“The church is a whole, not separate, and was designed to be that way. We are the next generation and we can only have a revival if we work together.” This is what God revealed to one student who attended our Chets Students annual THRIVE Weekend. This year, 222 students and leaders from all four of our campuses came together for a weekend of fun, worship, and discipleship. Students connected with God, built relationships with each other, and were challenged to live together in Christ centered community.
Even though we are each gifted uniquely and individually, we are better together. One student said, “God showed me that being together is important no matter how different you are.” Students put their differences aside for the weekend and recognized, the most important thing to have in common is Christ.
Through large group teaching and small group discussion, students were reminded that true togetherness comes from being a part of the family of God and can only happen if we’re willing to love each other as Christ demonstrated. God has called us to live together for the purpose of drawing people close to Him. Students were reminded that God’s plan for them is to be united by their love for Jesus.
Pastor Muche Ukegbu, pastor of our church plant partner in Miami, The Brooke Church, came again this year. He too encouraged students that being together is important, saying “The church isn’t like a family it is a family.”
Many students said that idea finally clicked for them this weekend. “God showed me the church is family” said one student. Another said, “I learned so many new things about how to connect with my church family.”
One of the ways students connected with each other was during their community group time. They spent time building relationships with each other and learning about what Biblical togetherness actually means.
They also came together for worship led by the Ascension Worship team. “My favorite part of THRIVE was worship when we were all singing louder than the music,” said one student. The powerful voices of the students raised together in unity was incredible.
But THRIVE wouldn’t be THRIVE without some healthy competition. Each team fought to win the coveted THRIVE cup throughout the weekend doing everything they could to prove their team had the most spirit, showed servanthood, and leadership.
Teams got to show off their creativity and competitive nature as each team worked together to fashion race cars out of cardboard boxes and competed against each other in the THRIVE 500. It wasn’t your typical competition though. As each team competed, the other teams cheered them on as a true family.
Throughout the weekend students grew closer to each other and closer to God. When asked how God spoke to them at Thrive, here’s how they responded:
“God told me to look around and see that all of these people are people he gave me, and I need to treasure them and be thankful for them.”
“That it's important to involve yourself in the community and to be there for each other like a family.”
“He showed me that meaningful and deep conversations can bring us closer together and we can all bring different aspects to the group.”
“To bring God’s love to people we must love them openly ourselves.”
“Don’t think that you are useless because your strengths are important to the church.”
Our students and leaders had an incredible weekend praying together, worshiping together, having fun together, and being reminded of the importance of community. Pray that our students would continue to grow in community and remember the importance of being together.