After the Bayside community in Sacramento, California was devastated by two unexpected tragedies, a church was formed. Rather than hating God, the community came together in a high school auditorium to pray and worship. The worship team has quickly expanded to eight locations with a Sunday Worship Service. As a group that looks to the future, they are drawn to the reality that, in Christ, the future never ends. This concept is just one outstanding coarse of Thrive Worship’s debut album A Thousand More. Thrive Worship’s founding leaders – Peter Burton, Charmaine Wells and Corbin Phillips – share their story of this breathtaking album.
“Our church is a very hope driven church,” shares Peter. “We put a massive emphasis on the future and the potential people have for their lives. We have a saying that your best days are ahead. We really tried to capture that with this record. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, what you’ve been through, God has a bigger plan for your life.”
“Every song on this album is telling a piece of a story from our church,” shares Corbin Phillips. “It’s something we’ve been building for a while now. This album encapsulates a sonic picture of us being the most creative and God-honoring worshippers we can be.”
The Birth of the Album
In fact, with these songs impacting not only the Sunday night service but their entire congregation, “Our song ‘I Still Believe’ was the first one we saw really catch fire,” Corbin says, “as well as ‘Greater Things’ and ‘Ruins.’ They’re about when you’ve seen God make a promise but you’re not quite to it, you’re still in the middle, in the valley, and not on the other side. We’ve seen these songs impact the Sunday night service and our entire congregation. It’s exciting to be able to share them with a wider audience.”
“We want to spread a message of hope,” Peter explains. “We want our music to inspire those within the church, as well as reach those outside of the church. We want people to feel like they can come and be comfortable, no matter what state of life they’re in. I think the album we’ve created speaks directly to that. Our hope is that these songs would be able to reach someone who’s really far from Christ or someone who’s been walking with Him for a long time.”
Charmaine pipes in with a beautiful statement, “As endless as God is as a being – His love and grace are equally as endless.” This message is the true hope of the church and the album. Thrive Worship wants to provide a place for people to declare His greatness a thousand more times than declaring their own. We are nothing compared to Him. We don’t deserve any praise.
Pastor Chris Harlow speaks up about the album by saying, “I want to worship You a thousand times, and when I’m done, I’ll worship You a thousand more.” Not only does God deserve our praise, He deserves all of it, endlessly. That’s a hard reality to grasp when our society idolizes so many frivolous ideologies. But with solid reminders, our praise can more naturally turn toward the one true God.
Expanding Beyond the Wall of Worship Service
“Our founding pastor has always been a pastor to pastors,” Charmaine says. “Because of that, we really love to minister to fellow leaders and build them up. They come here on Sunday nights to fill up their own well so they can go back out to their churches and minister to their people.”
Thrive Worship has naturally been able to expand their reach beyond weekend services through a school of worship run from their main church camps. “We launched the school because we realized we were already doing so much leadership development, it made sense to expand it into something official,” Peter states. “Students come from all over the world to hone their talents and learn to lead a group of people in worship. Our goal is to take them from talent to impact.”
“We’re one of the most diverse churches in Northern California,” Corbin states. “When you have a lot of people from different backgrounds, you get a lot of different influences in the music, everything from Gospel to pop to congregational. It gives us a lot of space within the boundary lines to create outside of the typical church worship band.”
Leading worship every week, running Thrive Worship School, developing new leaders and recording and releasing an album can take a physical, emotional and spiritual toll, but the group remains focused on their primary commitment. Charmaine states, “Balance is key. We are campus worship pastors, that is our main ministry and what steers us; everything else is an overflow from that.”