Why You Should Join A Thrive Group
By Pastor Tom Anderson
Are you growing in your Christian faith? Is your character actually improving? Is there more love in your heart now than when you first began following Jesus? Maybe you’ve found a church that “fits your needs.” Maybe you’ve figured out which translation of the Bible is the best. Maybe you’ve read a ton of books on discipleship or seen hours of video. But if your life is still the same, you’re not becoming a disciple. Only actually following Jesus can make you a disciple.
In January, we’ll be launching Thrive Groups--a new small group opportunity. I encourage everyone to join a group and try it for at least 6 weeks. The plan is for these groups to meet weekly September to June. These groups are not about Bible information, they are about life transformation.
Thrive groups seek to join people together so that they are not “lost” in church. It’s all about the word connect--building supportive Christian relationships with each other and with Jesus Christ. The focus of the Thrive group will be on each person’s experience of God and on growing in that relationship. Thrive Groups are not about offering in-depth Bible study, video discussions or a book discussion. They are about relationships with God and our fellow disciples.
The format of the weekly meeting draws attention to the fact that the Christian life is not static. Each week, participants will be reminded of the importance of living out their beliefs. The content of the Thrive Group meeting will be the lives of the people who are present. The goal is for each one to grow in holiness--the love of God and neighbor. No matter where you are at in your spiritual journey, in a Thrive Group you will acknowledge where you are and then begin to move forward.
A Thrive Group is not a magic bullet to guarantee your maturity in Christian living. But participating in a group will create space in your life for you to give voice to your victories and your struggles. This discipline will result in your being more aware of what is going on in your own relationship with God. It will also help you know what is happening with others. You will be better able to pray for one another.
Thrive Groups are also an entry point for visitors. Here they will hear Christians talk honestly about the highs and lows in following Jesus. The groups will happen in a relaxed atmosphere--in homes, work rooms, lunch places or rooms at church. The meetings are designed for anyone who wants to grow closer to God. We at Thrive church are committed to loving our neighbors no matter who they are and to connecting them to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.
So what happens, really? Here’s the format. Participants will work through these questions:
Read and discuss the Bible passage from last Sunday (20 minutes)
What is your strategy to connect, grow and serve?
At what point this past week did you feel closest to Christ?
When was your faith tested this week through failure?
What is your plan for walking with God this coming week?
How might our group serve in the church or be in mission to the community?
How can we help each other in prayer?
Thrive groups will start meeting the week of January 2. You will need to contact one of the following leaders to RSVP. Space is limited to 6-8 persons per group. If needed I’ll train additional leaders for additional groups.
Dick and Sue Cole (Thursday evenings)
Karie Saunders and Glenda Shantry (Friday mornings)
Dan and Julie Crowl (Online via Zoom)
Jenni Cohen (to be announced)
Tom Anderson (Wednesday evenings)
How is your life with God? Won’t you prayerfully consider being in a group? Won’t you pray for this ministry in our congregation?