Start the THRIVE in 2020 Challenge today! We certainly had no idea what 2020 had in store for us when we chose the theme of THRIVE. Had we known, we may have been tempted to go with SURVIVE. With that said, THRIVE is the right theme. Remember our theme verse? They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. Jeremiah 17:8 (NLT)

As we pass the half-way point of the year how are you doing at thriving in a year that has seen everything from a tornado, to murder hornets, to Saharan dust, to COVID-19? Are your leaves green and are you still producing fruit? My prayer for you is that your roots are deep in the living water of Jesus Christ. At the beginning of this year we challenged you to set THRIVE goals for yourself. If you have been on a little break, now is a great time to restart.

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!

Resources

What the Pastoral Staff are Reading Together in July

If you are looking for a book to read in July join our pastoral team in reading Christ Has Welcome You by Gregory J Allen and Carol Easley Allen. Christ Has Welcomed You is a call for reconciliation and relational unity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church based on the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans. Like many other Christian denominations, Adventism has mirrored the ethnocentrism that characterizes global society. Paul’s letter provides a manual for 21st-century Christians to respond to the call of Christ to unity so that the world may know that He is Savior and Lord.

To be put on an email list that sends out tips, encouragement, and provides accountability options send an email to mcoffice@madisoncampus.org.