Made For It

Enk and Nandia are 19 year old Mongolians. Their parents have great jobs, they live in a bustling city and have optimistic futures. We met them one afternoon in a busy shopping center, there was loud street work happening in the background and dozens of people walking by, but this moment changed the trajectory of their lives forever.

Mongolian culture is extremely open and friendly, what started as a random conversation on the street two days later turned into two hour follow up conversation about faith, God, and the purpose of life. I’m sitting across the table from two guys who fifteen minutes before had told me they didn’t believe in God and simply went through Buddhist traditions because that’s what their parents did, but after hearing the full Gospel, they both confidently and securely said they wanted it. A simple presentation about creation, fall, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection completely changed their minds.

In fact, they were so enthralled they wanted to tell their friends too. The concept of grace was brand new for them. Never before had they been presented with a worldview that allowed for the forgiveness of their shortcomings, and they were in. Quickly, they learned how to share the story themselves and they committed each to telling one friend before we met next.

After hearing the full Gospel, they both confidently and securely said they wanted it. A simple presentation about creation, fall, Jesus’ life, death and resurrection completely changed their minds.

Two days later, we met up again. Enk and Nandia were excited. They were full of questions and had told two people each. At our next meeting we read the story of the prodigal son. The Father’s reaction of mercy and unconditional love didn’t match the paradigm they were accustomed to. I then asked them if they wanted a restored relationship with their perfect Heavenly Father. They both said, “yes!” and prayed to received Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I would pray one sentence and they would repeat in their own words from their hearts. The last line of Enk’s prayer was this: “Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross, that was the most generous thing anyone has ever done.”

I sat there astonished. Just four days before Enk and Nandia didn’t believe in God, or so they said. They were educated, spoke great English, had great style and lots of friends but we’re starving for the truth and now they had it and would never be the same.

“Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross, that was the most generous thing anyone has ever done.”

We spent three weeks in Mongolia spreading the love of Jesus and serving the local church. Twelve folks from Mosaic College Ministry, walking around Ulanbaatarr looking for conversations. We left having met 7 people like Enk and Nandia. People that were starving to know the truth. No one had ever told them. No one had ever opened the Bible and shown them the story of Jesus’ love and grace. It didn’t take them convincing, we didn’t argue them into conversation. It just made sense because they were made for it. We were able to pass these new friends off to people from the church that will continue investing in them as they take steps with God.

All over the world and all over our city there are people starving for the truth. God made them for relationship with a perfect Heavenly Father but many of them have just never heard the truth. Short term missions trips are an incredible chance to tell people what they were made to know. But you don’t have to travel halfway across the world. Right next to you at work on the bus, there are people that need to be reminded that they are made for relationship with a loving God of grace and forgiveness. Often times no one has ever told them.

No one had ever opened the Bible and shown them the story of Jesus’ love and grace. It didn’t take them convincing, we didn’t argue them into conversation. It just made sense because they were made for it.

Who in your life could you tell this week that they’re loved by God?

By Will Aufhammer, College Ministry Director

Summer BBQs

“Why are you guys doing this?”

“We love our city and want to bless the people who live here with a free meal!”


Each month this summer, we hosted a free BBQ at Gasworks Park. In an effort to simply love our city, we gave away free food, played fun games, and met new friends each month. These parties were a blast and we are excited to continue loving our city in the months ahead.

Whether people need a meal, want to meet new friends, or are looking for a fun place for their kids to play, we wanted to provide a fun and free space for people to come together, share a meal, and meet some people.

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Did you come to a summer BBQ? Do you have a fun story to share or something you enjoyed? We’d love to hear in the comments!

Breakout

Last summer I went for a walk and God spoke to me. He whispered a simple yet powerful word about this year at Mosaic Community Church…. “Breakout.” I believe God spoke this word to me as an encouragement and preview of what HE was about to do in and through our church. Over the next few months I began praying, studying scripture, and actively preparing for the breakout that I knew God was about to do.

In the fall we did a sermon series called Breakout in which we focused on Matthew 16:18, where Jesus foreshadows the building of His church. We talked about church history, some common misconceptions, and about how the church that Jesus is building is… NOT a physical building, a social hub, a political party, or a social justice center. Rather, the church Jesus is building is a global movement of messy people who are living out and proclaiming the gospel. We talked about how Jesus’ church is breaking out and how the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

We are now 7 months into seeing God’s promise of Breakout fulfilled. Here’s a quick update:

  • Sunday Celebration attendance at Mosaic has increased by 40%
  • We now have 17 Lifegroups and the # of people in LG’s has grown by 30%. (Many of these new people have little or no church background)
  • Unbound – our anti-sex trafficking ministry – has launched. And it is actively reaching out into our community to help fight this atrocity.
  • Mosaic is consistently serving more impoverished people in Seattle than ever before, primarily through the men’s shelter and working with students at Foster High School
  • Mosaic has begun planting a church in Edmonds, WA
  • We are sending out 2 missionaries this summer to do church planting in North Africa

Wow! Needless to say, I am incredibly thankful and excited for all that God is doing, and I’m very expectant for what HE will continue to do in and through Mosaic over the next 5 months and beyond! As the breakout continues, one of my prayers is that our intimacy would increase – that we would draw closer to Jesus and be deeply committed to one another. Now more than ever let’s remember the call of God on Mosaic Community Church to Love God, Love People, and Change the World!

By Andrew Bach, Lead Pastor

Proper Rest

This is the final part of a three part series. (Valuing Time, Priorities and Motivations, Proper Rest)

One of the keys to effective time management is effective rest. But resting well is actually not intuitive, and often times the ways we choose to rest are not restorative.

When working out, one usually tries to max out on one muscle group (triceps) before moving onto the next muscle group (shoulders). Now, often times, after maxing out on one group, my body feels completely empty and I have nothing left to give. But when I switch to the new muscle group, I find that I actually have a lot of strength left to expend. The same is true of mental fatigue. I found this to be true in college, where I double majored in neurobiology and creative writing. I could study the science of the brain for hours, feel exhausted, and then switch to write a poem as if I had just woken up. Why? Because our brains work in different capacities based out our activities. And I found that writing a poem actually helped rest and recharge my brain to do more science.

One of the keys to effective rest is asking the questions, “Where am I spent?” and “How can I best recharge?” Sometimes the best way for me to rest is being alone, sometimes it is with a couple close friends, and sometimes it is at a large party. But often times, my “rest” times can actually be very productive, either relationally or in different modes of thought.

Don’t get me wrong. There are times where I am spent in every way—physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.—and I actually can’t do anything else productive. But those times are few, and in those times, I choose to sleep.

Sleep is necessary, restful, and needs to be a priority. But with too little sleep we collapse and lack excellence, and with too much sleep we are lethargic and don’t try for excellence. Sleep science says that 4 days of 8 hour per night sleep is actually more restorative than 3 days of 6.5 hour sleep and 1 day of 14 hour sleep. Why? Because the longer time you sleep, the more shallow your sleep becomes. The extra hours of your 14 hour sleep actually do very little towards making you feel rested.

For the same reasons, staying up late is generally harder on your body than getting up early. If your body is used to sleeping at 10pm and you go to bed at 1am, it won’t get as much deep sleep because it is used to getting that deep sleep from 10pm-1am, when you are now awake. On the other hand, getting up at 5 am instead of 8 am cuts out 3 hours of your more shallow sleep, leaving you, on the whole, more restored.

You cannot let sleep run your life. God didn’t call you to stay in bed, but He didn’t call you to run on empty, either.  Here are some practical tips to control your sleep rather than have your sleep control you.

  • Set multiple alarms, and make yourself get OUT of your bed to turn them off.

  • Have a wake up / bedtime accountability partner

  • Have a quick cold shower / put cold water on your face when you wake up

  • Get out of your house when you wake up

Resting excellently will allow you to maximize your time, submit it to the King, and see the Kingdom of God advanced.

By Ben Drum, Neighborhood Section Leader

Day by Day

A Lifegroup is a Christ centered community devoted to connecting with each other and encountering God together. These communities are based on the picture of the early church we find in Acts 2.

Being part of a Lifegroup has truly changed my life. I have involved in Lifergoups for the past four years; some of which I have led, some of which I have not. Some of them have been incredible, some have felt a little bit awkward. Some were filled with old friends, some were filled with new. But one thing has always been true: I have always been pointed towards Jesus.

Lifegroup has pointed me towards God in personal and collective ways.

I have developed genuine friendships through Lifegroup. I have found dear friends that encourage me, laugh with me and always point me back to Jesus. Regardless of my circumstances, the relationships I have gained from Lifegroup are irreplaceable.

I have encountered God through Lifegroup. Over and over again I am reminded of God’s faithfulness and righteousness because of my community. I have been vulnerable by asking for prayer only to be blown away by seeing God answering my cries.

I have friends who have met Jesus through Lifegroup. Often times these friends declined many previous invitations but finally came. Upon arrival these friends were welcomed by a group of genuine people who helped melt off the hardness of life. They were pointed to Jesus, encouraged, and prayed for. Some prayed for the first time in years and encountered God’s goodness and love.

I have known strangers who had never been to church trust in Jesus because someone invited them to Lifegroup. I once invited a girl to Lifegroup who had never been to church before and she came. After a few weeks she came to church and gave her life to Jesus! Lifegroup was the gateway to her knowing God.

The list goes on and on. Over and over I have seen God move through Lifegroup. But it has nothing to do with my Lifegroup specifically; it has everything to do with Jesus. As we invite God to do His will in our Lifegroups, as we submit to His authority, and as we obey Him in inviting people He will move in the hearts and minds of people. It may not look like we anticipated but it is a journey that will not disappoint.

I have been so blessed to see Acts 2:42-47 in my life through Lifegroup. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

Have you checked out a lifegroup? Do you need to give it a second chance? They’re so much fun and they’re all about Jesus. Check one out this week!

By Tina Jackson, Children’s Ministry Director

Financial Peace

Are you $100,000 in debt? Do you have $100,000 to spend? Or are you somewhere in between?

Come to the Financial Peace Equipping to hear Josh Lawson share God’s intention for your finances. Josh is the Director of Community Engagement at Antioch Waco and is an author and speaker who engages his audience with Biblical principles on finances. His equippings are known for being perspective shifting and motivating for living a lifestyle of peace and purpose with your money.

Join us Sunday, February 23rd at 7:30pm in the Upper Room to learn more about God’s purposes for your money. This equipping is open to anyone, no sign up required.

More

My whole life I have always wanted more. Whether it were more LEGOs as a child, a faster time on the cross-country course in high school, or more results in my ministry, I have always wanted more. It’s a challenge to be content with what is right in front of me.

I’ve found dissatisfaction much easier to come by, as compared to its more positive counterparts: contentment and thankfulness. It is far easier to point out what is not going my way than to celebrate what is. Often I reflect on my life and I feel that it’s not good enough; I want more. I look at my relationships and feel I’m not being cared for the way I’d like. I look at my ministry and it’s so easy to compare to other churches and other leaders feeling inadequate. I compare compare compare.

At times, this perspective has led me to frustration and even anger at God. “Why God? Why can’t it be this way or that? Why can’t it be easier? Why can’t I have more fun? Why can’t things work out just the way I planned?” I can go on and on, questioning and asking for more.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe when you evaluate your life you are quick to see the flaws and slow to celebrate the joys. Maybe you’re frequently dissatisfied and longing for more. And maybe your lens is just like mine, marred by dissatisfaction.

I think our standards and expectations need refurbishing. I so often forget that I do not deserve any of it. The “more” that I always seem to want is not what I’m entitled to. In fact, Romans 6:23a states that I deserve quite the opposite of a perfect life.

“For the wages of sin is death…”

On our own, we can never measure up; we are never qualified to earn God’s grace, love, and salvation. Left alone we are stuck; we are trapped in captivity and rightly face punishment. But by God’s grace, what we deserve and what Jesus offers differ drastically. The verse goes on to deliver some very good news.

“… but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

When Jesus came to rescue the world, he changed everything; Jesus’ interference changed our stories forever. And for us, anything short of death is divine intervention. Only through God’s mercy are we set free. If we consider what we owe, we cannot fairly blame the one who pays our debt. Jesus is the more we have always longed for. He is the answer to our longings and our cries.

When we rest in Jesus’ promise of abundant life the questions, the comparisons, and the misguided longings fall away. That doesn’t mean life miraculously becomes easy or perfect; it means that Jesus is all we need. He is our “more”.

What if we replaced dissatisfaction with joy? What if we spent more time celebrating the eternal life we have in Christ than contemplating our lack? I know my life would look different. How would yours look?

By Will Aufhammer, College Ministry Director