Thrive Church…Tomorrow is going to be Powerful. Plus (+) We have an Interim Director for One Youth! Woo Hoo!

Happy Saturday Thrive Church
 
I hope you’re doing well and enjoying this weather!!
 

You have to know 3 things…

 
1. We’re talking about how to Recalibrate Your Life tomorrow. Maybe you’ve been out of whack. Feeling like something is missing. Feeling like you’re ‘off’ with God? We’re diving into this passage…
2. Please check your mailbox or email inbox on Monday and Tuesday. I sent home a letter with some SUPER IMPORTANT UPDATES ON THE MOVE TO CMU!!!
 

Are you praying for that? Are you asking God to provide? Are you asking Him to open up the floodgates of heaven on our Church? Please do!

 
3. Jessica Herron is One Youth’s new Interim Director! WOOOOO HOOOOO!!!! Let me back up. One Youth has come a LONG way this way! We have record students involved, record adult volunteers, amazing worship and its been AMAZING on Sunday nights!
 
PAUSE: If your student isn’t involved, come on! Get them there!!
 
Ok, anyways, I have been leading the Church and leading One Youth. Which has worked. But, honestly, I need to raise up new leaders and Matt and I have been praying for One Youth’s next steps.
 
God laid Jess on my heart. She’s been at Thrive since the beginning. Her heart for our students in unreal. She helped start One Youth and honesty, it wouldn’t be here without her faithfulness!
 
Plus, I have personally seen her GROW a ton as a leader over the last 3 years. So, Matt and I took her to lunch and asked her to be the Interim Director and she said YES!!!
 
She is the Interim and she is volunteer staff. I have empowered her to LEAD. To make decisions. To be the point person.
 
So, PLEASE Congratulate her! Please THANK her!!!
 

2017 is already shaping up to be our BEST year yet as a Church!!!

 
The Best is yet to come!
Jason Raitz
 
PS…You coming tomorrow to Thrive? If not, why? If you’ve been away for a while and find it hard to come back, just take the step!

Meet Sam!! Thrive’s Newest Staff Member!! I am sooo EXCITED!

I pinch myself daily because I believe that God assembled an…

  • ABSOLUTELY
  • HUMBLE
  • HARD WORKING
  • FUN
  • CREATIVE
  • JESUS FOLLOWING 

Thrive Staff Team!!

I mean, I think I have a little experience in the matter! I have served at local churches for  22 years! In that time, I have worked and served with some amazing people. But, BUT and its a BIG but, I have never worked and served with such an amazing group of people!

They really are selfless. Many of them work crazy amounts of hours, way more than they’re paid for, to serve the people of Thrive Church. Many of them raise their financial support so they can be a part of the team. They just serve tirelessly and they do it to serve Jesus and others. No one has gotten a raise. No one is here to get rich. Any one of them would drop anything to see someone find and follow Jesus!

And now, God has increased our team! The Thrive staff team is made up of a few different positions. We have full time Pastors, we have part time paid staff, part time volunteer staff and then we have interns.

Meet Sam!! Our Thrive Kidz Creative Director! 

Sam is absolutely incredible! She’s been involved at Thrive for about a year and a half and

img_0141

Sam is second from the right. 

in that time has made an unbelievable difference! She’s humble, she’s hard working, she has an incredible attitude, she is a team player, she loves kids, she serves volunteers, she’s hungry to learn more, she’s a leader, she’s a very good communicator, she always brings so much life whenever she is a part of something, she is a difference maker and she loves Jesus!

She is really a spectacular woman!

So, when the opportunity arose for Sam and I to talk about her coming onto the Thrive staff team after she graduated from CMU, I jumped at it!

On May 16th, she’ll join the team full time! She’ll concentrate on creating irresistible environments for Thrive Kidz. Environments where kids can learn about Jesus in fun and exciting ways. She has already, in her team at Thrive, begun to build an amazing team of creative folks who pour into kids each Sunday at Thrive and that will just get better and better.

Sam is also raising 100% of her financial support for this position and she is stepping out in faith to do so! Yeah, its pretty amazing.

I wish. I dream. I know someday Thrive will be at the place where we can afford for our staff to not raise funds, but we’re just not there. For our size church, we should be. But, there are some variables working against us and we’re working hard to figure those out.

I am so excited! Our team is excited!

If you would like to help Sam raise support, you can give here. Just click on her name.

The Best is Yet to Come!

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.

Hey Thrive…10 Ways to make this Sunday Off the Charts AHMAZING!

 
OH MY GOODNESS…SUNDAY IS ALMOST HERE!!!!

10 Ways you can make Sunday off the charts AMAZING

1. PLEASE don’t miss this Sunday!! You know, there are 4-6 Sunday’s a year where we plan for longer, invest greater and pray bigger. This is one of those Sundays!! So many amazing things going on!
 
2. Take 5 minutes and send 3 facebook messages or texts to friends about coming this Sunday! Please share info about it on your page. Please like the Thrive Church MI Facebook stuff about this Sunday! Let’s spread the word!
 
3. Would you head to Stadia on facebook and like their post about this Sunday at Thrive? It’s awesome that Stadia believes in us.
 
4. Would you pray like crazy for this Sunday? Pray for 50 new volunteers, 50 new givers. Pray for kids lives to be freed from poverty!! Pray for people to find and follow Jesus! Pray for healing for broken people! img_4907
 
5. BE EARLY! Like 30 minutes early! Come on, please. Don’t miss the CMU Jazz band. Cheer for them and clap!
 
**Be in theater one 3 minutes before it starts!! Don’t miss all the hard work the band has put in on the opening song!
 
6. Come hungry. We’re grilling! 
 
7. Wear your favorite team’s jersey. Dress your kids like super heros.fullsizerender
 
8. Sit up front, and move to the center of aisles please 🙂 Make room for guests!! Clap, sing, cheer and laugh!!
 
9. If you knew how honored I feel and how special it is for Greg Nettle and his daughter, Tabitha to be coming, wow!! Greg is a mentor and friend and this leader is the real deal! Please don’t miss him!! Say hi! Stadia, the organization he leads has been so awesome to Thrive!!
 
10. Sponsor a child! Sponsor two! We can all sacrifice! $38 bucks is all it takes and you will FREE a life from poverty! LET’s DO THIS THRIVE!!!
Check out this link for more information!
 
I LOVE YOU! I’m proud of you!
 
Jason Raitz
 
PS…Some of you have asked about giving to help with the move to CMU! That’s awesome! If just 300 of us gave an extra $166, we would have all we need to make the environments amazing! You should have received some info in the mail about this, if not, let me know!

The CHURCH made Kai’s Adoption a Reality

How about that for a headline!?! 

That’s the reality though, without the local CHURCH, Kai’s adoption would not have happened. 

Tracie and I weren’t in a position to afford this adoption on our own. Maybe that should have stopped us from pursuing it. It has stopped many. A few people expressed that opinion to us. Well, not face to face but on Facebook and to others. But, as we prayed about it, we just felt God’s overwhelming push to move forward and to ask the CHURCH to help. So, we did. We did it on Facebook. We did it through emails. We did it on my blog. We did it Face to face. 

And…the CHURCH DID!!!! 

Here’s what I mean by that. Not one Church is responsible for Kai’s adoption or one person or one family, but MANY. 

We had 6 year olds give $5. We had teenagers give. We had families give $20. We had some who gave thousands. We had people give from Central Michigan, the Detroit Area, Grand Rapids and up north. From…PA, IND, VA, CA, CO, NV, TX, LA, NY, OH, IL, WI, WA, FL, TN, KY, DC and some I’m forgetting about. 

But, Kai’s adoption couldn’t have happened without every one of those gifts. 

And, how about this…

99% of the people that gave were followers of Jesus. 

You know why? Because generosity is close to the heart of God! I mean, HE Gave HIS Son for us! Jesus gave everything! The Acts 2 Church gave to support each other. We, as the Church, are called to give! I believe we’re called to give first to God through the Local Church and then to give as God leads us to give. 

I love what Todd Clark said about generosity…

‘Generosity will make you rich not poor’

I have found that to be 100% true in my life. Embarrassingly enough, I fought this for years. I didn’t give because I thought that because I made hardly anything working for the church and because I gave so much time to the Church, that that was the same as giving financially. I was wrong. Dead wrong. There is a very strong and compelling reason that Jesus said your treasure is where your heart is. He knew that we struggle like crazy to Trust Him and He wants our heart. If we can’t put our finances ahead of our heart, we won’t experience all He has for us. 

I can honestly say that is true. I have experienced that. When you make generosity so common in life, like breathing, and you do that over time, whether times are good or bad, one day…

You will wake up and experience a waterfall of the Holy Spirits presence in your life. I have. It’s amazing. 

THE CHURCH MADE KAI’S ADOPTION A REALITY! 

And, actual Churches made Kai’s adoption a reality. This just completely blows my mind! It’s still had to wrap my mind around!

3 Churches, who really don’t know my family or I all that well (I mean, I have a friendship with their Pastors) took offerings to help us! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?? So, we will always be in awe and so grateful to 242 Community Church in MI, New Bethel Church in IN and Canvas Church in VA. 

Then, Thrive Church in CA, who knows more of me and my Church because we’re in the same network of Churches, received an offering as well. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

Also, the night before we left, I asked some folks from my Church to gather and pray for us. And they did! And, they threw us a surprise shower to help with Kai’s clothes and toys and toddler stuff! 

THE CHURCH IS AWESOME!!!

The Church is responsible for this adoption. Of all the complaining and whining I read about the CHURCH, I’m sorry if I can’t join in! I love the LOCAL CHURCH! She is the bride of Christ. The local Church, when working right, is the Hope of the World. The Church preaches the Gospel. The Church gives people a home. The Church allows the generations to come together. The Church is a movement! The Church is the hands and feet of Jesus! The Church is the LIGHT to this dark world. 

That’s why it just shocks me that Christians have become so apatathic towards their Churches. But, that’s for another blog post. 

Here’s what I know…

A boy who didn’t have a family, now has one. A boy who didn’t have a Church home, now has one. A boy who wasn’t going recieve the level of medical care his PKU needed, will receive one. A boy who slep in a crip with 12 other kids, will now have 4 siblings. A boy on the other side of the world, one of the 17 million orphans in the world, now has a home. 

The Church did that! 

I love the Church. 

‘Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you’ ~ James 1:27

The Night Before we leave for China

Tonight was absolutely AMAZING! I asked my Church to pray for my family and they did!

So humbling!

Our adoption journey has been amazing! It’s been stressful! It’s been incredible!  It’s been anxiety filled! It’s been up and its been down! It’s been miracle after miracle! It’s been amazing to see God work and move!

I’ve had sleepless nights. I’ve had nights where I walked around our house late at night just begging God to move so we could provide a home for Winona or Kai. I’ve had nights where I just thank God over and over!

It seems like forever ago that I wrote this post about adopting Winona Mae! Oh wait, it was forever ago!

It seems like yesterday that I wrote this post for my friends and family to meet Kai!!

And now, here we are, Tracie and I leave for China tomorrow at 330pm.

I would be honored if you would pray for us.

Pray for Kai. Pray for Tracie. Pray for our kids back home.

We have just a little bit more to raise to cover our airfare home and I would be honored if you would pray for that.

Please pray on Monday. That’s when we meet Kai for the first time. Pray that we have God’s favor with Kai. Pray that he has an immediate connection to us.

We are so thankful! We are so blessed! Thank you!

 

So many people miss out on the real POWER of being CONNECTED to a Local Church. Don’t miss out today!

Some people ‘go’ to Church because they have an internal voice telling them that its the right thing to do.

Some people ‘go’ to Church because they want to be seen by other people.

Some people ‘go’ to Church because they have heard good things and don’t want to miss out.

Some people ‘go’ to Church because they’re starving for community and connection.

Some people ‘go’ to Church because its one more thing on their moral check list.

First of all…

Stop GOING to Church. 

Second of all…

Be the Church! 

That’s where the real power is!

Here’s what I believe passionately, you will miss out on the real POWER of Church if you’re not connected and if you’re not connected for the right reasons!

All those reasons TO GO to Church miss out on the power that is available to you. If Church is just a country club to you, a moral compass, another box on your to do list or another thing for you to feel good about yourself, you’re missing out.

But, when you get CONNECTED at a local Church that is working right and use your spiritual gifts to serve that body and to serve the community they live in…

LOOK OUT!! 

Some Ways to Get Fully Connected:

ONE…Actually make it a priority to be there! Again, so simple but so hard in this day and age of crazy business. If you really want to experience the power of connection, be there. Make it a commitment to be with your Church every week!

TWO…Actually make it a priority to serve! Again, sounds simple. But, what if we approached serving our Church as a number one priority in our life? Be there. Show up early. Serve with your whole heart.

THREE…Actually make it a priority to get to know people. Again, so simple to say, but so many people shy away from this. They know if they actually do this, they will start making connections and then it gets harder to be nominally involved.

FOUR…Actually make it a priority to be known. Again, sounds so simple, but so many people give up on church right before they really get connected. What are you so afraid of? God created us to live in community with each other. Jump in and feel the power of being connected.

Today is your day! Make the decision to let nothing stop you from being connected. I really believe when you do, you will start to feel the power of being connected and then your life will change for the better!