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Don't just survive..."Thrive"

Thrive, a student-led, all-campus worship night, kicked off this weekend.

Saturday night a group of 30-plus students gathered together in the Barn to worship in community with one another.

Thrive began in February of this year in response to a desire for organic worship and community.

“It’s a bunch of college kids getting together to worship without abandon and to let barriers come down,” group leader Jake Vayda said. “For one moment, we have a middle ground between people, personalities and denominations.”

A typical Thrive service begins with worship, followed by a 15-minute talk that “encourages, inspires, and guides all to continue to live lives that, not just survive, but thrive,” Vayda said. The service then finishes with a time of worship.

A team of 13 students work alongside Vayda to make this night a success. Each person contributes unique gifts and talents to one of four teams: Media, Welcome, Worship or Administrative. The group meets on a weekly basis to plan and prepare for the upcoming service.

“The team of people we have is awesome,” said junior Danielle Sharp, a member of the student leadership team. “We’re all imperfect, and we recognize that we’re broken. We’re a team of people who are searching for more of God.”

Last school year, 75 people attended the final Thrive of the spring semester. This year, group leaders are hoping for 300. But, their focus remains on the spiritual aspect rather than the numbers, Vayda said.

“I’ve always wanted to reach the restless Christian, someone who wants more out of life,” Vayda said. “Thrive serves as an inspiration, because the whole point is to get together to make an impact. Out of that, we can go out and do something.”

Vayda said his favorite part of Thrive is hearing the stories about the impact it has made.

“Hearing stories shows that God is still on the move,” he said. “A lot of time in church, we hear that ‘God was,’ or that ‘God will be.’ But at Thrive, we focus on ‘God is.’ Thrive creates an atmosphere that seeks the Holy Spirit.”

The next Thrive will be Saturday, October 1. If you are interested in learning more about Thrive, contact Vayda at

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