I am often asked, “How is the ministry at Mosaic going?”. It has been good for me to take some time and reflect on the answer to that question. Here are some of my responses:
I continue to marvel at the ways that God has blessed us with a couple of ministry building blocks that very few church plants enjoy. First, God has clearly answered my prayers and brought to us a diverse and incredibly talented group of leaders. I am so thrilled to be able to work with these committed, intelligent, gifted (and sometimes quirky) men and women. Second, we are so fortunate to own a building right in the precise place we want to be. There are hassles associated with ownership, but we are blessed.
There have been some “wins” for the Kingdom of God this year at Mosaic. Here are my top four:
1. The successful launch of Juwon Mosaic. We always expected that this Korean language congregation would launch out from us and while we will always be closely connected it is an independent church, having its own board and structure that work better for them. Its great to see them thrive in a location that is better for them and with additional scheduling flexibility.
2. The successful start of Iglesia Cristiana Mosaico. Spanish is the first language of about 60% of our neighbors, so it is essential that we serve those folks. Pastor Carlos Calandreli is doing an amazing job of leading our Spanish language ministries and the congregation that meets at 1pm on Sundays. I am expecting that one day this group will be the largest single gathering at Mosaic and they have built a great foundation for effective ministry well into the future.
3. We have made great connections with immigrant/refugee churches and pastors in our community. We have close relationships with groups right in our neighborhood that worship in Spanish, Burmese, Hindi, Napoli, French and English. God is providing us with the passion and the opportunity to partner with these outstanding churches and pastors in ways that will strengthen them and help us all advance God’s Kingdom. Our connection and ministry to and with these groups was enhanced by my trip to Myanmar in September. We are beginning to be known as the bridge to and from these groups to the community at large. Most of these congregations will never be officially connected with Mosaic, but they will be and in many cases have already been significantly benefited by our ministry.
4. We have begun a significant focus on leadership development. Its really clear to me that the only way that we will be able to minister to our need filled and diverse community is with a whole lot of caring, competent and Godly leaders in every sector (church, government, law enforcement, social services, non profits, education, business, etc). God is challenging us to accept the call to identify, equip and empower leaders. Its exciting to know that we don’t have to be experts in each of these areas, but we can still significantly impact our community through developing leaders in each of those areas.
As you would suspect, there are also some challenges at Mosaic.
- Focus. There are so many needs and so many opportunities to address those needs. We are realizing more each week that in order to make an important impact, we will have to say “no” to many of these opportunities in order to focus on the ones to which God has really equipped us and call us. Please pray that we will have the wisdom to make the right choices and the discipline to follow through on those choices.
- Finances. While we operate a very, very lean organization we have roughly $7000 a month in expenses (over 90% of that is my salary and our building costs). We take in about half of that each month in tithes and offerings. That means we are dependent on generous donors from all over the country to make up that difference. God has been amazingly faithful in laying our ministry on the hearts of incredibly generous people and we are grateful. But there is a great deal of time and effort spent and a great deal of stress and pressure felt to make that happen. Please pray that God will continue to provide.
I could tell you hundreds of stories, stories that start with pain, injustice and heartbreak. But its exciting to hear how a bunch of those stories are beginning to change… through the power of God new endings are being written. Endings that now feature the breaking of destructive cycles… stories of transformation… stories of hope. Let me tell you just one story…
It started out as a pretty simple and safe conversation. Pastor Moses Thang Hung and I were talking about ways that Mosaic and I could help equip and support local Immigrant and Refugee pastors. These dedicated men and women have fled the violence and pain of their home countries often spending years in inhuman refugee camps. They come to this country committed to tell their countrymen about the hope and healing that comes from the one true God.
I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out how that innocent conversation about 5 months ago could have evolved into me spending eight days in Myanmar that had me as a guest professor in Theological Seminary, launching Mosaic Church of Myanmar (that includes an orphanage), baptizing eight new believers and strategizing with Christian leaders to impact the entire country with the gospel. But the story didn’t end when I left. Part of the conversation centered around ways that Pastor James and the church could leverage their new freedom to proclaim the gospel during the upcoming Christmas season. We prayed and dreamed. In the past few days I have learned that Pastor James and his little church that meets in his house did a community outreach that touched dozens, hosted a Christmas event in their home for 250 of mostly Buddhist neighbors and he was invited to preach the gospel at the home of the Vice President of Myanmar! That’s a pretty productive Christmas!
Thank you. Your support of Mosaic is having a impact in Aurora and around the world. Please pray that God will continue to bless and use us as we follow Him.