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COLUMN: Shifting from surviving to thriving

Rev. Bryce Baldwin, Rome Alliance Church
Posted 12/10/22

Are you merely surviving life or are you thriving in life? One of the definitions of surviving is “continuing to exist”.

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COLUMN: Shifting from surviving to thriving


Are you merely surviving life or are you thriving in life? One of the definitions of surviving is “continuing to exist”. We may know this as survival mode. It is easy in life to be going through the motions from one thing to the next, just hoping to make it to the end of the day.

Our busy schedules, lack of sleep, zero time for yourself or living in isolation, relational and financial troubles can be just some of the reasons you may be living in survival mode. At this point you may consider yourself an expert in this.

The same can be asked of your church. Is your church in survival mode? Are you just hoping to keep the doors open? Surviving Sunday to Sunday, where the most exciting stories told are the ones that happened in the past. Going through the motions or keeping your methods over the mission of the church may be why you have found yourself in this spot.

Is life really meant to be lived in survival mode?

Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came to give life and to give it to the full. Another Bible translation says that He came to give life in abundance. We are not merely meant to survive. With Jesus we are called to thrive.

How do we do this?

Slow down – Take time to evaluate. Ask the Lord to reveal why you are living in survival mode.

Change- There needs to be a change in your life or church to go from surviving to thriving. It is often our unwillingness to change that keeps us from moving forward in life or church ministry. Romans 12:2 says we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Change begins in the mind.

Be Present – Paul says in Ephesian 5:16 to make the most of every opportunity. Be present in the moment and take advantage of the opportunities God gives you.

Serve Others – Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Serving others refreshes our souls. This is a spiritual reality. You may be in survival mode because all you do is think about and live for yourself.

Look Forward – Jesus is eternal, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. However, Jesus is taking us forward not backwards. This can be applied to our lives here on earth and forward toward eternity.

The Gospel – The gospel isn’t just for salvation. It is good news for all things. It is that Jesus is restoring, redeeming, and renewing all areas of life. Do you believe this? Do you live this out? The gospel is alive and on the move, changing hearts and minds, and God wants to do a fresh work in your life and the lives of others around you.

As people we were meant to thrive. Our churches were meant to thrive. This holiday season take time to reflect and live in the abundant life that Jesus offers.


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