Thrive 316 a dynamic, user-directed resource for relational Bible study and spiritual growth. It is a natural and intuitive guide to help you grow spiritually. The ultimate goal of Thrive 316 is to empower people to grow closer to Christ and become more like him.
Thrive 316 trusts in God’s purpose, God’s Word, and God’s Spirit as you and your friends seek to thrive in Christ and grow spirituality together

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. NIV

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another. NIV

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.  NIV

Ephesians 3:16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.  NIV

Every person and every relationship is unique. You have your own stories, your own needs, and your own vibe. Then why should growing spiritually be one size fits all? This is the question that brought us Thrive 316. Thrive 316 is designed to be a flexible and responsive tool to help you grow spiritually with the help of a friend or mentor.  You meet when and where you wish: in your home, at church, in a coffee shop, a park, your lunch room, wherever.  You meet as much or as little as you like.  You study the topics you feel you need to study.  Thrive 316 fits into your life, your schedule, and your relationships. While being customizable and dynamic, Thrive 316 also provides direction and depth to your relationship that enables God to work in your lives. It hits a sweet spot of being both organic and intentional, making authentic Christian friendships accessible and natural.
There are four ways of answering this question.  First, anyone can use Thrive 316 alone, with a friend, with a spiritual coach or mentor, or with a group.  Second, Thrive 316 lends itself to being adaptable to nearly any time or context.  You can meet at church, in a coffee shop, in your home, at school, at lunch, in the morning, etc.  Third, you can use Thrive 316 as much or as little as you like or are able.  Some use it every day.  Some use it once per month.  Finally, Thrive 316 can be used in nearly any relational or ministry setting: with a friend, with your spouse, with a neighbor, with a coworker, in church, in a home church, in a para-church ministry, in mission settings, in campus ministry, in a prison ministry, and nearly anywhere else people desire to study the Bible and grow spiritually.
We decided to create Thrive 316 as a guide to help you naturally and effectively grow in your relationship with Jesus. This means growing closer to Christ and becoming more like him.  Of course, the closer we grow to Christ the more we experience him and his kingdom: his love, joy, peace, and so on.  We also recognize that spiritual growth is accelerated by authentic Christian community.  Our journey towards Christ is a journey best shared.  We need the encouragement and accountability that comes with intentional Christian friendships, or fellowship.   The idea is simple: together we are stronger than the sum of our parts.  Ecclesiastes reminds us of the power of friendship:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. NIV

This type of spiritual friendship is the idea behind Thrive 316. Two or more friends regularly meet together to discuss the Bible and encourage one another.  You can practice Thrive 316 with someone from your church, a family member, neighbor, co-worker, or anyone with whom you feel comfortable.  You may decide to include several people and form a Thrive 316 group.  It’s up to you! What matters is that you are growing along with others towards Christ and Christlikeness.

The Bible repeatedly expresses the value of authentic and intentional spiritual community.

Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. NIV

Romans 15:14 – I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. NIV

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. NIV

We all need this kind of Christian community and friendship.  The problem is that the pace and demands of our modern lives make it difficult to find.  This is where Thrive 316 comes in.

Thrive 316 assumes that authentic spirituality occurs as people grow closer to Jesus and become more like Him in their relationships and character.

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  NIV

2 Corinthians 3:18 – And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.  NIV

Ephesians 4:24 – Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. NIV

Matthew 6:33 – Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  NIV

Thrive 316 assumes that spiritual maturity, or Christlikeness, occurs as we grow in three primary areas: theological, spiritual, and behavioral… or what we like to refer to as knowledge, attitude, and action. All three are important for a holistic and balanced spirituality. Furthermore, each of the three main areas explores 9 different subjects.  Knowledge explores 9 doctrines, attitude explores 9 virtues, and action explores 9 practices.

Knowledge (Doctrines)
The Bible
The Holy Spirit
The Kingdom of God
The Church
Eternal Things
Following Jesus

Attitude (Virtues)

Actions (Practices)
Righteousness (Right Relationships)
Character (Holiness)
Bible Study
Kingdom Building

Thrive 316 provides 5 helpful sections within each of the 9 doctrines, virtues, and practices

Explanation – gives an overview of the doctrine, virtue, or practice

Key Scriptures – for reference, discussion, memorization, and reflection

Discussion Guides – questions to explore and understand insightful Bibles passages

Recommended Reading – book suggestions to delve deeper into a doctrine, virtue, or practice

Growing Exercises – activities to gain an experiential understanding of the doctrine, virtue, or practice

Thrive 316 trusts that spiritual growth happens as you and your friends or mentor sincerely explore targeted doctrines, virtues, and practices using the 5 helpful sections contained within each area.  Most people find the Key Scriptures and Discussion Guides to be the most helpful, since they allow them to directly interact with scripture.  You can begin by taking an assessment and plugging into the dashboard.  The dashboard will then direct you what to do next. You can also begin by clicking on the Indexes tab to discover Discussion Guides by Bible Passage, by Subject, or by one of our Suggested Study Plans.  If you are more free wheeling, you can just explore the site and see where it takes you.
Thrive 316 provides multiple resources and tools to help you in your spiritual journey:

  • Spiritual Assessments – to help you target key growth areas
  • Getting Started  – strategies for individuals, friends, mentors and groups to approach Thrive 316
  • My Dashboard – to help you set goals, monitor progress, encourage, and keep you on track
  • Coaches Guide – for a deeper understanding of Christian spirituality, discipleship, and coaching
  • Helpful Indexes – for easy reference by scripture, subject, or pre-designed study plans
  • Suggestions – for submitting ideas or suggestions regarding current or possible questions and topics
  • Self Study – how to study topics not covered by Thrive 316
  • Our Questions – for an understanding of how inductive Bible study questions work
The three assessments are what enable Thrive 316 to have direction and intentionality.  The knowledge/theology assessment helps you discern which doctrines you may wish to focus on.  The attitude/spirituality assessment helps you discern which virtues you may wish to focus on.  The action/behavioral assessment helps you discern which practices you may wish to focus on.  Once, you have this information, you can develop a game plan.  You can also input these results into our dashboard, and we can direct you even further.  In short, the assessments empower you in self-discovery, setting goals, and staying on track.
We recommend that you explore Thrive 316 prior to getting started.  That you are reading this FAQ right now is a great start.  Familiarize yourself with how Thrive 316 is laid out.  It only takes a few short minutes.  Be sure to note the three major sections; the 9 doctrines, virtues, and practices within each section; and the 5 helps within each doctrine, virtue, and, practice.  Next, you will need to determine how you wish to use Thrive 316: alone, with a friend or mentor, or in a group.  There are additional FAQs specifically addressing each of these approaches.  You should read the appropriate one.  You will also need to determine when and where you are going to meet.  Then, you can take the assessments and get started.
Some people just do not have access to others who are willing and available to partner with them in a Thrive 316 relationship.  Thrive 316 can still be effective in helping such people grow towards Christ and spiritual maturity.  Individuals may take the assessments to focus their direction, or they can dive in using the indexes.  The Key Scriptures and Discussion Guides may be used as reflection points in personal study or quiet times.  Without another person to bounce ideas off of, it may be a good idea for individuals to read some of the books in the Recommended Reading section.  Individuals using Thrive 316 may also find keeping a journal to be quite helpful.  Regardless, there is always value in reading and meditating on God’s Word.
The ‘friend to friend’ or ‘peer to peer’ approach is the easiest and most natural to implement. It is as simple as two friends or family members getting together and using Thrive 316 to discuss Bible passages, talk about books, explore learning applications, encourage one another, and pray for each other.  People go through Thrive 316 with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even with their spouse.

It’s easy to get started.  Ask yourself, ‘What is going on in your life,’ and ‘who are you sharing life with.’  Are you feeling particularly envious lately? Call a friend, open up Thrive 316, and go through a study on Generosity. Never really grasped what the “Kingdom of God” is all about? Look it up and hash through it with a friend. Loved scratching the surface of the Deity of God in Thrive 316. Look under the Recommended Readings and run to Barnes and Noble. It’s that easy.   Getting started is simple.  You can use the indexes to dive right in, or take the assessments to give more focused direction.  We recommend friends alternating choosing the studies and leading the discussion.  Yet, it’s up to you.  You can approach it however you wish.  That’s the beauty of Thrive 316.  So choose a quiet and relaxing place to meet, agree on a good time, and just go for it.

There are 3 easy steps to starting Thrive 316 with a friend

Step 1 is Find a Friend – Growing spiritually works best with encouragement and support.  Find someone willing to go through Thrive 316 with you: a spouse, friend, neighbor, or co-worker.  Pick a favorite spot and pick a time that best works for you.

Step 2 is Explore Thrive 316 – Check out the various doctrines, virtues and practices.  Check out the Discussion Guides and Indexes.  Take the Assessments.  Sign up for My Dashboard and plug in your scores.  See if you wish to follow a plan or kind of free wheel it.

Step 3 is Meet and Grow – We recommend starting with the assessments.  Plug them into My Dashboard to suggest Discussion Guides for you.   You can also find Discussion Guides using the indexes.  Use the other resources as you grow and want to learn more.

The ‘disciple-maker to disciple’ or ‘coach to disciple’ approach is more involved and has broader application within churches and Christian ministries. This more in-depth and structured approach is covered in the Coaches Guide. It provides background and training for those seeking to intentionally disciple others. It is designed to equip coaches or disciple-makers. It contains three sections: Christian Spirituality, Discipleship, and Spiritual Coaching.  This section will also be of particular interest to church and ministry leaders as it outlines the biblical support, principles, and philosophy for a one-on-one discipleship ministry.  This approach is recommended for church discipleship ministries, campus ministry, prison ministry, para-church ministry, and mission settings.  Thrive 316 grew out of an intentional discipleship paradigm and stays true to its roots.
Although Thrive 316 was designed for more intimate discipleship settings such as one on one or one on two, the Discussion Guides, Recommended Reading, and Growing Exercises have proven to be a solid and effective approach for small group discussions and Bible studies.  The best way to approach this is to either rotate the facilitator role or assign it to a single individual.  The facilitator then chooses the topics with input from the group.  Sometimes the Discussion Questions that are meant as talking points for a one on one conversation can be a little stiff for stimulating group discussion.  Small group facilitators using Thrive 316 should preview discussion questions beforehand and make adjustments for their group’s culture and personality.  If possible, though not necessary, it would also be helpful to consult a respected commentary for background and context.  Yet, just like with one on one contexts, the Thrive 316 resource is extremely flexible and naturally lends itself to many approaches.
Learn to be comfortable with silence.  Most of the questions in the Discussion Guides refer back to the text, thus making immediate answers difficult.  Give people time to process the question, muse, and respond in ways beyond the obvious.

Try to stick to the text to answer questions.  There is always a delicate balance between exploring legitimate issues and chasing rabbits… or even descending into general conversation.  If you stay sensitive to this issue, you can usually stay on track and make your time fruitful.

Think of the questions as talking points for discussion rather than definitive questions requiring specific answers.  While the text provides most of the answers, talking through the text enables participants to explore the text together and experience discovery, collaboration, and understanding.  There is often a building and momentum of insight.  Remember, while a text may contain singular truth, it may also contain many insights and applications.

There are 5 sections within each doctrine, virtue, and practice: an Explanation, Key Scriptures, Discussion Guides, Recommended Reading, and Growing Exercises.  If you would like to focus on a specific doctrine, virtue, or practice, we recommend taking advantage of all five sections.  You should begin by reading the Explanation at the beginning.  Try to get a genuine feel for the scope of the subject.  Also, note any specific spiritual disciplines that might help.  We then recommend moving to the Key Scriptures and doing the exercises in the text boxes.  Note any verses you wish to discuss or memorize.  Once you have finished with the Key Scriptures, you should move on to the Discussion Guides and seek out the Guides that you feel you need to work on.  Finally, the Recommended Reading and Growing exercises are additional steps you can take and later discuss with your friend, group, or mentor.  Mentors should explore all the sections and hone in on scriptures and resources they feel will facilitate growth in their disciples.