“I guess you could say we bet the farm,” so begins Senior Pastor Graham Richards as he describes Thrive Christian Church’s(TCC) journey. While all churches are on a unique post-Covid journey, Thrive is particularly unique in that just a few years prior they had relocated to the existing location and navigated a name change. “We are still coming out of Covid, still getting our legs,” says Graham. This church of 350 (pre-Covid) now is located on 20+ acres on the far north suburbs of Indianapolis. “The staff has undergone some change with a couple of people retiring, and this hire is key for our next steps forward.”
The facility at Thrive still has that “new smell” with a smartly designed lobby, modern main room, and lively kids’ area. TCC is aptly named as it is now located in an area of the Indianapolis metro region that is thriving also. Housing projects surround the property and are being built at a rapid pace. Westfield, Carmel and Noblesville are consistently rated as top places to live and raise a family.
“This is a fantastic place to be,” says Graham, who migrated from England to join the staff originally as the Executive Pastor years ago. “Yet our area is in need of the gospel.” Graham’s lens through which he sees his community is one as a missionary. This is reflected in a slogan of TCC that the church is on a mission to follow Jesus, connect people to each other and serve our world.
This past Easter was a huge success re-opening with an Easter egg hunt that saw hundreds of children come to the church. “It makes us double down this summer on kids and families,” says Graham. The church will be coming out strong with refreshed vision and momentum beginning in August.
Whomever accepts the worship pastor role at TCC will inherit much that is good. A robust team of dedicated volunteers on platform and in the booth own their roles at a high level. The current worship pastor, Scotty, is finishing his sixth year on the team and is transitioning to the Outreach/Discipleship role. Scotty considers himself a “generalist” in ministry and knew that one day he’d be handing this ministry off to a more specialized individual.
The song rotation is today’s modern mix of Bethel, Hillsong, and Elevation. “All ages are present, but we aren’t fighting any worship wars…those days are long behind us,” says Graham. The auditorium is thoroughly modern with a blacked-out ceiling, LED fixtures, progressive audio system and new cameras/streaming equipment that were added as part of a Covid catch-up this year.
There are multiple volunteers at every position, and a new resurgence of volunteers getting involved in the first half of ’21.
Challenges and What is Next
“We are ready to create a worship culture,” says Graham. The team has achieved a certain level of excellence in musical with backing tracks and click and cue, but desires to engage more. “If someone wanted to lead a congregation to experience the living God with great tools, and a great team that has been built…this could be that for them,” says Graham. You have to be on top of your job to win on the team at Thrive, but consistently Graham speaks of health, balance, and the desire to navigate ministry together for a long run.
Is this you?
The right candidate will be the type of leader who can love and invest in the existing team, rally them to a vision that fits the larger church direction, and engage a congregation.
The right candidate will:
// Be an engaged worshipper from platform
// View their role as one as lead worshipper, and congregation engager
// Be able to cast a strong vision as to why we gather for both believers and unbelievers
// Wear the multiple hats of worship leader, creative, organizer, and pastor