Are we Crazy!?! Thrive’s 5 year Vision and our Prayer Wall!

Last month, the Pastors of Thrive Church were at the Exponential Church Planting conference in Orlando, FL. It was a GREAT trip. Lots of laughs, dreaming, praying and learning!

The theme of the conference was ‘Dream Big’ and we were challenged to do just that.

One morning, I found myself dreaming big in my prayer journal. I presented this to the other Thrive Pastors (Matt Moore, Dave Shephard and Dr. Tom Rundel) and we all tweaked it a bit. Then, this past Tuesday, I presented it to our staff and we tweaked it a little bit. Next month, I am going to present it to a combined meeting with our Thrive Elders and Financial Team.

Let me just say this…

It’s a wild and crazy Vision!

I read through it and some of the items on there scare me. In a good way, but they’re so big and so audacious, that really ONLY GOD could provide the needs to make some of this stuff happen.

So, this is our 5 year Vision at Thrive! This is what we’re praying and asking God to provide. We desperately want to make a HUGE impact in Central Michigan and the world and we’re stepping out in faith and believing that God can do the impossible.

Thrive turns 4 in October and I feel like in many ways, we’re just getting started!

Thrive’s 5 Year Vision

  • Every Life is changed by Jesus
  • Thrivers to be passionate about: Jesus, the Bible, Prayer, Giving and their Small Group
  • Elder and & Staff Unity
  • Financial Wisdom, Margin and Radical Generosity. We’re praying for a $600,000 a year budget and 4-6 months of operating budget in savings.
    • Staff to not have to raise support.
  • Partner with Local Churches who are struggling and provide help and new life.
  • 20 Acres of Land to be Donated.
  • Semi-Trailer and Box Truck to be donated.
  • A New Hub. 15,000 square feet of Offices, Prayer Center, One Youth Space, Tutoring, Thrive Counseling Center, Studios (Music, Video, Art), Do Good Space
  • Equipment. (2) MacBooks, Drum Set, Keyboard, Video Camera’s, Gaga Ball Pit, Obstacle Course Inflatable, Color Copier.
  • New Staff & Team Leaders. Small Group Director, Youth, Video, Stewardship.
  • Midland & Big Rapids Campus Pastor.
  • Add a Thrive campus in a local prison.
  • (2) Church Planting Residents.
  • Reach 1500 people weekly by 2022.
  • 24/7 Building that can be used 7 days a week by the Community. Including a small apartment complex that can be used to house Single moms, families, refugees, interns.


  • Raise an additional $20,000 a year to reach students at CMU. This will give us a major presence on campus.
  • See 150 people a year Trust in Jesus at Thrive on Sunday’s.
  • 100 people to be baptized in 2017. 200 by 2022.
  • Record a live worship album.


  • 500 people in Small Groups by 2019.
  • Increased Volunteers
    • 50 Road Crew
    • 200 Thrive Kidz
    • 75 First Impressions
    • 30 Prayer Team
    • 20 Care Team
    • (3) Worship Leaders
    • 40 Musicians
    • 30 One Youth Leaders
    • 30 Chi Alpha Leaders
    • 30 Outreach team
    • 25 Cars Ministry
  • Start an online Bible School. Offer practical courses to help develop life long followers of Jesus.


  • Plant (2) Churches in Ecuador through Stadia and Compassion. ($190,000)
  • Join and help plant (2) Churches in Michigan.
  • Raise $50,000 a year to give away 1500 shoes to elementary students at local schools.
  • Give away 20 Cars a year and repair 40.
  • Support 15 Back to School Parties for Local Schools.
  • Sponsor a ‘Night to Shine’ Event
  • Host a community wide Halloween Party at Finch Fieldhouse
  • Sponsor a Teacher Appreciation Night for hundreds of local teachers.


  • Thrive Kidz
    • Raise up a Thrive Kidz Worship Team
    • Create a special needs room at Thrive Kidz
  • One Youth
    • Send 100 Students to Big Stuf Summer Camp
    • 40 Small Groups
    • Student Lead
    • Raise up a One Youth Worship Team
  • Chi Apha
    • (2) Houses on Campus for College Students


I love Mother’s Day at Thrive Church! See you at either 930 or 11 at CMU!!

At Thrive, we call Mother’s Day…

Mama’s Day! Mama's-Day-2017-Square

You’re invited today at either 930 or 11am at CMU!!

We spend months making sure everyone knows the date and to clear their calendars to be at Thrive on Mother’s Day. It doesn’t always work because, well, it’s Mother’s Day! Haha. But, more and more families are traveling up to Mt Pleasant, so that’s awesome!

But, there are 6-8 Sunday’s a year we go all out on: Mama’s Day, Dad Fest, Baptism and BBQ, our Anniversary, Christmas, Super Bowl and Easter. We go all out because honestly, it’s easier to invite and bring people these Sunday’s than regular Sunday’s.

So, today at Thrive, there will be…

  • Golf Carts picking up ladies at their cars and driving them to the front door.
  • We do some extra special stuff in Thrive Kidz for moms
  • We work extra hard on some creative elements that will speak to ladies in whatever season they are in: Pre Kids, Mom, Step Mom, Grandma, Aunt, Mentor and struggling to have kids.
  • Child Dedications
  • And, today, we’re doing something we’ve never done before at Thrive.

Today will be a special day! I hope you will join us at CMU at either 930 or 11am!


My Seminar Notes from Exponential: Engaging Your Community (Pt. 1)

Engaging Your Community

    • Good afternoon! So excited you’ve joined this conversation and that’s what I hope this will be. So, pipe up at any moment, throw in ideas. I hope that this is a think tank for you and I hope you will walk out of here with tons of ideas!
    • I’ve been serving as a Pastor at local churches since 1995. I was in youth ministry, well, I still am, but I served as a youth pastor for 17 years. I started a nonprofit to speak in public schools and then my wife and I planted Thrive Church on October 6th, 2013. We are 184 weeks old.IMG_9996.JPG
  • It has been the GREATEST journey of our lives. Lots of ups, lots of downs, lots of paint and lots of joy and everything in between!
  • So, this conversation we’re having, I’m going at it from the perspective of a church plant that’s in the preplant days. Now, if you’ve already planted, I think we’ll have some ideas to help you to continue engaging with your community. But, I wanted you to know that.
  • In a nutshell, if we’re going to really engage with our communities, I really believe our philosophy and our focus has to be rooted in this idea:

Big Idea: Be a Church FOR your Community, not just IN your Community

  • Thrive, after 3.5 years, still doesn’t have a building of our own. That helps us a little with this mindset. But, it’s super easy to slip into the philosophy of…well, people just need to come to us. It’s easy once you’re up and going to just take your foot off the peddle a little bit.
  • At Thrive, we set out to reach people who had given up on God and church. We want to create irresistible environments for people who have given up on God and Church. That’s our context.

Story: This is a great F’ing Church

  • We were like 2 months in, and this giant guy, came up to me after church. Like, he’s a massive man. We’re in the hallway and he grabs my shoulders and he says…I LOVE THIS F’ING CHURCH! It was awesome! A few older ladies sprinted out of there!
  • That to mean was an indicator that we were reaching people who hadn’t been reached!
  • But, if even before we launch and plant, this idea of being FOR the community is front and center, that will keep us moving in the right direction.
  • I love what Andy Stanley says about a Church being a movement:

“The church at its inception was essentially, a movement…a movement built around conviction that Jesus had died as the only Savior for sinners and that he had risen from the dead proving he was who he said he was; that he was the rightful Lord of the earth and all people everywhere were now commanded to repent and invited to come home to him.” ~Andy Stanley

  • If you haven’t had a chance to read Deep and Wide by Andy, oh my goodness, do it immediately. The book continues to blow my mind and is so powerful!
  • In it, he really breaks down this thought process of…is the Church a Building or a Movement?

The Church? Building or Movement [From Deep and Wide, Andy Stanley]

  • This will be a refreshers course, but I think it’s helpful to lay this foundation out before we get to 10 really practical steps to Engaging your Community. So many people, when they hear the word church, immediately think of what???
  • A Building. A Place.

Story: Planting Thrive in a Rural, predominantly catholic area

  • So many people thought I was crazy when we announced that we were going to plant a Church. And they just couldn’t wrap their minds around not having a building. To them, the church was a place they went to a few times a year, wore their Sunday best and it was a building.
  • So, to some in our area, we were a cult. We started in a bar (some people seemed to dig that, hah!), then a movie theater and, wow, the very traditional crowd thought that was crazy.
  • In our first year and a half we started this annual giving campaign called the SHOE PROJECT. Schools and supporting them has always been on my heart. We found out that shoes was a very real need. So, we raised $15,000 and bought 425 brand new pair of shoes and gave them out in a school!
  • It was like a giant foot washing!
  • And, then we cancelled a Sunday pretty early and started a ‘Church has left the building’ day where we served schools.
  • We want to teach very practically early on, that the Church was both a gathering and a movement.
  • That’s exactly what Andy Stanley teaches in Deep and Wide. He takes the world Church and teaches that in the Greek, it’s translated, Ekklesia, it literally means…

‘Ekklesia’ = [‘ek’ = ‘out of’] [‘kaleo’ = ‘called out’]

  • So, it’s an Assembly of people called out around an idea, a movement
    • But over the years, a terrible thing happened. People began to think of church as a place that you went to for religious services.
  • Our English word “church” comes not from the Greek ekklesia but from the German word kirche, which meant “a sacred place where you gather for religious purposes.”

‘Kirche’ = A sacred place where you gather for religious purposes

    • That shift in thinking changed the fundamental way people related to the church. Throughout the Dark Ages people went to church; it was a place you attended or sat through, rather than a movement you were part of.
    • And the church became an institution that essentially provided services for people and was controlled by powerful people who used it to serve their own interests.
    • But then something awesome happened. God raised up a group of people called the Reformers. One of the main ones for the English speaking world was William Tyndale.
    • He came to the conviction that Christianity was essentially a movement, and that if people were going to be devoted to the movement they had to understand the message and so his life’s work was to produce the first translation of the Bible into common English.
  • And every time he came to this word, ekklesia, he translated it ‘congregation’ instead of church, because he was trying to emphasize that the church was not a place you went to, but a movement you belonged to.
    • You church history buffs know that infuriated Church leaders because it undercut their authority. Eventually Tyndale was tried as a heretic, hanged and burned at the stake
  • During his trial, right before he died, he said, ‘If God spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more Scriptures than you do’.
  • As he was being burned his last recorded words were, ‘Lord, open the King of England’s eyes’. If you’ve got a copy of the King James Bible, you can see that God answered that prayer.
  • But, the Church is an assembly built around a movement.

Illustration: Cruise Ship or Coast Guard

  • It’s easy to have the MOVEMENT and ENGAGING YOUR COMMUNITY mentality in the beginning. But, trust me, you can slip into the safe, no risks, pleasing the Church people mentality very quickly.
  • There is a GREAT Church in Rapid City, South Dakota and the Pastor, David Kinnan, uses this illustration.
  • Are you a Cruise Ship Church or the Coast Guard?
  • Cruise Ship Churches are obviously ‘kirche’ kind of Church! A place you go. And, it attempts to meet your every need! You are pampered, stuffed at buffets and everything is about you.
  • Unfortunately, that mentality cannot slip into Churches. We have to Be the COAST GUARD! An ekklesia that moves throughout our communities and saves drowning people!
  • So…

Is our GOAL to just launch a SERVICE and find a BUILDING … or create a MOVEMENT and ENGAGE your Community?

  • I know this is probably a crazy way to start out, because if you’re planting, you are in the thick of being a movement.
  • But, I know so many planters that just work so hard to get to a service or a building. You work so hard just on details!
  • Details are fine! Details are important, they’re necessary. It’s one of the reasons I planted through STADIA CHURCH PLANTING. They provided me a Project Manager, really an Ex. Pastor for the first 10 months to handle the details.
  • That freed me up to ENGAGE with my community!
  • The big question to ask is…

“A movement is something that is usually marked by three things, or it’s said it’s marked by three things. First of all, a movement is something that’s united around a common, compelling vision. It’s got a broad base of involvement and participation, which is very broadband and spontaneous. And it’s energized by a power that leads to innovation and sacrifice.”  ~Tim Keller

Big Idea: Are you a Church FOR the community, or just another Church IN your community?

  • Acts 1:8 reminds us why this is all so important!

Acts 1:8

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

  • We have to MOVE. We have to ENGAGE.
  • This has got to be one of the strangest scenes ever, doesn’t’ it? He gives them the largest assignment you could ever imagine…and then…with hardly any explanation, or plan of action, he leaves.
  • They are like, what? The whole world? As he is ascending, they are like, ‘Jesus, do you realize how big the whole world is? Jesus is like, ‘Yup, I can see it from here suckers! And, you have no idea how big it really is!
  • This is where it all began. 2000 years later, here we are, with more Christians on the planet than any other religious group, all stemming from a group of 12 fisherman, carpenters and tax collectors.

The Question to ask before you launch?

‘If our Church disappeared someday, would anyone in our community even notice?

  • When we planted Thrive, we said that this question would be one that we would come back to all the time.
  • Our area is smaller, its rural. We have 26,000 people in our town, about 130,000 in a 30 mile radius. Lots of traditional churches.
  • So, we just keep asking ourselves, if Thrive goes away, will anyone notice?
  • We ask that, because we want to make a big impact in our area!
  • And the way to do that is by Engaging with our community.
  • So, here is a step by step to do just that. To be FOR the community, not just IN the community.

Step by Step Plan to Engaging Your Community

  1. Remember that you CARRY the most important news ever.

And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere’

  • Yes, of course we remember this, that’s why we’re doing this. But, we get so busy, again, with the details. The pressure of Launching Large, or getting Missional Communities going, or building a launch team.
  • So, a good question to ask is, Do you really know the Gospel Message?
    • I Love the Gospel Message. But, if I’m being honest, it was years before I really could articulate it in a way that an unchurched person could understand.
    • Todd Clark: How to lead a person to Jesus on a napkin
  • Do you know what you believe about the essentials?
    • People will ask. Be ready.
    • And, they will want to know what you believe about Homosexuality.
    • I got the most emails about that before we launched. We’re in a college town. I got emails from parents asking if there kids would be accepted at Thrive. Broke my heart.

Story: Cornered by a Grandma on Child Dedication Sunday

  • This grandma cornered me and drilled me. You a real pastor? Where’s your robe? Why don’t you baptize babies? What’s this child dedication?
  • What are your non-essentials?
  • What are your Core beliefs?
  • Are you passionate about sharing Jesus?
    • Are you more passionate about the idea of starting and growing a church, that about sharing Jesus with every person you come into contact with?

Story: Panera Bread: You’re a Pastor?

  • I worked at Panera Bread my first year at Thrive! Hundreds of meetings, coffees, thousands of study hours, phone calls.
  • I got to know the staff very well. The manager would let me clean up tables.
  • Staff would talk to me on their breaks!
  • One day a young lady who I was getting to know sat down and rather rudely said, I just found out you’re a Pastor! Is that true? Because what I know of Christians, they hate everything and everyone and you just don’t seme that way!
  • Remember that you’re a carrier!
  1. Learn how to be an AMAZING story teller.
    • Study how to ‘Cast a Vision’ from both in front of people and face to face with people
      • Read Visioneering by Andy Stanley and then read it again!
      • Watch GREAT vision Casters
        • Greg Nettle
        • Albert Tate
        • Bill Hybels
        • Andy Stanley
    • Learn how to share the story of your church in under 5 minutes
      • What makes you different?
      • Read everthing you can from Will Mancini and get CLARITY.
      • Do you have a tag line? Thrive’s is NO PERFECT PEOPLE ALLOWED.
    • Practice, practice, practice.
      • Ted Williams, I believe was the greatest hitter of all time. Played for the Red Sox in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s. He swag a bat 1000 times a day!
      • Practice like that.
      • Charles Swindoll has a full length mirror in his office and he practiced in front of it.
      • Actually be compelling
    • Do you know how many stories (or parables) Jesus told?
      • 58! Fifty-Eight!
  • Stories are powerful!
  • I love this quote by Eugene Peterson…
    • “Stories are verbal acts of hospitality.”
  1. Build a team of storytellers.
  • Teach them the Gospel [How to share the Gospel in 2 minutes]
    • Have them watch Todd Clark’s…How to share the gospel on a napkin
  • Remember that vision leaks, so teach them the vision over and over
    • Figure out how many 1 on 1’s you can emotionally process in a week and then set a goal. Meet for early breakfasts, coffees, lunches, walks in a park. Every conversation bring up the vision.
    • Ask the tough questions.
      • Are you praying for anyone to share the Gospel with?
    • Create a facebook private group and share vision stories
  • Show them how and when to share stories of your church
    • Our society is not very keen on Emotional Intelligence. Read everything Daniel Goleman has written on it!
    • Teach your people Self Awareness, and Relational Awareness
  • Resource them with your Church Swag
    • People love free stuff. We didn’t send mailers, we didn’t spend a lot of marketing dollars. But, we provided COOL SWAG.
      • Make T-Shirts
        • Cool T Shirts. Sweatshirts. Great designs, Quality Designs.
    • Lawn signs that don’t look Churchy
    • Invite Cards. Business card size.
      • Ours say…Not your mama’s Church, unless of course, your mom goes there.
    • Car Decals
    • Door Hangers
    • Facebook Page
      • Use this primarily for INSPIRATION not INFORMATION. Tell the story of your Church online.
      • Turn them into Online Evangelists
        • Teach them how to share online
        • Use hash tags
        • Use great photo’s
  1.  Really get to KNOW your community.
  • Be the expert
    • I grew up in the city of Detroit, I planted in a rural area. I had a lot to learn.
    • Stadia helped me with this as well. Provided reports for me. Information.
  • Do the research
    • Go to your cities websites.
  • Build a database of the who’s who
    • I created a google doc with everyone!
  • Drive around it, walk around it and pray for it
    • Prayer Walks are HUGE for me.
    • We didn’t launch with a ton of resources, so prayer was all we had!
  1. Meet with as many Community Leaders as you possibly can. 
  • Police, Fire, Mayor, City Manager
    • I remember meeting with the Police Chief and he said at the end of our conversation, I wish I wasn’t Catholic, this Church sounds awesome! I drag myself to Church!
  • Principals, Teachers, Superintendents, PTA’s
  • Pastors, Clergy, Chaplains
  • Nonprofits, Business Leaders, Chamber of Commerce

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!!


Today I Get to make one of the BIGGEST announcements I have ever made at Thrive Church and I’m SOOOOOO EXCITED!!

I don’t think I’m exaggerating.

Today, I get to make a freaking huge announcement!

I mean, it will have giant implications for Thrive Church. Especially for our Kids and Teenagers!

And, I believe its going to help make a GIANT IMPACT in the Central MI area and beyond.

Oh man!

I am so thankful and honored that God allows me this GREAT privilege to Lead Thrive Church!

HERE WE GO!!!!!!

Sermon Notes: How to Wreck your Life. Week Four. Make it all about You!

Message Notes    |    |

Slide # 1…Series Graphic

  • Good Morning Thrive Church! How are we doing today?
  • Well, welcome to CMU! After two years of praying and seeking God, we start out Chapter Two of our history.
  • If this is your very first Sunday at Thrive, please take a second to head to the VIP Room, out the back doors and to the left and we would love to give you a free gift. And, we have folks who would love to meet you!
  • Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room, there are a bunch of seats open. That’s good news! That means we have the opportunity to PRAY BIG GIGANTIC BOLD PRAYERS!
  • Next Sunday and Easter and will give us a good feel for what the fall is going to be like!
  • Ok, here we are in week 4 of How to Wreck Your Life. If you’ve missed any, head to the Thrive website and catch up! We’ve talked about Failure, Fear and Settling for Less.
  • Now, today…

Slide # 2…If you really want to WRECK your life, make it all about you.

  • The good news is, probably no one in this room struggles with making it all about you. Right!?!
  • Who do you think of when you think of the greatest of all time?
  • Mohamed Ali, right? Once he told a flight attendant that he didn’t need a seat belt because he was superman. She told him, well, Superman didn’t need an airplane!
  • If you want to WRECK your life, make it all about you.
  • Ok, here’s the deal though. If you’re a follower of Jesus, this really is for you. If you’re still doubting this Jesus stuff or haven’t truly given  your life over to Jesus, this really isn’t for you yet.
  • Because, Jesus came to turn the world upside down. He came to point people to God’s Kingdom and God’s Kingdom is both now and later. It’s both for our time here on earth and its for our time when breathe our last breath and then spend an eternity in heaven.
  • So, this idea of not making it about you is so anti-today.
  • Social Media tells us to make it all about us. Social media has given everyone a voice, which is awesome. But, it’s also taught us all of our opinions are the only ones that matter all the time.
  • I was talking with Dr. Tom and imagine this, he said something that made me go…ooohhhh, he said

Slide # 3…‘A self centered life reduces your impact’ ~Dr. Tom Rundel

  • In the short term, being all about yourself seems like a good idea. It helps you get ahead. And, who doesn’t want to get ahead?
  • But, here’s what Paul says in Romans 8:8…

Slide # 4…

Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. ~Romans 8:8 (the message)

  • There is a lot of self help love in our world, isn’t there? There are billions of dollars in the self help industry.
  • And, it’s a good thing to take advantage of how amazing God created us to be!
  • So, Paul isn’t saying to not care of yourself. He is saying there is a line. A line we cross when we start to care more about focusing on our self than we do on God.
  • I know for my life, I operate at my best when God comes first. When a few days go by and then a week and then a month when I take my focus off of God, that’s when things start to get sticky in my life.

Big Idea: A self centered life reduces your impact

  • Self-centeredness is “immoderate concern with one’s own interests and well-being; self-love or egotism.”
  • Multiple Mirror Selfie shots
  • Self-centeredness is a sin because it leads to being devoted to self-gratification and overlooking other people’s needs
  • Here’s the thing…

Slide # 5…There is Self Love and then Love of Self.

  • Looking out for our own interests is natural. In fact, Jesus uses our innate self-interest as a basis for gauging our love for others: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
  • In other words, in the same way that you (naturally) love yourself, learn to love others. Our universe should be others-centric, not self-centric.
  • Paul gives us a In Phil 2 command leaves no room for self-centeredness.

Slide # 6…Phil 2:3-4 (message)

if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

  • Again, this is so anti what we’re lead to believe is the right way in today’s world!

STORY: Jason in my first 10 years of ministry

  • I wanted to be the GREAT Somebody. I wanted everyone to know me.
  • I wanted to be a GREAT speaker.
  • I read a biography on Ted Williams, the greatest hitter ever, and he always wanted people to say when he walked by…there goes the greatest hitter of all time.
  • I wanted that.
  • God humbled me, or my pride humbled me and I’ve been a recovering tool ever since.
  • 10 years ago I never would have worked hard to have a teaching team. Why? Because I wouldn’t have wanted anybody to get an praise but me.
  • Here’s what I learned…

Slide # 7…Self Centered Living is: a SIN and leads to EGOTISM

Big Idea: A self centered life reduces your impact

Slide # 8…Live to Love others.

  • Love and care for our neighbors (John 13:34–35),
  • to not pass judgment on others (Romans 14:13),
  • to bear others’ burdens (Galatians 6:2),
  • and to be kind and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32).
  • Being self-centered is directly opposed to the clear command, “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24).
  • There are many other similar commands calling for selfless sacrifice and service to others (Romans 12:10; Ephesians 5:21; Galatians 5:26).
  • Every act of self-love is rebellion against the authority of God. Self-centeredness is rooted in one’s fleshly desire to please self more than God. In essence, it is the act of supplanting God’s authority with one’s own ego.

Slide # 9…

James 3:16 (message)

Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the other’s’ throats.

Slide # 10…Big Idea: A self centered life reduces your impact

Sermon Notes: How to Wreck Your Life. Week Three. Why do we Settle for less?

**These sermon notes were cut and paste right from my google doc. That’s why there are cues to when the slides go up. 

***This was also one of my favorite messages ever at Thrive! 

Message Notes    |    |

Slide # 1…Series Slide

    • Good Morning Thrive Church! How are we doing today?
    • Today is the day. The last Sunday at Celebration Cinema.
    • It’s both sad and happy, It’s both emotional and exciting.
    • Today is the day we close one chapter of our Church and we move on to the next.


  • I can remembering spending time on Sat mornings praying around this building before they even approved us to use it! It seemed like a GIANT ask of God. I mean, so many people thought there was NO WAY they were going to let us use this.


  • I can remember so many times I have seen people just cry sitting in these seats. I can remember so many times when we have laughed in this room.
  • As you know, laughter and fun are a big deal to us. We just don’t buy the lie that says you can’t laugh in church. I believe that JOY entered the world when the stone was rolled away!
  • So, with that, I want to show you something. Every once in awhile I’ll walk by Matt and Dave’s office and they will just be laughing. You know, working for a church is awesome. It’s also ridiculously difficult. Sometimes, you have to laugh.
  • Sometimes, Matt will put my sermons on slow speed and they will just laugh and laugh and then they will call people into their office.

VIDEO: Drunk Jason

In the office, we call these drunk Jason videos. Now, I don’t even drink and we’re not making light of alcoholism. But, it’s pretty funny! Hahah.

  • I can remember so many times when people greeted me in the hallway and said, I never thought there would be a day when I stepped into Church, but here I am.
  • I can remember the time someone brand new to church was leaving theater one and he came up to me and he yelled…I LOVE THIS F’ing Church!
  • I can remember the hundreds of times I have seen one of our elders, David Stevens praying for people the green room.
  • I can remember the hundreds of times I have seen my dad and Bryan Huntoon, and Ethan Gage and Brian Hull and all the Road Crew folks unload trailers and set everything up.
  • I can remember the first time this place really started to fill up and Matt and I looked at each other and said…ONLY GOD.
  • I can remember the times when I’ve stood up and casted a big vision and I could see the ‘what is he talking about’ looks and then somehow, someway God shows up. Money is raised. Like we did in December of 2014. We raised 15k for our youth and kids. In March of 2015 we raised 14k for shoes. In April of 2016 we raised 24k for shoes and now, our biggest and most successful campaign ever has raised $41,000 for the move to CMU. If you still need GOD confirmation that He’s leading us that way, I’ll give 41000 reasons and soon, I BELIEVE, I will be able to give you 50,000.
  • I can remember the time we had a homeless guy out front and so many Thrivers talked to him and he told someone that he needed a watch and he was then offered 20!
  • I can remember hundreds of times when I walked down the hallway and I’ve prayed for all of our volunteers and begged God to bless them.
  • I can remember the first time we did baptisms in here and we baptized a student and all his friends were in the front couple of rows cheering!
  • And, today, we celebrate all that God has done here in this place.
  • The title of this message is: Why do we settle for less?
  • So often we do, right?
  • Except for things we really care about?
  • When it comes to food, some of us will send back the plate multiple times at the restaurant if the food isn’t just right. Which after working at restaurants for 6 years, I would strongly advise against that.
  • When it comes to our cars, some of us do not settle.
  • When it comes to our technology, some of us are Apple snobs.
  • But, sometimes, when it comes to our eternity or our walking with Jesus or our church, we settle for less.
  • We have to stop settling. We have to want more out of our walk with Jesus. We all should do everything we can to make our Church the BEST is can be. We all should reject the notion that’s it all about us and daily, do everything we can to make this place better for people who haven’t even come here yet.
  • So, do you settle?
  • Are you fine with…well, it’s good enough?
  • Well, I’m not. I want this Church, I want my relationship with Jesus to be the BEST it possibly can be.
  • I love what Mark Batterson said in his book…The Circle Maker. Which, chapter two is where I found some of the inspiration for this message! Mark says…

Slide # 2…‘God does not answer vague prayers’ ~Mark Batterson

  • Right in chapter two he says…Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less.
  • If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.
  • Why? Because they don’t require divine intervention. But ask God to part the Red Sea or make the sun stand still or float an iron ax head and God is moved to omnipotent action.
  • There is nothing God loves more than keeping promises, answering prayers, performing miracles and fulfilling dreams. That is who He is. That is what He does.
  • So, stop settling for less.
  • I hope you walk out of here this morning and remember…

Slide # 3…Big Idea: There is so much MORE LIFE available to you

  • Ok, let’s go to the OT part of the Bible for a minute, to the book of Duet.

Slide # 4…

And the Lord said, “Now get up and cross the Zered Valley.” So we crossed the valley.

~Duet. 2:13 (niv)

  • At this point, the Israelites (God’s chosen people) have been wandering the desert for 38 years. Why were they wandering? Because that generation of people didn’t trust in God and weren’t allowed to enter the promised land.
  • Moses lead them out of slavery in Egypt, and even though God did miracle after miracle, they just doubted. Even though God promised them, THEY SETTLED FOR LESS.
  • I mean, they started to miss slavery. That’s settling!
  • So, here they are and have been wandering for all these years.
  • And then finally God speaks and says…get up and cross the Zered Valley.
  • This was a huge moment because this was the start of the end of the wandering. The promise land was coming soon.
  • The crazy thing is though, they didn’t need a sea to be parted. They didn’t need food to fall from the sky like it had. They didn’t Moses to hit a rock for water.
  • God just says, cross this valley. Here’s the deal about the Zered Valley. It’s tiny. All they had to probably do is a little robe holding up to cross it.
  • And, the cool thing is, in the Hebrew, Zered Valley means Exuberant Growth.

Slide # 5…Zered Valley = Exuberant Growth

  • It got me thinking about how many times in my life I’ve settled for AS IS or the way it’s always been done and EXUBERANT GROWTH could have been right around the corner.
  • We don’t say that word exuberant very often.

STORY: Kai in the pool

  • I took Kai swimming the other day at SAC and he has this life vest and I’ve taught him to lay back and then I’ll spin in circles as fast as I can.
  • You should hear this little boy laugh. If I stop, in his words, he just asks me and asks me for more. So, I spin more. And, he’s experiencing JOY and I’m experiencing JOY and it’s amazing!
  • That’s what it’s like to experience EXUBERANT GROWTH.

Big Idea: There is so much MORE LIFE available to you

  • One more story from the Old Testament, from the book of Joshua.
  • Fast forward a little bit of time and now Joshua is in charge of the Israelites and they are marching toward the first city in the Promise Land, Jericho.
  • The first glimpse of Jericho was both awe inspiring and frightening.
  • They were in the wilderness for 40 years, they saw nothing like this city.
  • The closer they got, the smaller they felt. They finally understood why the generation before them felt like grasshoppers and failed to enter the Promised Land because of fear. Which, the interesting thing is, Moses originally sent in 12 spies and only two of them (Caleb and Joshua) had positive things to say. The rest were like, it’s too big, those people are giants.
  • Now, 40 years later, Joshua is leading the people and they are going to take this city.
  • The walls were 50 feet high and 6 feet thick and encircled the entire city. The mud brick walls were so thick and tall that the 12 acre city appeared to be an impregnable fortress.
  • Seemed like God had promised something impossible and His battle plan seemed nonsensical.
  • March your entire army around the city once a day for 6 days. On the 7th day, march around 7 times. Oh, and be quiet.
  • The first time around, the soldiers must have felt foolish.
  • With each circle, a holy confidence was building pressure inside their souls. By the 7th day, their faith was ready to pop. They arose before dawn and started circling at 6 o’clock in the morning.
  • At 3 miles per hour, each mile and a half march around the city took a half hour. By 9, they began their final lap.
  • In keeping with God’s command, they hadn’t said a word in 6 days. They just silently circled the promise.
  • They the priests sounded their horns, and a simultaneous shout followed. 600,000 Israelites raised a holy roar that registered on the Richter scale, and the walls came tumbling down.

Slide # 6…

When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. ~Josh 6:20 (niv)

  • After 7 days of circling Jericho, God delivered on a 400 year old promise.
  • He proved once again, that His promises don’t have expiration dates.
  • And Jericho stands, and falls, as a testament to this simple truth: If you keep circling the promise, God will ultimately deliver it.
  • Our prayers NEVER die.
  • Now, don’t confuse wimpy prayers with courageous, bold, praying with every ounce of your being kind of prayers!

Illustration: Prayers

  • My parents prayed for 20 years for my spouse. Tracie is an answer to prayer.
  • I have prayed for 17 years for Bekah’s future husband. I pray every day that he is a Jesus loving man who will keep his hands off her till they’re married!
  • I have prayed for 14 years for Bobby. When Bobby was born, a leader at my church told me she had a dream about Bobby. In her dream, she said she saw my dad teaching dozens of kids. Which, he was my youth pastor. She saw me teaching hundreds and she saw Bobby teaching thousands.
  • I have prayed for Zach for 12 years that God would heal him of his pku.
  • I have prayed for Madie for 9 years of the same thing.
  • From the moment we knew that Kai was our son, I have been praying the same thing.
  • I pray for God to use each of them for His kingdom at school and wherever they go.
  • So many people want the miracle RIGHT NOW. They want the ANSWER RIGHT NOW. But, like the miracle at Jericho, that promise took 400 years.
  • We’ve been praying for CMU for 2 years. Our Elders got together last May, after Easter and started praying for CMU.
  • So, what’s your Jericho? What promise are you waiting on?
  • How much MORE LIFE could you be living?
  • What kind of EXUBERANT GROWTH could you be experiencing?

Big Idea: There is so much MORE LIFE available to you

Slide # 7…Know exactly what you want God to do.

  • More than a 1000 years after the Jericho miracle, another miracle happened in the exact same place. Jesus is on His way out of Jericho when two blind men hail Him like a taxi. The disciples see this as in interruption. Jesus sees this as a divine appointment.

Slide # 8…Luke 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”

38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.

42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”

  • This guy KNEW exactly what he wanted Jesus to do.
  • Lord, I want to see.
  • What do you want to see Jesus do in your life?
  • Are you asking humbly?
  • Are you asking for something inside of God’s will?
  • Are you willing to put in the prayer time?

Know exactly what you want God to do.

Slide # 9…Each step requires your whole heart

Slide # 10…Duet. 6:4-9 (niv)

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

  • Does Jesus have your whole heart? Be honest!
  • What’s holding you back?
  • Someone said to me once, I want to experience the miracles you seem to experience. And, I have experienced GIANT miracles. The house I live in is a GIANT miracle. The 3 old little boy running around my house is a miracle. Both cars in my garage were given to us and are miracles.
  • I simply responded with…do you really want to experience miracles. Because sometimes much pain comes along in the process of experiencing miracles.
  • We almost lost Kai in November because we were $8000 behind to our Adoption Agency. I stayed up all night and paced my house. I cried to God. I shouted to God. I begged God. I sang to God. I got on my knees. I raised my hands to God. I walked silently. I quoted scripture for hours that night. I finally fell asleep and knew that the next day I might have to tell Tracie we lost Kai.
  • Then, God sent a miracle to us in the form of our friend, Lindsey. She had this idea for a puzzle and she paid for it. And people could sponsor pieces. By the end of the week, we raised the 8k and we could keep Kai!
  • When we started this Church, I was traveling as a speaker. In 2012, my adjusted gross income was something like 9500 for the year! Someone God got us through. As my speaking began to grow in 2013, we were able to save some money. But, when we started this church, we needed a lot of money. So, Tracie and I gave everything we had. And, that included our retirement account. Not too long after that, 4 Detroit area churches gave Thrive 75k to get off the ground. A miracle!
  • Even last week, I prayed for one of those, oh my goodness God, will you help us out here kind of miracles. To be super crazy honest, we knew it would be a lot to adjust financially after Kai, but wow. And, don’t get me wrong, I feel so blessed at what the church pays, but with 5 kids and 3 with PKU, it’s a lot. But, many years ago, my plan would of been to stop giving or drastically decrease what we gave to God through this church. But, the miracles I have experienced since Tracie and I made tithing a priority is unreal. And, for us, we believe the starting point to tithing is 10% of our income before taxes. Then we sponsor 5 kids through Compassion and whatever is left, we give to a few organizations that are close to our hearts. Adoption and PKU and Church Planting are close to our hearts.
  • But, the last couple of weeks, we were hit with a few, ‘didn’t see those’ coming bills? You know the kind?
  • So, Friday morning, I’m at the SAC swimming and praying for help. Then, I do a prayer walk around Warriner. 7 times. Each time around I just keep getting a deeper peace.
  • I come to the Hub to pick something up and I stop at the mailbox. Inside it is an envelope to me from a couple that I’m performing a wedding for next month. In it is 3, 100 gift cards!
  • This is after my parents bought my PKU 175 dollars worth of PKU food!
  • I lost it! I sat in my car and cried like a baby! I just thanked God!
  • Does God have your whole heart? Do you lock Him out of parts? Have you only given Him a little bit?

Know exactly what you want God to do.

Each step requires your whole heart

Slide # 11…Spell out your Jericho

Slide # 12…‘Don’t just read the Bible. Start circling the promises. Don’t just make a wish. Write down a list of God-glorifying life goals. Don’t just pray. Keep a prayer journal. Define your dream. Spell your miracle.

Slide # 13…Well-developed faith results in well-defined prayers, and well-defined prayers result in a well-lived life ~Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker)

Big Idea: There is so much MORE LIFE available to you


  • It’s time to circle your promises! It’s time to start praying well defined prayers.
  • It’s time to start experiencing the LIFE that God has for you.
  • These are my journals for when I started praying about starting this Church! Maybe it’s time for you try something new if you’re not experiencing the LIFE that God has for you!



You were handed a circle at the beginning of this message.

Today is the day to start writing down some of these prayers.

On one side, write down personal prayers you have for your future.

Mine includes Physical Health and Financial Blessing. Our family has also been praying for a larger vehicle. And, I’m asking God that my kids would still be passionate about Him and the Church after they graduate from high school!

The other side is for our Church! Write down how you want God to use you. Or what you would like to see God do.

I’m writing down fill Plachta. I’m writing down for us to do 5 Schools in a year for the shoe project. I’m writing down a Big Rapids and Midland Campus for Thrive. I’m writing down a budget that fits our vision. I’m writing down 1200 Seats sponsored for the SAVE A SEAT Campaign.

Before I ask some folks to come up and pray for our next chapter at CMU. I just wanted to remind you why Thrive exists!

Slide # 14…

Mission Statement  [what we’re called to do]

Thrive Church exists to help people find and follow Jesus.

We want to make this easy as possible.

Vision Statement  [Why we’re called to do it]

To create environments that people who are done with church and God will find irresistible.

We want to be prepared for Guests. We want to be ready. We exist for people who don’t yet know Jesus as their Savior. That means those of us who buy into this vision, we’ve decided that Church isn’t about me.

That’s why we go out of our way to use whatever tools we can to reach people. That’s why the music rocks. That’s why we use clips from movies. That’s why we dress like comfortable people.

Slide # 15…DNA  [This is what drives our vision?]


  • Lost people matter to God.
  • Create irresistible environments.
  • Make bold moves.
  • Teach for life change.
  • Intentionally develop leaders.
  • Unleash a culture of generosity.
  • Circles are better than rows.


Slide # 16…What every Thriver can do…

[Show Up, Jump In, Do Good] Graphic

I’m challenging and asking you to Lean in to our church like you’ve never have before. If you’re at 50% come up to 100%.

For our Next Chapter to be as successful as possible. We will need more than 25% of us carrying the load.

It’s time for you and I to experience MORE LIFE and stop settling for LESS!