RETURN TO ME
It's simple. Our vision is clear, "we will advance the Good News of Jesus Christ by returning to the Lord".
There is no going forward without going back. We must return to God; to our friendship with Him and rekindle what life and time seem to snuff out. Isaiah 44:22 reads, "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."
The Gospel of Jesus Christ tells us that God so loved us, so absolutely burdened for us, and foolishly crazy for us, that He did whatever it took to capture, captivate, reveal, and give insight to His great love for us. It is a desperate plea for no more games, no more foolishness, come to me and rejoin me in relationship. Genesis 3:8 remembers a God who was so close to His creation that He could be heard, "walking in the garden in the cool of the day".
This same God has been working and striving ever since to bring us back to that place where we walk together once more.
According to Greek historians, Spartans didn't believe in defensive walls. Rather when facing an enemy or anyone who questioned why they lacked fortification, they simply replied, while pointing to the Spartan soldiers, "These are Sparta's walls". When asked how far do your walls reach, they would simply reply by pointing out their spear and saying, "as far as this can reach".
This flies in the face of common sense and might even be a bit prideful.
However, I can’t help but think of the moment Jesus looks at Peter and in front of all the other disciples makes this statement, “Now I say to you that you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” (Matthew 16:18) It is as if Jesus looked at a human being and said, “The walls and gates of my church shall be flesh and blood not brick and mortar. I will place my spirit in them and they will be my church.” That’s crazy! Broken repentant sinners have become the walls of Jerusalem. They have become the soldiers of Heaven. Where are the walls of God’s Kingdom on earth? They are embodied in His saints! How far does the Church reach? As far as our sword of the spirit can reach!
NO PERFECT PEOPLE ALLOWED
Brennen Manning, author of “The Ragamuffin Gospel” once said that, “We come as we are, not as we should be, for none of us are as we should be.” What powerful words of truth! Nobody’s perfect. We say that but I’m not sure we understand that. If it were so, we’d live with a bit more forgiveness and compassion.
I hear people say all the time that they don’t go to church because it’s full of hypocrites, liars, and fakers. They’re right. The church is full of all sorts of people. It’s a hospital to the broken, hurting, and dying. However, my hope is that we, as a church, will have the courage to be honest about it.
That’s the church I want to attend is the church where transparency and brokenness aren’t taboo, but rather encouraged. I want to attend a church that doesn’t try to hide its problems, use clever speech to deceive, or feel as if they have to be someone else to just fit in. I want to build a group of believers, really disciples, that crave honesty and truth like water; who see brokenness as an opportunity to display the grace of God and see transparency as liberty. I want to build a church free from false perfection.
This is what we’ve tried to do with Mosaic Community Church.
They say everything rises and falls on leadership. I agree. How we lead is important.
At Mosaic, our view of leadership revolves around a foundation of integrity, transparency, and simplicity. We believe, as we have seen in every church, that “as the pastor goes, so goes the church”. We realize that those that attend Mosaic will always be limited by its leadership, this is why we make prayer and they study of God’s Word the foundation of everything we do. If we, as the leaders, are not growing and praying in the Lord, how can we grow others? We must lead by example in this area.
Jesus didn’t hide anything from his friends…and (pastors, deacons, elders, leaders) He won’t let us hide anything from them as well. Sure, you might get away with it for a season, but eventually it’ll come crashing down. God is patient. God doesn’t desire for us to be humiliated. He desires that we repent and be reconciled. He desires that we be more like Christ, open, honest, and truthful about everything.
The Church needs more transparency. I don’t know anyone who would say different. We need the same thing we’ve always needed…Jesus. He showed us how to lead. He revealed everything to us. He treated us as friends. I can’t imagine a better leadership model. Sure, some might leave our churches because of our transparency…they left Jesus. Should we be offended because they see our faults? Integrity is more than just telling the truth…it’s living in the truth…for good or bad.
I am who I am. I am trying to live in the light. Sometimes that means revealing things about myself, or my ministry, that I might not like. However, I am more scared to HIDE things than I am to reveal things.
I am compelled by love that if Jesus can reveal EVERYTHING than so can I.