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.

SHOW UP

  • 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.

JUMP IN

  • 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.

DO GOOD

  • 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.

NEXT GEN

  • 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

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A Giant Family Experience + Thrive is serving Central Michigan = A Special Day ahead!

Today at Thrive is going to be…

Different, Exciting, Awesome, Encouraging and Fun

We’re changing things up a bit. Because of a scheduling issue, we could only rent Finch Fieldhouse on the campus of CMU. So, we decided to turn today into a giant

…FAMILY EXPERIENCE!

Yup, our entire Church family is gathering together under one roof and we’re going to be together! Same experience times, 930 and 11am.

Half of Finch will be set up with 5 Giant Inflatables! The other half will be set up for worship experience! Thrive Kids will only be going for kids from 0-2 years! All the ages will be sitting together! It’s going to be AWESOME!

THEN…

if that wasn’t enough, we’re going to head out after each experience and serve our CITY!

#ForCentralMichigan

So, wear your #forcentralmichigan shirts. Throw a rake or shovel in your car. Then, after each experience, head to one of the sites and let’s serve!!!!

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Sermon Notes: How to Wreck Your Life. Week Five. Live like an Original Masterpiece!

Message Notes    |     |

Slide # 1…Series Graphic

    • Good Morning Thrive Church! How are we doing on this beautiful Sunday?
    • If this is your first time with us at Thrive, thank you so much for being here this Sunday! Our 2nd Sunday at CMU!! Please make sure you either grab a VIP card from your Section Leader (Section Leaders please stand) or just head to the VIP room just after the experience. It’s just left when you walk out of either door and we would love to give you a free gift.
    • OK, before we head into the message and the final week of ‘How to wreck your life’, I have something to share with you.
    • As you know, this is a Church that exists for people who have given up on God and Church. That’s why we work hard to NOT be all that CHURCHY! We try to talk like REAL people. We dress comfortably. You have no idea how people stay away from church because they have nothing nice to wear. We like loud music. We like to laugh.
    • We also incorporate stuff from our culture in our experiences. Many churches and christians try to shield themselves from everything and that’s just not us. We care deeply about people finding and following Jesus, not a list of rules and stuff that doesn’t matter.

 

  • And, we CARE DEEPLY as a Church for Kids and Students. We want them to get our best. Not our scraps. This is where so many Churches screw up. If you walk around the kids areas, they are not great. Many churches don’t want kids running around.

 

    • Again, not us. Our kids and students are not second rate Thrivers. They’re not Thrivers of the future. They are thrivers of today.
    • Honestly, that’s the primary reason why we moved to CMU and did the SAVE A SEAT campaign. To create the BEST environment for kids we possibly could.
    • My own 9 year old was so skeptical about the move. She was in tears one night about missing the old place. I just kept saying, just wait. Well, after last Sunday she doesn’t even remember we met in a theater! Hah
    • But, one of our DNA statements to create ‘IRRESISTIBLE ENVIRONMENTS’. That’s why our banners look amazing. And the store is amazing. And why there’s music playing when you walk in. that’s what there are section leaders and a vip room and the store.
    • Last week I was talking with Jacob, Thrive’s College Director and the director of Chi Alpha and I said, hey, you’re a great deal guy, find us a used inflatable for our kids. I mean, we have a ton of room now!
    • On Saturday I get a call. He’s found a package of 9 inflatables. Way too much money but they were so awesome! I started to pray. We started to put our heads together.
    • Sunday morning he stopped me at the door, what are going to do. Then, he showed me the photo’s of all them! I was like…OH MY GOODNESS.
    • So, I started to have some conversations and one thing lead to another and…

 

  • Thrive Church Now Owns 9 Giant Inflatable Games!!!

 

Pictures of Inflatables

    • Check these out: A bounce House, a Giant Slide, a Jacob’s ladder, a 25 foot tall climbing mountain, a velcro wall, a bungee run, a slam and jam, a 32 foot long dual lane slip and slide, and a Zorb Balls track
    • It’s pretty unbelievable!
    • We won’t have these all set up every Sunday, it takes an army to move them! But, we will, when we have a new team of inflatable help, we will set up a few for kids each week! So, EASTER is going to rock!
    • And, just think of the possibilities to use these for the Kingdom.
    • We want to approach schools and offer them for Back to School Nights….for free.
    • We’re dreaming of renting Finch out for Halloween Night and doing a Giant Halloween party for the community. Kids from 6-8, with all all 9 inflatables and pick up trucks for tailgate party, then college kids from 8-10!
    • Dad FEST this year is GOING TO ROCK! We’ll have all 9 set up! Baptism and BBQ will have all 9 set up!
    • We approached Community Church awhile ago and asked if they would allow us to store our trailers in their lot and they said yes from April to October. So, as a thank you, we’re going to offer some inflatables for their big VBS.
    • And, then, I’m having our financial team and our staff look into renting them out. And, anything we make would be split between Chi Alpha, Thrive’s College Ministry and then either Thrive Kidz or One Youth trips, or the Shoe Project or the Church we want to plant in Ecuador!
    • And again, these are going to be used to ATTRACT people to Thrive Church, to you and I and ultimately to JESUS!!!!!

 

  • ISN’T God incredible!!!

 

  • I thought we could pray and thank God and let’s thank Him for the Save a Seat Campaign.
  • As of right now, $46019 has been given to help make this move. That means, all we have left is $3981. What I love about this campaign, is that it’s rooted in our future!
  • Here’s the thing, CMU is not our forever home. Someday, Thrive will have a 24/7 building, that will be open 7 days a week. It will be a community center. It will have a giant play area for young kids, it will have spaces for tutoring, it will have a care center to help people who are struggling. And, oh yeah, it will be our Church.
  • But, this move right now, will help us grow to be the size of a church that can begin saving and preparing for that.
  • For now, we’re here at CMU and it’s AWESOME!
  • If you want to help us reach our goal, and invest in our future, please give. We’re going to close this campaign up soon and we would like to hit our goal!!

PRAYER of THANKS!!

  • This series has been great! If you want to wreck your life, be afraid of Failure. Be afraid to take the steps that God is calling you to take. Don’t forgive. Live with the bitterness and anger that unforgiveness causes. Settle for less. Keep living on a percentage of the amazing life that Jesus has promised you and then last week, we talked about making it all about you.
  • If you’re social media is filled with constant images of yourself, you’re on your way to making it all about you.
  • And today we finish with a look at Comparison.
  • If you really want to Wreck Your Life, constantly compare your life to others. Because, what will happen, is that Envy and Jealousy will start to take over. They are Comparison’s best friends!
  • I love what Teddy Roosevelt said about Comparison…

Slide # 2…‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ ~Theodore Roosevelt

  • How do you know if Comparison is taking over?
  • Well, do you keep track of all the new stuff your friends get? Do you notice if they wear new clothes? Do you add up how much all that stuff costs?
  • Do you constantly look at your car, or your house, or your life and get upset they’re all not as nice as your friends.
  • Nothing is never good enough for you. A few of us, we’ve already compared the movie theater seats with these seats. Now, these aren’t as awesome! But, a little sacrifice on our behinds is a huge benefit for our entire church.
  • Do you wake up with facebook, eat lunch with facebook and go to bed with facebook? If you do, the Comparison monster is going to get you!
  • I love facebook! I think it’s a great tool for the Kingdom!
  • But, U of M did a study a few years about a very real disease called…’Fear I’m Missing Out’. It’s true and it’s real.
  • Now, all Comparing isn’t bad. It’s how we learn as a kid.
  • But, when our ego gets involved, and if our ego wants to be puffed up and we want to feel better about ourselves than someone else, this is where Comparision gets bad!
  • We compare our cars, our stuff, our toys, our bodies, our TV’s and the list goes on and on.
  • A little mass confession, anybody ever struggle with Comparison?
  • This actually goes way, way back and runs all the way through the Bible, it’s the second sin in the Bible. We’re going to look comparing myself to other people is such a miserable, toxic, anti-kingdom way to live.
  • We see this in the Bible in Gen. 4 with Cain and Abel. They each brought an offering to God and God looked with favor on Abel’s offering and not Cain’s.
  • God loves it when we make giving and generosity a priority. So he teaches his people to not give the leftovers, but the first fruit of the harvest or the firstborn of the flock. Abel makes generosity a priority. Abel does that. Cain doesn’t.
  • He just brings some. The implication is he’s doing it out of obligation or with a grudging heart or because he thinks he has to. Abel experiences what generosity does in a heart. He trusts God and he loves God and he’s living in the reality of God’s favor and dependence on God, and God loves that.
  • God loves generosity. God is a generous God. Cain shuts himself off from that. Cain sees this joy in Abel, and it grates on him. It’s so interesting. Cain gets angry not at himself. He didn’t say, “Come on, Cain! You could do better.” Not even at God. He gets mad at his brother Abel. He thinks, “If Abel wasn’t around, I wouldn’t be feeling this pain.”
  • There’s comparison at the very beginning of the Bible. It’s so interesting. Cain ends up killing his brother. Comparison and Envy were a part of the first murder in the Bible!
  • So, how do you fight the Comparison Monster and his friends, Envy or Jealousy in your life? How do we stop them from taking over?
  • Here’s how…

Slide # 3…Live like you’re an Original Masterpiece

  • We Compare ourselves to others because some time, sometimes we just can’t believe that we’re an Original Masterpiece.
  • We just doubt the amazing, incredible, never ending love that God has for his children!
  • I love how Peter words what we mean to God in 1 Peter 2:9-10

Slide # 4…1 Peter 2:9-10

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. ~1 Peter 2:9-10

  • We have WORTH because of what God does, not for what we do! Our value doesn’t come from our success and what we can achieve. It comes from Jesus.
  • Live like you’re an Original Masterpiece
  • To be an Original Master Piece means that…

Slide # 4…You are part of a CHOSEN people

  • 1 Peter says…But you are the ones chosen by God
  • You may have been left off a team or not picked for dodgeball, or passed over for a job promotion, but the God of the Universe Choose You!
  • I tell my kids all the time, if all the Madie’s were lined up and I had to pick one to be my daughter, I would pick you EVERY SINGLE TIME!
  • You are CHOSEN!

Slide # 5…Psalm 139:13-16 (the message)

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;

   you formed me in my mother’s womb.

I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!

   Body and soul, I am marvelously made!

   I worship in adoration—what a creation!

You know me inside and out,

   you know every bone in my body;

You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,

   how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;

   all the stages of my life were spread out before you,

The days of my life all prepared

   before I’d even lived one day.

You are CHOSEN!

Big Idea: Live like you’re an Original Masterpiece

Slide # 6…You are Part of a Royal Priesthood

Slide # 7…’chosen for the high calling of priestly work’

  • Why do we waste so much time not doing God’s worl?
  • God has given each of us gifts to be used for His Kingdom. And, here’s the thing, you don’t need an MBA to use these gifts!
  • You can start today!
  • You can help tear down Thrive Kidz. You can greet people when they come in. You can get here at 7am and help. You can pray with people. You can host a small group. You can sit with kids and model worship. You can serve at your kids school.
  • There is this old thought out there, that only Priests or Pastors can do the God stuff. Like pray for people.
  • That’s just not the case. At Thrive, if you are in a small group and get sick, that group should be praying for you. Helping your family with meals.
  • Here’s another encouragement…

Slide # 8…2 Cor. 5:19-20 (the message)

God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

  • You don’t have to have all the answers, just be Jesus. LOVE. Be KIND.
  • Defeat the monster of Comparison by

Living like you’re an Original Masterpiece

You are CHOSEN!

You are Part of a Royal Priesthood

Slide # 9…You are Part of a Holy Nation

Slide # 10…’to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted’

  • When you became a follower of Jesus, an incredible change took place in your life. God has called you out of the darkness and into His light.
  • We can now call God our FATHER and we are now a part of the Body of Christ.
  • And, the CHURCH, is our community!
  • That’s why BAPTISM is so important. On Sunday, April 23rd, we’re going to do BAPTISMS right here! Baptism is a way for you to go public with your faith.
  • Here’s what a Thriver, Colette, said about her baptism at Thrive…

I was baptized Catholic and then later confirmed at the age of 12.  I didn’t really come to know Jesus until I was an adult.  And for a long time I didn’t really feel a need to get re-baptized.  Until I did.  And then this amazing church full of amazing people arrived in my life and I really started to wonder if maybe I needed to make that choice for myself as an adult.

I was one of the “original” baptizees (is that a thing? :)) at Lake Isabella. For me, the biggest thing I was saying to Jesus (and everyone else) was “I’m ready.” I had held onto the “new Christian” identity for a lot longer than was probably necessary.  And so my baptism was me finally being ready to take responsibility for my faith, to say, “this is what I believe, and I’m ready for you to know that and I am ready to act it out.”

I’m by no means perfect (thank goodness, or I wouldn’t be allowed at Thrive! haha!!) but I clung to that “new,” identity in order to keep myself from really stepping out into full leadership.  

My baptism was awesome, for the reasons above.  But also because one of my best friends was the one asking me if I was ready to declare myself a believer.  And I was.  

  • We’re encouraged in scripture that after we confess of our sins and repent, we should be baptized.
  • Going under represents how Jesus died and was buried and coming out of the water represents how Jesus rose again from the dead.
  • It represents how our old life is gone and we now have a new life.
  • If you have never been baptized on your own. People ask me all the time, I was baptized as a baby, do I need to get re-baptized.
  • I really don’t see it as a re baptism. The tradition of infant baptism, seems to me, is for the parents and the tradition.
  • Being immersed is for each Jesus follower on their own to DECLARE that you are a child of God.
  • So, you don’t have to be perfect or in the exact spot you want to be in, you need to have Confessed your sins, asked for forgiveness and given your life to Jesus.
  • And, we will celebrate with you on April 23rd! You will get a MADE NEW T Shirt and this place will erupt with celebration as you come out of the water!
  • You can sign up on our website under baptism or head to the info table and they can get you signed up!

Big Idea: Live like you’re an Original Masterpiece

You are CHOSEN!

You are Part of a Royal Priesthood

You are Part of a Holy Nation

AND FINALLY

Slide # 11…You are a People Belonging to God

  • You are not a possession, but a priceless treasure to God!
  • That means He is willing to pay any price for you. He has a passion to care for you. He places GREAT value in you. He Honors you and gives you a special place.
  • So, let’s stop with the Comparison GAME!

STORY: Jason Struggles Comparing

  • I struggle hard with comparing!
  • As a Pastor, I struggle. I see seemingly super pastors on facebook who look amazing and preach like rock stars and I compare.
  • I read stories from other churches and I compare. Church Plants that are our age and stage.
  • Like, my buddy Brandon. His Church, Rise City in San Diego, launched the same weekend. Last year, they had a local church give them their 4 million dollar building. They raised $132,000 on Christmas Eve to just give away. They’ve already sent out two church plants.
  • I FOUGHT THE COMPARISON AND ENVY MONSTER BIG TIME!
  • Then, I was leading a webinar of church planters and I was sharing the story of Thrive and they all were like, HOLY COW!
  • I remembered, we’re Thrive Church! God is doing a HUGE work here in this area and I can’t compare what God is doing in a much different area.
  • I now, as soon as the comparison thoughts creep in, I try to just Celebrate as quick as I can!

Slide # 12…Live like you’re an Original Masterpiece

  • Let me leave you with one last scripture…

Slide # 13…

Galatians 1:10…Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (niv)

Next Sunday is EASTER.

Please PRAY. I really believe this room could be packed next week! And, not because its cool to have a lot of people, which it is and there is so much momentum.

But, imagine hearing all those voices sing!

You just can’t tell me that someday this room won’t be absolutely filled!

Imagine hearing 1250 sing songs to Jesus in this room!

Imagine a church of 1250 people spreading out all over Central Michigan as a movement!
Live like you’re an Original Masterpiece

Can 7 Sunday’s really be all that important? The next 7 at Thrive are just that…

 

Sunday is coming! I am extremely EXCITED about this Sunday! Why?

It’s Thrive’s last Sunday at the theater!

I have been praying for this day for over 2 years and I can’t wait! Don’t get me wrong, I will miss the theater! I am sad!

But, I am more EXCITED and EXPECTANT and EAGER than I am sad!!

 

Save a Seat Campaign

Have you had a chance to save a seat? If not, there are still seats to sponsor!! Right now **986**seats have been sponsored! That still leaves a few hundred that need to be sponsored!!

If you want to help, THANK YOU! Just head to http://www.thrivechurchmi.cc/give and select CMU fund. Or text, 84321, the amount and CMU!!

****THE NEXT 7 SUNDAYS****

I can’t even begin to explain how important the next 7 weeks are for Thrive Church! I know we’re all busy. But, I’m asking you to consider making these weeks a huge priority, here’s why.

March 26th…Our Last Sunday at Celebration Cinema! Let’s CELEBRATE together! Popcorn, Memories, the most IMPORTANT message ever, Communion, a time of prayer and the band has been putting in extra work on some very special songs.

April 2nd…First Sunday at CMU. 930 and 11am.

April 9th…Palm Sunday. A GIANT Sunday!

April 16th…EASTER SUNDAY [Look Again]. The super bowl of all Sundays.

April 23rd…BAPTISM Sunday at CMU!! Our first ever baptism on the stage at CMU. If you have never been baptized through immersion, please check out this link. http://thrivechurchmi.cc/baptism/

April 30th…The Church has Left the Building! We are not meeting for our experiences, but we will meet at CMU and then spread out all over the area and serve!

As you can tell, wow, this is our MOST IMPORTANT SEASON ever as a Church!!

Thank you for Stepping UP! For Showing UP, for Jumping In and for Doing Good!

 

Sermon Notes: How to Wreck Your Life. Week One. ‘Be afraid to Fail’.

Good Morning Thrive Church! How are we doing this morning?17038628_10158473396200235_138093799698539258_o

  • Who has ever FAILED at something?
  • Who has ever felt like a FAILURE?
  • Well, if you answered YES to either question, you’re in the right place.
  • Today, we look at a way to utterly and positively WRECK YOUR LIFE.

But, here’s the reality, there are a ton of ways we can WRECK OUR LIVES! The decision is all ours.

Make poor decisions, and you will begin to wreck your life.

  • Kind of a downer, right?? But, I can’t even begin to count how many conversations I’ve had over the last 20 years with people who feel like they can’t move forward with life because of failures.
  • Failures with relationships, or jobs, or finances. People get stuck and when Life brings disappointments, we sometimes feel like we can’t move forward.

Olympics

  • Crazy thing about success and failure. 90% of the world’s best athletes never win a medal at the Olympics!?! And so often, the Silver medalists feel like failures because they were so close to Gold!
  • But, so many of us though, have been stunted from life. We just refuse to try new things or move forward because of how bad life has hurt us. The sting of failure keeps us away from trying!

Failure is Everywhere

  • Failure is everywhere, right? Work has not become what we had hoped. Things do not turn out as were led to believe. Marriages that began in hope, end in tears. Our kids are a constant concern and then they make horrible decisions.
  • Friendships are betrayed. Prayers do not seem to be answered.
  • Some of us are really struggling because we thought we would be farther in life. Thought we would be married.
  • Then, even sometimes, the things we do manage to achieve often disappoint us.

Winston Churchill said…

  • Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
  • Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.
  • The sense of failure is never far from the surface.  

Thrive STORY

  • Story about person telling me that Thrive would never make it with me as pastor.

 

How to Wreck your life? Be Afraid to Fail

Failure is a bruise not a tattoo

Big Idea: Failure does not shape you; the way you respond to failure shapes you

You are not defined by your worst day!

  • What you attempted may have failed, but you are not a failure in God’s eyes.
  • See, here’s the story of God, he’s in the redemption business! He is in the reconciling business.
  • God’s plan involved saving His people from the beginning. He created them perfect and gave them the most amazing life. They had one rule, just don’t eat from the tree. They had everything. They choose to break the rule and sin entered the world.
  • They were immediately banned from his presence. They knew they were sinful. They were embarrassed because of their nakedness. They had to work. Pain entered the world. Sickness entered the world.
  • They failed!
  • But, God is in the REDEMPTION business.
  • Paul wrote about it in Romans 5:8, and this is a verse we should all have memorized and thank God for everyday.
  • ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’!

  • Sin blocks us from having a personal relationship with Jesus and that’s bad news because we cannot gain access to God or be close to him because He is Holy!
  • But, God’s plan is amazing. He sent Jesus, for us. To die for us. To take our sin and to pay the penalty of it with his life, on the cross! For each of us!
  • And, when we acknowledge and repent of our sin, we confess it. God, I’m sorry. I ask for your forgiveness. I give you my life. I surrender my heart to you. We become followers of Jesus! Children of God. Friends of Jesus. And, we gain entrance to the Kingdom of God. Both on earth and in heaven after we breath our last breath!

Big Idea: Failure does not shape you; the way you respond to failure shapes you

  • Actually, this is illustrated and lived out for us in an amazing way in Luke 22 with the story of Peter.
  • Real Quick, let me catch you up on Peter. Son of John, had a brother named Andrew (also an apostle). We first meet him at Simon Peter. Jesus was teaching and he hopped in his boat and afterward they go fishing. Jesus tells them what to do and they caught a HUGE load. They followed Him.
  • Jesus’ first words (when he started his ministry) were to him, ‘Come, follow me’. His last words were ‘You must follow me”.
  • One of Jesus’ 12. We looked at Peter last week. This is the guy who took the step out of the boat! This is also the guy who tried to defend Jesus and pulled a sword and cut off an ear! 
  • Huge Failure. Crucified under Emperor Nero upside down because he didn’t think he was worthy enough to be crucified the same way as Jesus.
  • He’s guy who stumbled a ton, but he kept following Jesus.
  • He was a fisherman. His name was Simon, and Jesus renamed him to PETER which means…ROCK.
  • He didn’t always live up to his name, but Jesus was looking for models, he was looking for real people.
  • He kind of became the leader of Jesus’ disciples and he was a part of the inner three with James and John.
  • He was brash, he spoke without thinking, impulsive.
  • But, we learn from Peter, you can’t be defined by your worst day

LUKE 22:55-62

54 Then seizing him, [that’s Jesus, Judas had just betrayed him] they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. [One time] 58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”“Man, I am not!” Peter replied. [Two times] 59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.  [Three times] The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Big Idea: Failure does not shape you; the way you respond to failure shapes you

  • Even Peter Failed! But, you don’t have to be afraid to fail.
  • That fear of failure will paralyze you!

 

  • I’ve failed plenty in my life! Oh my gosh, I’m like the poster child for failure! But, I’ve learned that we can find great beauty in the pain of failure!
  • You are not defined by your worst day! Failure is not final! You can overcome it. You can get victory over it. you can heal up from it.
  • So, if you’re going to NOT be defined by your worst day, understand a few ideas.

ONE…Recognize that everyone fails.

  • Nobody is perfect and everyone fails.
  • We all face defeat and realize that just because you fail at one thing, it does not make you a flure.
  • Even Peter, who was absolutely confident of loyalty and strength, even that guy failed!
  • Peter failed to keep his promise. He failed his loyalty to Jesus.
  • Just like us, right? We have the best of intentions. We start out well. We have the best of intentions.
  • Just remember…

NOBODY IS PERFECT!

  • I love what Thomas Edison said about this.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ~THOMAS ALVA EDISON

TWO…God’s love and forgiveness is not dependent on your success.

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” ~Luke 22:61 (niv)

  • For me, the first 10 years of my ministry career was all about success! Having a ton of kids at events, speaking at different events and then it all came crashing down!
  • A bunch of years ago, I started a book called ‘A field, a pedestal and a shattered heart. Because it was in a field, where I was knocked off my pedestal and my heart was shattered into a million pieces.
  • Sometimes its just when you’re at lowest point, that’s when you can figure out that you are not defined by your worst day.
  • And, for so many people, there trying to earn God’s love and forgiveness by doing stuff for Him.
  • They make their relationship a check list. Now, yes, we’re called to love and serve others. But, when it becomes a show and you do it for the acclaim, and to brush up your chosen trophy, that’s when God turns away.

‘The LORD turned and LOOKED straight at Peter’

  • Verse 61 is powerful. ‘The Lord turned and looked at Peter. IN the original language of the NT, Greek, it’s defined like an intense look.
  • We all know intense looks. Our moms, our wives can save a lot with their looks.
  • We can also say a lot to our kids with our looks.
  • What kind of look did Jesus give Peter. A look of joy, sadness, compassion or understanding?
  • This was a turning point in Peter’s life though.

THREE…You have to Grow and Learn from your failures.

  • Take advantage of your failure, don’t waste it. Learn all you can from it, every bitter experience can teach us something!
  • And, know this, God is very interested in how you respond to failure.
  • What you call failure, God may call a window of opportunity for learning. In times of failure:
  • You may be given a new opportunity
  • A new open door
  • Chance to move out of your comfort zone
  • Respond in love
  • Verse 62 says that Peter wept bitterly.

‘And he went outside and wept bitterly’

  • That means great remorse.
  • Sometimes we screw up. We make horrifically awful decisions.
    • Getting wasted.
    • Losing a job because of lying or stealing.
    • Getting romantically involved with someone who is not a follower of Jesus. Then, if it doesn’t work out or your faith is always a matter of contention, you wonder why?
    • Failing with finances and you wonder why?
  • See remorse is not enough, Paul says in 2 Cor. 7:10, ‘For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation’

 

  • Lastly…

FOUR…Move on!

  • Have you learned? Are you ready to focus your life more on Jesus? Are you ready to give him the bad habits that got you there?
  • Then, move on!
  • I love the verse of the week, this week…

‘for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again’ ~Proverbs 24:16

Big Idea: Failure does not shape you; the way you respond to failure shapes you

A New Chapter for Thrive Church + #SaveaSeat Campaign = The Best is Yet to Come

 

Thrive Church is 175 weeks old! It’s been an amazing 3.5 years! Lives have been changed! Marriages have been encouraged and healed! People have found community! And…people have found Jesus and follow Him!! Through it all…God has been so faithful! 

As I look back on 2016, I just scratch my head when I think about all the ONLY GOD moments! You can check out our annual report HERE.

In fact, He has sent the most amazing people to be a part of this church! I am in awe most days when I think about the staff He’s assembled, the leadership team and the body of people who call Thrive home! Just amazing!

A New Chapter for Thrive Church! 

Very soon, we will start a new chapter. For the Church that started in a bar and then moved to a movie theater, we will move soon to the campus of Central Michigan University. WE ARE SO EXCITED!!

This is a total God thing! It’s an ONLY GOD moment and I’m so excited for this new chapter!

Why are we moving?

Simple. We have outgrown our space. Our current Sunday morning location is great and its been awesome! But, our kids ministry has suffered from a lack of space. Plus, our new location will position us in an amazing facility for both kids and adults and its in a great part of town! And we’re praying that God opens up doors for us to reach College students like never before!

So, how can we get there?

#SaveaSeat Campaign

We’re asking people to sponsor seats to change lives!! If we can get enough seats sponsored, we will be able to purchase the equipment we need to turn CMU into Thrive Church on Sundays!!

There are 1200 seats and we’re praying that we can each one sponsored at $40!!

We primarily need to create an amazing environment for our Kids Ministry! Here is a portion of what we need:

 

  • (4) Carts of Portable Kids Ministry Walls (Brand new, these are $8000). We’re praying we can get them donated or fine used ones.
  • (150 feet) of Pipe and Drape
  • (4) Portable TV Cases for Thrive Kidz and the TV’s to go in them.
  • (2) Giant rolls of carpet
  • Bean Bag chairs, toys, slides, little kids tables and chairs
  • (2) Powered speakers
  • (3) Laptops and Label Printers
  • New Signage for Campus for Thrive Kidz and Thrive Church
  • Dream items: Octoball ring, 9 Square in the air, bouncy inflatable

 

It’s super easy to sponsor a seat. Just text 84321, the amount and CMU. Or you can give online, just check the CMU Fund or give at Thrive.

 

Don’t Miss our Ramp up to Move to CMU:

March 1…40 Day Prayer Campaign Begin (Praying for God to move in this new season at Thrive Church)
March 11…Worship & Prayer Night at the Hub. 6-730pm. We will corporately pray for our move, for Easter and for God to move.
March 12…NEW SERIES BEGINS: How to Wreck Your Life
March 25…24 PRAYER DAY. People will reserve half hour slots to pray on their own or at the Hub or CMU.
March 19-31…Hanging Door Hangers all over Central MI and CMU
March 31…Tentative Set Up and Tear Down Training Night for Road Crew/Thrive Kidz/Production (630-9pm)

April 2…Soft Launch at CMU [New Experience Times: 930am & 11]
April 16…EASTER!!!! (LOOK AGAIN)
April 23…New Series: #ForCentralMichigan (Loving where you live, serving where you live) & Baptism Sunday!!
April 30…THE CHURCH HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!! Serving local Schools!

These are awesome times Thrive Church! God is doing some incredible things!

Would you join with me and PRAY LIKE CRAZY FOR SEATS TO BE SPONSORED?

 

What does it take to be a part of Thrive?

I get this question pretty frequently.

Here’s the reality…what does it take to be a part of Thrive? Well, the answer is…

YOU.

It just takes you. You just have to Show Up and let God do the rest.

Thrive Church is a place for people who aren’t really all that interested in God or Church.thrive))church-no-perfect-allowed

  • It’s a place for people who have doubts to come and explore those doubts without being asked to sit in the ‘we’re gonna judge you’ seats.
  • It’s a place for people who are struggling.
  • It’s a place for people who want a different kind of a Church, a Church that’s simple, real and fun. It’s a place for families.
  • It’s a place for singles.
  • It’s a place for College Students.
  • It’s a pace for empty nesters.
  • It’s a place for people who have stalled out in their faith and are looking to experience Jesus in a new and powerful way.
  • It’s a place for fully devoted followers of Jesus who want to put their faith into action.
  • It’s a place where you can be prayed for.
  • It’s a place for people searching for more of Jesus.

So, what do you say? Why don’t you check out Thrive today. We gather on Sunday’s at 9 or 1015 at Celebration Cinema. Just wear whatever you’re comfortable in. Come about 10 minutes early and if you have kids, stop at the Thrive Kidz check in and they will help you.

What does it take to be a part of Thrive? Just you. Come today and be a part.