Start the THRIVE in 2020 Challenge today! THRIVE is an acronymn that stands for Transformation, Health, Reading, Inclusion, Volunteer, and Evaluation. We are challenging you to take one small step each month in these five areas. We think if you do, you will truly thrive in 2020. Below is more information on each area and ideas for small steps you can take.

Transformation: Romans 12:2 (NKJV) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. God desires that we be transformed into His perfect image. That can be a daunting task. However, it is a lot easier when we realize that the Bible tells us we become changed by fixing our eyes on Jesus. We want to challenge you to allow Jesus to transform you. Set a goal that helps you connect with God. It might be making sure that as soon as you wake up you get on your knees and give God permission to be in control of your life and to transform you. It might be a Bible study or prayer goal. Whatever your goal, it should be something that creates daily, intentional connection between you and Jesus.

Health: 3 John 2 (NLT) Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. You are made in the image of God, you deserve to be treated right!  What is one small step you can take in your life that will improve your health?  Choose something doable, implement it, and see the good effect it has on your well-being!

Reading: Proverbs 4:7 (NLT) Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Reading/listening to audio books is an important step to thriving. Not only do you gain knowledge by reading, you also gain empathy by reading various perspectives on life. Set a reading goal that puts high quality information into your mind and helps you understand the world around you better.

Inclusion: John 17:21 (NLT) I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. Lonliness is at epidemic proportions in the United States. In a social media age many find themselves less than connected than ever before. God’s desire is for all to experience community and connection. As Christian’s we have a responsibility to fulfill God’s great desire. Set a goal to notice those who are on the margins and then seek ways include them. It could be as simple as setting a goal to intentionally smile at five people every day or it could be inviting someone to go to lunch with you. Whatever your goal, make it measurable and attainable.

Volunteer: Proverbs 11:24, 25 (NLT) Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. If you really want to thrive you have to give of yourself. Jesus tells us that even He, the Creator of the universe did not come to this earth to be served but rather to serve. How can you serve in your church and community? Set a monthly goal for how many hours you will volunteer and where you will do volunteer.

Evaluate: Galatians 6:2-5 (NLT) Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Reflection is important to thriving because it give us the time to evaluate if the things we are doing are working. Even reflection can not truly help us see how we are doing. We all have blindspots that we don’t detect on our own. That’s why having an honest, loving accountability partner is crucial to thriving. Intentionally set aside time for reflection at a minimum of once a week. Also, choose and accountability partner and tell them the goals you have made for yourself. Have them check-in with you at least once a week to see how you are doing. Do this, and you will be amazed at how you thrive!

It’s never to late to take the THRIVE in 2020 Challenge. Start today!


February Pastoral Staff Book Recommendations

Pastor Ken – 1919 by Michael Campbell: In 1919, the world was reeling from the destructive forces of World War I, American Protestants were uniting against Modernism in defense of the inerrancy of the Bible, and Adventists were recovering from the 1915 death of Ellen White, their beloved prophet. Needing to confirm the movement’s identity in rapidly changing times, some 65 Adventist leaders, editors, and Bible teachers met from July 1 to August 9, 1919, in Columbia Hall on the campus of Washington Missionary College near Washington, D.C. Their discussions were candid and often heated, prompting A.G. Daniells to occasionally ask stenographers to stop their recording work. Minutes of the conference were buried in the archives and would eventually be rediscovered in 1974. Today, the Seventh-day Adventist Church continues to grapple with issues raised at this epochal event.

Pastor Nacho – Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson: A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

Pastor Chelsea – God in Pain by David Asscherick: Evil… Suffering… Injustice… Pain… There is plenty of it in this world to go around. Where is God in all of it? His silence can be deafening at times. Pain is not easy. It never is. Can God relate to my pain?

Pastor Julie – The Voice of the Heart by Chip Dodd: Chip Dodd invites us to begin to know our hearts so that we better know ourselves and can live fully in relationship with others and, ultimately, with God. The journey begins with discovering the gift of The Eight Feelings(TM). We have eight feelings that allow us to live fully in a tragic place-hurt, lonely, sad, anger, fear, shame, guilt, and glad. By listening to these eight God-given tools, we can be who we are made to be, so we can do what we are made to do.

Daniel Bondaczuk: The Heart of the Artist by Rory Noland: “I wish I had your gift!” How do you handle those words as a creative artist? Somewhere between pride and self-abasement lies true humility—just one aspect of the balanced character God wants to instill in you as an actor, a musician, a visual artist, or other creative person involved in ministry. God is interested in your art and your heart. The Heart of the Artist deals head-on with issues every person in an arts ministry faces: •Servanthood Versus Stardom •Excellence Versus Perfectionism •The Spiritual Disciplines of the Artist •The Artist in Community . . . and more The Heart of the Artist will give you a better understanding of yourself and your unique place in the body of Christ. You’ll find wisdom and encouragement that can help you survive the challenges and reap the rich joys of a ministry in the creative arts.

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