State of the Church 2022
By Pastor Tom Anderson
We are free! Debt-free that is. After 40 years of continuous growth and development of our campus, we burned our mortgage. We did it by raising $1.5 million over the last six years. How did this happen? We call it a movement of the Holy Spirit. If you don’t believe in miracles, you should look at yourselves because you are one!
We are living into our name, Thrive. Families are discovering life with us. They are connecting with God. We are on track to receive over 20 new members this year and we have celebrated the baptisms of 6 children and youth. We are growing in the Spirit with 4 Thrive Groups, 4 core classes and 2 ongoing Bible Studies. We are serving generously with dozens of people on mission teams to Detroit, Flint, Mexico, Pontiac and right here in Highland.
We are welcoming all people to our services, sinners or saints, rich or poor, black or white, gay or straight. We are here to share the life-changing love of our Lord Jesus Christ. God loves the world and so do we. Homeless people have come to our church and found food, clothing, friendship and the Gospel message. Addicts have come and found the support they need to stay clean and sober. It can sometimes be complicated but I rejoice to be the pastor of a church full of warmth towards anyone in need.
We’re giving birth. New ministries born this year are: The American Heritage Girls, Trail Life, “The Chosen” watch party, and small group ministry with Thrive Groups. Are you a part of one? Our Centershot ministry had so many kids we did double sessions with 40 students involved.
Major projects have been completed this year–a much needed new roof over the worship center; a new septic field at the parsonage and repairs to our parking lot yet to come this fall. Give thanks to the members of our F.A.S.T. team for their tireless leadership in making all of this happen. F.A.S.T. stands for Finance, Administration, Staff-parish and Trustees. Our single board governance is bearing much fruit for the kingdom. All of this with fewer meetings and stronger communications.
And speaking of communications, we now have 221 subscribers to our YouTube channel. This is the equivalent of a second congregation alongside our in-person attendance. You can see that some of our services have been viewed up to 300-400 times. This is a tremendous reach for the Gospel! Our Facebook followers are approaching 700 and our posts are seen by well over 9000 people each week. This is the new front porch of Thrive Church where people check us out and meet us for the first time. To coordinate this as well as unify our in-house communications, we were pleased to hire Bridgette LaRose-Moscoso as Communications Director. This decision too, is already bearing fruit for the kingdom of God.
We are talking about our future. We hosted the Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association. The worship center was full to experience the spiritual vitality of the newly launched Global Methodist Church. We are still a United Methodist Congregation, but we are leaning into choosing our future affiliation with much prayer, study and conversation. Three town-hall sessions were held this summer both in-person and online. Recordings are available. This fall we held a 4-week discussion class watching a total of 7 videos produced by the Michigan Annual Conference as well as Good News Magazine. A membership survey is underway, and I hope that every member will participate.
Thrive Church is a Bible-believing, Jesus-loving, grace-filled movement of the Holy Spirit. Karen and I are grateful to serve with you and enthusiastic about God’s future for us!