Sermon Recap: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 4

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Firstly, let us acknowledge the division we are facing in our nation. And, let us also acknowledge that we are not an “American” church, a “Western” church, a “Northwestern” church, or a “Seattle” church; we are Jesus’ church. First and foremost, we belong to Him. It’s even in our name: Mosaic! Our commonality is that we are all broken, and have come together to look like a complete picture of Jesus. The division we are facing as a country, though, has a solution: real relationships. This is the topic of our discussion for this week’s sermon, led by Andrew Bach.

John 15:15: “By this, all people will know that you are my disciples: by the way that you love one another.” 

Acts 2:42-47: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the 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.”

This week, we are looking at the term ‘devotion’ in particular (which means a ‘profound dedication marked by love, loyalty, and enthusiasm). In the above passage from Acts, the disciples were devoted to 1). The apostle’s teaching, 2). Fellowship, 3). Breaking of bread, and 4). Prayers. The result of this devotion was: awe upon every soul, miracles, unity, generosity, thankfulness, worship, favor with people in the city, and salvation. To be Jesus’ church, according to Scripture, is to be devoted to fellowship.

Because Millennials represent a good portion of our church – as well as incredible and beautiful diversity across the world today – we’re going to use some statistical evidence (courtesy of Gallup) to exemplify the significance of real relationships. The Millennial demographic is characterized by 4 commonalities:

  1. Connected: in ideas, inclusivity, etc.
  2. Unconstrained: they are not limited by the status quo
  3. Idealistic: they are optimistic and envision purpose and meaning in everything they do:
  4. Unattached: independent; there are so many options, which induce a fear of commitment

Three out of these four characteristics of Millennials, as a generalized population, are admirable and necessary to neighborhood, city, nation, and worldwide change! However, a propensity to be unattached can be disastrous; Jesus’ church must be devoted to fellowship. Nothing is more powerful than real relationship. This is why Lifegroups are so important. If we ourselves are not walking in real relationship, we cannot help a nation divided become unified.

John 15:15: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” Real relationships grow us in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. God, Himself, is in community! He does not exist alone, but in relationship with the Son and the Spirit. The power is in devotion. The power is in showing up. As a church family, we encourage everyone to commit to a group of people; in that devotion, you’ll find yourself on a launchpad toward real relationship.

The nation, in its division, is set up for a move of God through the local church. Friends, let that be us! Let our devotion be contagious.

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If you are already part of a Lifegroup, we encourage and applaud your commitment. If you are interested in joining a Lifegroup, we’d love to speak with you after church on Sundays at the Welcome Table! 

Sermon Recap: Jesus’ Church, Pt. 3

It’s week 3 of our series, “Jesus’ Church” led by Andrew Bach. Come on, fam, let’s dive back in!

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To start, let’s begin by looking at 1 Peter 5:6-7, which says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you”. Jesus wants to carry your burdens because he cares about you, not just because he wants you to be free to do good works or fulfill your callings or handle your obligations. He cares for you, in the same way that a father or mother carries their children’s luggage through the airport – not to free up their children to do more things at the airport. It’s just what loves does.

Acts 20:28: “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” We no longer belong to ourselves; we belong to Jesus. Our church, therefore, belongs to Jesus, including our programs and relationships and thought processes. So, as a church that belongs to Jesus, this sermon acknowledges a practicality of doing life: everyone disciples someone.

Matthew 28:16-20: Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'” We will always walk by faith, so do not be afraid or ashamed of being doubtful. Rather, bring your doubt to Him. The enemy wants your doubt to bring division, but God wants to use your doubts to deepen your faith. Further, this passage makes it clear that Jesus is God, and then He gives us an assignment; it’s more than praying, worship, social justice, working hard, resting and enjoying His presence. Our assignment is to “go therefore and make disciples”. 

Why might some of us not be in a discipleship relationship?

  1. You’ve never heard of a discipleship relationship.
  2. Discipleship is awkward.
  3. Jesus told you that you are an exception to His Great Commission.
  4. The Great Commission is a bad strategy anyways.
  5. You have far greater things to do than to accomplish the Great Commission.
  6. You don’t like people.
  7. You tried discipleship and thought it was a disaster and waste of time.
  8. Jesus disciples you.
  9. Discipleship is not your gifting.
  10. You have no idea what discipleship even looks like.

Making a disciple means pointing a person toward Jesus (practically, through baptism, and teaching others to observe and obey His commandments). Jesus wants the whole world to obey Him because obeying Him leads to abundant life. In obedience to Jesus, we find joy and life. Discipleship looks like consistent and purposeful relationships with the intention to encourage someone in obedience. It looks like accountability. How we respond to Jesus’ calling to make disciples will determine whether Mosaic is a monument or a movement. Monuments are cool, but we don’t want to be a monument! If we take up His calling, we will be a movement; that is what we want!

To get into a discipleship relationship, the best place to start is in Lifegroup. Discipleship happens in both groups and in one-on-one relationships. Follow these practicals in discipleship: connect, encourage accountability, and challenge. Let us teach each other the joy of following Jesus!

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See you next week for part 4 of the “Jesus’ Church” series! *wink wink*

Sermon Recap: Relational Resolves, Pt. 3

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Thus far, we have taken a look at two relational resolves, by which we as members of the church choose to relate with others: Honor and Healthy Conflict. Today, we break down Relational Warmth, and how to apply it practically and lovingly in our lives.

Our third relational resolve encourages us to decide in advance that we are going to be warm to others. Specifically, this looks like enthusiasm, affection, and kindness in engaging every person we encounter. God’s kindness is abundantly toward you. It is unchanging. It is mighty and ferocious and huge, and therefore we are called to love and warmly engage others greatly as His children.

He loves to meet our disappointment with His kindness, and He loves to meet our failure with His kindness. For you, specifically and intimately, His arms are wide open, and He desires to overwhelm you with kindness.

Luke 15:1-6 tells the Parable of the Lost Sheep, a depiction of the kindness of Jesus: “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ Then Jesus told them this parable: Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’” 

His affections are toward you. It is out of His abundant kindness that we are encouraged to be warm to all others.

Colossians 3:12-15: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32.

1 Peter 3:8 furthers yet the importance of biblical warmth, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble”. 

As believers, we are being carried through the process of sanctification, to look more like Jesus every day. To have the process of sanctification working in us means that we have the power and authority to love others outlandishly. Being warm with other people  is the calling on our loves by the will of God. Being relationally warm is more than a suggestion; to have a calling by God over our lives is grand beyond measure! We put on the clothing of relational warmth because we have first received it immensely from Jesus.

We live in Seattle (though this notion of coldness toward others certainly is not limited to Seattle alone), where indifference tends to characterize relationship. When did being cold become trendy? When did being “nice” become synonymous with being “boring”? This isn’t true at all! Being nice doesn’t mean we are boring; rather, it means we are clothed in the Spirit, representing kindness and affection and enthusiasm toward everyone. We, as people of God, reject the idea that the Seattle Freeze is the norm, and instead hold ourselves to a standard of heavenly norm.

As with our other relational resolves, there are 4 Practicals for Relational Warmth:

  1. Acknowledge people
  2. Use eye contact
  3. Use physical contact
  4. Practice inclusion

We haven’t done anything to earn God’s warmth toward us. Therefore, we are open and welcoming to others in return, because it is a gift that has already been given to us. We choose to put on relational warmth because of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are His chosen ones, holy and beloved, called to live as Jesus lives.

Galatians 5:22-23 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” 

We are called to aggressively, purposefully, intentionally love others, because this is exactly how we are loved by Him.

Need to do some catching up? Check out our sermon recaps about honor and healthy conflict on the blog!  

 

Tijuana (By Numbers)

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In March, a group of college students traveled to Tijuana, Mexico, on a mission: to do as Jesus asks us, “Go out into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). As a church, this is our calling, both within the city of Seattle and outside to all the world. We take mission trips to reveal the love of Jesus to unreached corners of the world, and this was an opportunity for a group of students to see God move in incredible ways.

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A typical day in Tijuana included morning worship, followed by equipping by a local pastor from All People’s Church or Mosaic, and then following the lead of the Spirit for the remainder of the day in reaching and connecting with others. The team performed a dance and a drama in public spaces, and then shared the gospel while someone translated. It is amazing how even through a drama -without verbal communication – God can bring people to Himself. The students and leaders also had the opportunity to partner with the local church in by assisting in outreach and a variety of ways.

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Though numbers cannot describe the depth of joy or represent the experiences our students had in Tijuana, they do give an awesome picture of God’s hand in the city during the trip. Here’s what we saw:

  • 104 people give their lives to Jesus
  • 25 people radically healed
  • Over 350 people came to the Easter service at All People’s Church (Tijuana). Of those 350, 30 people gave their lives to Jesus. The church has an average attendance of 90 people
  • Several students said it was their first mission trip, and some their first time sharing the Gospel with someone.
  • Our students were filled with passion and came back even more envisioned for the people in our own city
  • We have a group the does outreach on Thursdays (in Seattle) and up to 10 or more people come on their own time and are willing to pray and show the love of Jesus to people! It’s incredible. We are seeing people in our very own city touched by the love of God by stepping out and doing something that is seemingly awkward or risky.
  • Our students came back with a fiery passion for Jesus! Our college ministry is thriving and they are forming spaces for people to pray early in the morning and worship together.
  • Lifegroups are thriving
  • People are already excited for the next spring break trip
  • Students came alive in Tijuana and experienced God in a way they never had before. And it hasn’t stopped. God is good!

At Mosaic, there are so many opportunities to be part of our mission. This summer, we are sending groups internationally to continue to be a part of God’s great plan for salvation for all people. Come, and join us!

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For more information, we invite you to attend a Sunday service, or check out our site

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

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

Deep and Wide

A church that is both deep and wide. This concept has been pervading my mind ever since Andrew’s sermon several weeks ago, and I believe each follower of Jesus needs to consider it with me.

Will we be deep? Pursuing intimate friendship with Jesus, studying scripture, intentional to give glory to God in every facet of our lives and living in meaningful Christ-centered community with each other?

OR

Will we be wide? Making a place for anyone and everyone to experience the Gospel, purposefully living to see as many people as possible put their trust in Jesus?

The challenge is obvious. Take preaching for example. The more theologically intricate a sermon is, the less approachable for a person who has no background with Jesus. And yet – if everything we do is geared toward pre-christians, mature followers of Jesus may feel that their river runs dry.

Deep and wide. Is it even possible? I propose that for our church to be both deep and wide, we must leverage two ancient truths:

#1 It’s about Him (God) and them.

As we turn our focus to glorifying Jesus and advancing HIS Kingdom, we will begin to think about ourselves less. As we think about ourselves less, we will think less about having or not having our individual spiritual needs met. In fact, we will become more alive in Christ than ever before as we glorify Jesus and share His love with others.

#2 As we get bigger, we need to get smaller.

When I first joined Mosaic, there were about 20people total. We gathered on Sundays at the Lutheran Student Center in the U-District and even one new visitor on a Sunday was basically synonymous with God having performed a miracle. In contrast, around thirty people sat on the floor at Mosaic the Sunday before last; there simply wasn’t space for them to sit anywhere else. God is bringing people to Mosaic, transforming their lives through His grace, and knitting them into this local expression of His body.

Is there a certain size we will reach when we will say “we’re full–no more room for people here?” Absolutely not!

This is the fundamental reason why we will transition to two Sunday services in January. We need to ensure that we are consistently in a position to welcome new people into the body of Christ.

But as our church gets bigger, we must get smaller in order to pursue the same depth that we see in Acts 2. The essence of getting smaller is to commit to agroup of people who you can endeavor in the values of Acts 2:42-47 together. We think this is best done through Lifegroups. What is a Lifegroup? A Christ-centered community, devoted to connecting with each other and encountering God together. In this definition, the word “devoted” is essential. There is no such thing as being partially devoted. You either are or you aren’t. When a group of people is devoted to the to the vision of Lifegroup, to going small together, the potential for depth in God and in Christ-centered community is seemingly limitless.

I want to be a person who knows Jesus intimately in the midst of meaningful, Christ-centered community. And I want to be a person who sees countless people put their faith in Jesus. Deep and Wide. I am not willing to settle for anything less.

It is possible for our church to be both deep and wide? Will you come with us?

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By Executive Pastor Paul Jackson