Beginnings & Beliefs

Thrive was launched in March of 2007 by a few dedicated people hungry to see God work in the lives of those who needed a church. Pastor Mark Hale, his wife Lisa, and their four children moved to the Grand Forks area to start Thrive. Previously, Mark had spent 17 years mainly serving in large churches and one smaller one. He realized that most churches are built to cater to “churchgoers.” However, it seemed that a vast segment of the population hadn’t gone to church or was disenfranchised with traditional churches. So for the last 15 years, Thrive has been an outreach to them.

Thrive was built on the premise that church is not about the building. Stained glass is not our thing. Thus, Thrive rented space at the YMCA for over five years. Our setup team transformed their gym into a cool worship space. Volunteers set up stages, lighting, sound, refreshments, welcome area, and children’s ministry. Most people can’t fathom how a YMCA can become a church, but for 300-plus Sundays, it had. Today, Thrive meets in a permanent location. God has blessed us with our own building that was once a large furniture store. You can find us every Sunday morning at 1726 S. Washington St. (corner of Washington St. & 17th Ave S.). Thrive is part of the Church of the Nazarene, Prairie Lakes District.

Relationships are extremely important to us. Thrive started with just a couple of families being involved, and they are what matter most to us. At the end of the day, fads and trends come and go. Styles change. But healthy relationships between followers of Christ last. We do everything we can to help people connect with each other at Thrive. Our entire ministry has been built around community.

Thrive employs two full-time pastors and five part-time staff.  Each staff person oversees a vital area of ministry.  The staff is the heart of the day-to-day operation of the church, while our Leadership Team oversees and protects the vision and helps make major decisions.

We believe…

• There is only one God, and He made everything. God is a Trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
• Jesus, who came from heaven to earth about 2000 years ago, is fully God and fully man at the same time. Jesus came to save us and give us eternal life through His death and resurrection.
• God’s Holy Spirit is active in our world and helps lead us toward God.
• The Bible is our instruction manual outlining all we need to know in life about how to live right by God and gain eternal life.
• We have all sinned and need God’s forgiveness.
• God invites us and enables us to turn from sin, but it is our choice.
• When we repent and turn away from our sins, trust in Jesus to accept us, and make a complete commitment to God – He will purify our hearts and set us free to love God and one another truly.
• Heaven and hell are real places.
• Jesus is coming again.

The guiding principles that dictate behavior and action at Thrive:

• We value the application of scripture: Teaching is for life change.
• We value growth: Real Christian followers grow.
• We value Grow Groups: As a church gets bigger, it must get smaller.
• We value excellence: God is honored in excellence.
• We value service: Every believer is a volunteer.
• We value creativity & innovation: Changing methods – unchanging message.
• We value unity & diversity: Focusing on the things that unite us – not on the things that divide us.
• We value being ‘high tech’ & ‘high touch’: Utilizing technology & relationships.
• We value all people, but we are a church focused on the next generation: kids, youth, college-age & young families are our future!