do.
- Life is going to oppose you.
- Cancer is going to come to someone you love. Accidents happen. We struggle.
- When we started this Church, people told me that there was no way we were going to make it. There were some Christians who unfriended me from facebook. There were some who looked away from me in the grocery store. There were some Pastors that told me we had enough churches in our area.
- What if Thrive didn’t exist? Some of us who have found a Church home and family and community, what if this didn’t exist?
- As we were praying yesterday, someone prayed. ‘Thank you God for helping me find Thrive before I gave up on you’. WOW!
- We raised funds to move to CMU, it was unreal. We did it. We moved. That first month we had our highest attendance ever. Then things just didn’t seem to work with CMU and we moved back. Someone asked me, do you see that as a failure. Absolutely not! We tired something. We took the step of faith. We walked through the opposition.
- Through it all, Jesus is right there! I just read these words yesterday in my quiet time…
- ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’
- GOD’S NOT DONE!
- Know that…
Slide # 14…Life cannot construct a dead end for you.
- Life is going to try!
- I am the King of finding dead ends or getting lost. Actually, it’s getting a little crazier the older I get. I had a moment in the Newark airport last week that almost scared me. I just kept going in circles and I could not find my gate.
- Life is going to feel like that sometimes.
- So many times it tried with Moses. Pharaoh tried to kill him. He then killed someone. He fled to the desert for 40 years. God called Him. He disagreed with God. He went to the Pharaoh and then 10 times they finally left.
- They get to a body of water, everyone’s complaining.
- Moses just kept going.
- Sometimes we’ve had some times that feel like dead ends here at Thrive! Times I actually felt like quitting. Times where our team was exhausted and tired. Times when people have done very hurtful and painful things.
- One of my constant prayers that feels like a dead end at times is our funding.
- Don’t hear me wrong, we have some of the most amazing givers on the planet! AMAZING.
- But, honestly, the core group that gives to the Ministry Fund just isn’t big enough for the amount of people who attend our Church. And, that’s a GREAT sign that our VISION is on the right track!
- I was at a Church Planting Assessment last week and many of the new church planters will start with a larger budget than us.
- I’ve actually told the Elders and Staff before, maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s my leadership to why our giving doesn’t reflect where it should.
- Sometimes it’s felt like a dead end.
- I know this is unique to my seat at Thrive, but here’s what I think and pray about if we could be a Fully Funded Church.
- We could give staff raises. No one has received a raise. And, here’s the reality, we have amazing staff who are at some point are going to be offered jobs elsewhere. I mean, everyone on our staff works multiple jobs to be a part and I’m proud of them.
- I think, wouldn’t be it great to have Dr. Tom more than 5 hours a week? Wouldn’t it be great to have Sarah Burkhart more than 18 hours. What could kids look like then? Wouldn’t it great if Dave and Sam didn’t have to raise support any longer?
- I think about all the technology we desperately need to advance our mission. Do you know we don’t own a computer for this room? To some of us, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. But, to Dave and Nicci it is. Dave loses his work laptop for an afternoon as Nicci puts in all the slides and videos. We might be one of the only churches who don’t have a computer for their services.
- Matt Moore works tirelessly for this Church. His laptop died a few weeks ago and it took him multiple efforts to get it back and going. He made all those videos. Weren’t they amazing?
- I think about how our One Youth budget is 2350 for the year and Thrive Kidz is 5700. Not much wiggle room there for our ministries.
- I think and pray about a future building for us. People ask. Here’s the deal.
- Right now, there are three possible lease spaces for us that we could get. But, what we pay a month would more than double and then utilities and we would need to raise the money to build them out. Walls and all that.
- I believe we could do it.
- BUT…in the midst of these type of things, God has moved and moved and moved! These aren’t dead ends. These are moments to drive us to our knees and seek Him even more!
Slide # 15…God’s. Not. Done. [super big]
- And, the last thing you need to know is…
Slide # 16…If you’re breathing, God’s not done yet.
- Moses was in the desert for 40 years. God wasn’t done with him.
- You’re here. God’s not done with you.
- He can use you at your work? He can use you in your home. He can use you online. He can use you at your gym.
- As we look ahead to these next 5 years. God’s not done! He’s not done with you, He’s not done with Thrive Church!
THE DREAM OF THRIVE CHURCH
- We dream of this being a place, still, where people who have given up on God. Yes, straight up given up! If they’ve walked away from Him. If they’ve cussed Him out. If they’re an Atheist. If they’re angry and ticked off at him. This is the place for them.
- We dream of this being a place, still, where people who have given up on Church will find it Irresistible! Even if they were hurt in the past. Even if they think the church is filled with hypocrites. Even if they swore they would never be a part of a Church. This is a place for them.
- We dream of this being a place, still, where we see miracles happen. Yes, real live miracles! Marriages saved. Friendships restored. Hurt forgiven. Financial miracles. Relational miracles. And miracles for our Church.
- I spent 2 weeks ago in a building that was given to the Church. A 4.5 million dollar building was given to this Church to make a downtown campus. You know what? That miracle could happen here! Are we praying for it? Are we asking? Are we seeking God?
- We dream of this being a place, still, where kids and students matter big time. Where they’re leading on Sundays. Where they beg their parents to come to Church. Where they’re learning to be worship leaders and speakers and Jesus followers. Where their ministries are funded. Where we take bus loads of kids to Big Stuf in the summer to retreats.
- We dream of this being a place, still, where we reach out to the Schools in even better ways! Yes, more Shoe Projects. Two other churches have started shoe projects because of our story.
- But, we dream of hosting a Teacher Appreciate Night and inviting 30 miles of teachers and feeding them, and blessing them and saying thank you!
- We dream of this being a place, still, that someday opens up a 24/7 space for the Community. That has a Giant playscape open during the week. Someday even has a turf area for people to hang out and play.
- We dream of creating worship albums and a school of music. Where kids and students are learning from a young age to play and sing and lead worship.
- We dream of building up the Cars ministry to where 20, 30, 40, 50 cars are donated a year. Where cars are fixed and given away.
- We dream of being a Church that values prayer. Where people are rushing after the experiences to prayed for and to pray for others.
- We dream of being a Church that opens up campuses of Thrive Church in Midland, Big Rapids, Up North and Down South.
- We dream of having Church Planting Residents who are learning how to start a church and lead a church and then we send them out to plant.
- We dream of the day when Christmas in Mount Pleasant reaches thousands of people. When we shut down the street outside Broadway and there are Reindeer, and carolers and inflatables and food and then they come inside and hear about and worship Jesus.
- We dream of the day when Island Park is filled for DAD FEST. Carnival rides. Hundreds of classic cars. Giant food trucks. An outdoor stage.
- We dream of the day where hundreds are being baptized in the lake out at Lake Isabella.
- We dream of sending teams to Ecuador or Africa and helping build churches or bringing fresh water.
- We dream of the day where every thriver has sponsored a child through Compassion International.
- We dream of the day that someone from Thrive Church is going to plant the next Thrive Church. We have Thrive MI, Thrive TX and Thrive CA. Where’s next?
- We dream still, of being a place where people are devoted to their small group. They make it the priority and they live out scripture’s one anothers.
My Challenge to you is…Build what you love. Do you love your Church? Jesus loved the Church. Jesus loves this Church.
I love this quote by Erwin McManus
Slide # 17…If you want to know what you love, look and see what you sacrifice for. You can see what a person loves by what they build. ~Erwin McManus
Let’s continue to build this Church together.
Let’s continue to SHOW UP! Let’s pack out this theater on Sunday’s. Let’s SHOW UP in our personal walks with God.
Let’s JUMP IN. Jump into a Thrive team and a Small group.
And, let’s DO GOOD! Everywhere we go!
Pray for and invite friends and family.
Be facebook and Social Media evangelists.
Let’s keep building Thrive Church together
‘being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ ~Philippians 1:6
We’re going to take a moment as a Church to stand together and commit to building this place.
We’re going to ask you to come forward and sign this