Why Multi-Ethnic Is Important

Excerpts here are taken from the book, 
Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church, by Mark DeYmaz. (Jossey-Bass/Leadership Network, 2007)

Introduction

While government and educational programs, together with the efforts of countless individuals, groups and agencies, have long-sought to eliminate prejudice and the disparaging consequences of institutional racism still deeply embedded within our society, is it not time to recognize that true unity – a unity that respects and celebrates diversity – cannot be achieved apart from the establishment of churches which intentionally and joyfully reflect the passion of Christ for all people of the world?

For it is not the institutions of government, nor of education throughout America that have been ordained by God to this task, but rather the local church, the bride of Christ; we, His people (John 17:1-3, 20-23; Acts 11:19-26, 13:1, 16ff.; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 4:1-6; Revelation 5:9-10).

I. The Prayer of Christ

In John 17:2, Christ clearly defined His mission. He was sent to the world to give eternal life to all who would believe. Reaching the lost is what it’s all about; it remains today the passion of His heart.

So after first interceding for the apostles (vss. 6-19), He prayed for you and me. Specifically – three times in four verses (20-23) – He prayed that we would be one, or “perfected in unity.” Our unity, He declared, will be a visible witness to the world of God’s love for all people. Our oneness will demonstrate that He is Messiah, who alone can bring peace to men.

In John 17, then, Christ not only defined His mission, but delivered to us the most effective means for reaching the world with His message of hope. He did not tell us to write a book, publish a tract or develop a program; He called us to be one – on earth as it is in heaven – so that the world would know God’s love and believe.

II. The Pattern of the New Testament Church

Have you ever wondered why you have to read eight chapters into the Book of Acts to find anyone willing to leave Jerusalem for the sake of the Gospel? Consider, too, that in Acts 10, the apostle, Peter, is challenged to explain the fact that he has converted a Roman soldier to Christianity. Again, the question is why?

It was, indeed, difficult for the early believers to understand that Christ intended His kingdom to extend beyond Jewish borders, to encompass people from every nation, tongue and tribe. Even into Acts 11, they still don’t get it! For in various towns, they speak of Christ only with the Jews (vs. 19).

But in Acts 11:20, a significant step is taken when men of Cyprus and Cyrene intentionally take the gospel to a diverse city called Antioch and speak of Christ with both Jews and Greeks alike. As a result, considerable numbers there come to Christ. Barnabus is sent from Jerusalem and later, Paul, himself, makes this church home. In time three missionary journeys are launched from the church and the gospel is spread to all of Asia Minor – and into Europe, as well – making the church at Antioch the most influential church of the entire New Testament!

So why did the church at Antioch care about the world? Because the church at Antioch reflected the world! They were a multi-ethnic people with a multi-ethnic leadership (Acts 13:1) who considered it essential to send their money, their men and their message of hope abroad – to friends, family and countrymen in obedience to Christ.

With this in mind, it is not coincidental that believers were first called “Christians” at Antioch (Acts 11:26). As Jesus, Himself, made clear, He is most clearly recognized in the unity of His children (John 17:20-23).

III. The Pauline Mystery

From the beginning, the church at Ephesus included both Jewish and Gentile converts (Acts 19:17). And when Paul writes later in his letter to the church at Ephesus, “For this reason, I too, having heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you“ (Ephesians 1:15-16), it is appropriate to ask to whom is Paul referring and why such inclusive language? It is my belief that Paul has in mind the multi-ethnic nature of this church-a community of faith in which both Jewish and Gentile converts walk, work and worship God together as one.

Beginning in Ephesians 2:11, Paul turns his attention to the Gentile community within the church. According to Paul, understanding of this mystery had not been granted to past generations but had only “now been revealed to the apostles and prophets by the Spirit“ (Ephesians 3:5). A common error is to assume that the mystery Paul is speaking of is, simply, the mystery of the Gospel-the good news message of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, his atonement for sin. Yet this is most certainly not the case! For in verse 6, Paul makes clears that the mystery of Christ is something altogether different: “To be specific, the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel“ (Ephesians 3:6).

Now at this point, it’s appropriate to recall why Paul’s imprisonment began in Jerusalem. Acts 21:27-36 informs us that a mob had been incited by the false accusation that Paul brought Gentiles into the temple. In addressing the crowd, Paul offers a defense by telling the story of his conversion. And near the end of his remarks, he says something most interesting: “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; for I will send you far away to the Gentiles,’“ (Acts 22:21, NIV). Notice the crowd’s response: “The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!“” (Acts 22:22, emphasis mine). Indeed, the crowd listened to Paul up until the time he spoke of his calling to the Gentiles. It was only then, as he declared “the mystery of Christ,“ that Paul became its ambassador in chains (Ephesians 6:20)!

In Ephesians 3:7-10, Paul tells us that he was called not only to proclaim the mystery of Christ among the Gentiles but also “to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church“. In other words, Paul had not only been granted insight into the mystery of Christ but also insight into how, in a practical way, the mystery is to be lived out through the local church.

Conclusion

In their book, Divided By Faith, sociologists Michael Emerson and Christian Smith find that evangelical churches may actually (though unintentionally) be perpetuating systemic (institutional) racism throughout America. Not only did their research confirm (to no one’s surprise) that most American evangelicals attend an ethnically and/or economically segregated churches, but more significantly, that we spend 70-80% of our time relationally (i.e., time outside of work, school, sports, etc.) with those who attend our same, local church. Thus, they conclude, evangelical Christians are not only racially segregated from one another, but relationally segregated from one another, as well. How does this perpetuate the system?

Apart from ethnically and economically diverse relationships, we cannot understand others different from ourselves, develop trust for others who are different than us, and/or love others different than ourselves, etc. Apart from understanding, trust and love, we are less likely to get involved in the plight of others different than ourselves. Without involvement, nothing changes; and, the disparaging consequences of systemic racism remain entrenched in our culture.

Surely, it breaks the heart of God to see so many churches – in this city and throughout this country – segregated ethnically and/or economically from one another, and that little has changed in the more than one hundred years since it was first observed that eleven o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in the land.

Brothers and sisters, it should not be so.

Concerning the movement of American Christianity towards racial reconciliation in the 1990’s, author Chris Rice – in his book, More Than Equals – wrote the following profound words …

“Yes, deep reconciliation will produce justice, and new relationships between the races. Yes this will lead Christians to become a bright light in the public square. But I have become convinced that God is not very interested in the church healing the race problem. I believe it is more true that God is using race to heal the church.”



Who Is Mosaic…

Mission:
To know God and to make Him known through the pursuit of unity in accordance with the prayer of Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23) and patterned after the New Testament church at Antioch (Acts 11:19-26; 13:1).
 
Vision:
To be a healthy multi-ethnic and economically diverse church in order to present a credible witness of God’s love for all people throughout Durham and beyond. 
 
Strategy:
1. WORSHIP the Father together as one. Come and contribute before the Lord. (Acts 2:42-47 and Heb. 10:25; Mal. 3:8-12 and Mt. 23:23)
2. WALK together as one in Christ. Live with and love one another. (Acts 2:42-47 and 2 Tim. 2:15; Jn. 17:21-23 and Eph. 4:1-6)
3. WORK together as one in the Spirit. Serve others and share the Gospel. (Gal. 5:13 and I Pet. 4:10; Mt. 28:19, 20 and II Tim. 2:2) 


Why Church?

Why is the Church important?

As outlined by the Word of God, the Church (all churches not only    Mosaic Church) is defined as a group of Christians who dedicate themselves to meeting together for the regular preaching of the Word of God; who submit themselves to Biblical eldership as outlined in 1 Timothy 3, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, and Hebrews 13:17; who regularly celebrate the ordinances of the Church (baptism and the Lord’s Supper); and who practice and submit themselves to church discipline as laid out in Scripture (Matthew 18:15-17).

 

God makes us a part of His larger family (the Church) when we are born again. But, when we commit to a local body and live in community (church membership), this enables us to grow and become spiritually mature in Christ.

 

The local church is not an audience but a family. Each believer is a needed member in the body of Christ. As a spiritual body gathers to worship God, we come as equals, prepared to share in family responsibilities to love and encourage one another. (1 Peter 4:10)

Having a family mindset lays our foundation for our members with responsibilities and privileges*.
 

We are better together both as a local congregation and a global Church. The Church functions properly when members operate in    unity. We benefit by a spiritual covering that presents the consistent teaching and preaching of God’s Word equipping us to every good work, by corporate worship, by fellowship, and through prayer.

 

TO EQUIP: The responsibility of the Church is outlined in Ephesians 4:11-16.  The pastor and church leadership will prepare members for the work of the ministry. The work of the ministry is to live out our faith in Jesus. The “how to’s” of following Jesus – Bible study, journaling, prayer, evangelism, missions, etc. are all aspects of equipping of the saints. This also flows over into all areas of life – emotional health, financial health, and physical health. Equipping through discipleship provides the tools for a successful and abundant life in Christ Jesus with the purpose of unity, maturity, and reproduction. (Ephesians 4:11-16, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Ephesians 2:10, Psalm 1, Acts 2:42, 1 Timothy 4:13, John 17:21-23)

 

TO WORSHIP: The opportunity of corporate worship allows us to       recalibrate – shifting our focus from ourselves to Almighty God. It brings humility and joy to the participants. Corporate worship –   whether through listening or singing a song, through hearing a prayer or Truth preached – allows the Holy Spirit to convict, heal, change, or comfort us. It can expose our point of need and immediately meet it.  Our adoration of God is increased when we worship together in unity. (Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 10:25, Ephesians 5:19, Psalm 95:1-11, Hebrews 12:28-19, John 4:23-24)

 

TO FELLOWSHIP: Mosaic is a family. We get to do life together! Growth in community through fellowship brings encouragement, connection, healing, selflessness, unity, and sharpening. We shoulder each other’s burdens and celebrate one another’s joys.    (Philippians 2:1-4, 1 John 1:1-7, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Proverbs 27:17, Psalm 133:1)

 

TO PRAY:  Mosaic’s pastor, leadership team, and elders deeply care for you and pray for you. Prayer prepares the way for God to move on our behalf and destroys strongholds.  It also transforms our hearts and minds. (James 5:16, Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

 

TO GIVE: Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice – His life. How can we possibly withhold from giving generously to Him, even our own life? Generosity isn’t just about dollars and tithing. There is much more significance tied to generosity – love. Love is the fuel to generosity. 

Because of Jesus’ love for us, we can freely sacrifice our life and resources for others.

 

Tithing is a Biblical mandate and vital part of the operation of the church. Tithing shows you place your trust in God as He is our Source of provision – not money. Tithes and offering are used to do ministry of serving others, as well as operate the day-to-day needs of a church (maintenance, staff, bills, insurance, etc.)  (Proverbs 3:9-10, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, Malachi 3:10)

 

TO ATTEND: Attendance of corporate worship on a regular basis is for mutual encouragement, spiritual growth, instruction, community, and   accountability.  The Word of God tells us to not neglect this special time together. (Hebrews 10:25, Acts 2:42, 1 Corinthians 12:14-26, Ephesians 4:11-13)

 

TO GROW: We desire personal growth. We strive to provide an atmosphere where each person is nurtured towards maturity and stability, and encouraged to grow and flourish in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Our focus is health through relationship with Christ as it overflows into all areas of life – spiritually, emotionally, financially, and physically.  (Romans 12:1-21, Ephesians 4:11-16, 1 Peter 2:1-3, 2 Timothy 2:15, Matthew 28:19-20)

 

TO SERVE: We encourage our members to give both of time and resources, to regularly attend, to grow in their walk with Christ and each other, and to serve Christ by serving others.

God has placed us in a local church so that we might be edified (built up) to do good work and to serve Him (Ephesians 2:10). The Church doesn’t exist to serve us but to serve God. To remain sedentary is to neglect God’s very purpose for our salvation. Community is forged standing side-by-side working towards a goal. Family is exemplified when we prefer others over ourselves. God is glorified in our service.

You should not serve because we need volunteers, but because you need to volunteer. Serving should flow from your
passions. You can serve inside the church through our ministry teams. (1 Peter 4:10-11, Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:1-5:2)

 

 



Our Leadership

Our leadership team…designed solely by dependence of the Holy Spirit!  Due to our vision of being a diverse group of believers, we believe it’s important for diversity to be found at all levels of leadership.  Our leaders from a variety of varying backgrounds, ethnicities, economics, and generational categories.  We do this because we want our community of believers to reflect the same community that we live in.  We are not a separate entity from the community, we aim to be ONE with the community! 

 

 

Dan Johnson, Lead Pastor

Dan is passionate about helping others living the best life they can live while serving God!  He enjoys teaching others and helping them develop into more mature followers of Christ!  He loves spending time with his wife, Kelly, and two daughtes traveling and seeing God’s creation.  He’s a huge fan of the Oregon Ducks and anything that might even resemble a sport!  Most importantly, he’s a lost soul that God saved from the depths of depression into the joy of serving Jesus!  
 
 
 
 
dana-picDana Lipsey, Director of Worship
Dana is a husband, a father, a friend, and a believer in Jesus Christ.  He is  passionate about teaching others that there is Power in their Praise and Worship.

He loves the great outdoors, to include hiking, camping, white water rafting, and playing in the dirt.  Dana loves including his wife Marcy and their two children in his love for the outdoors.                                                                                                                Dana recognizes the Call of God and moves every day to accomplish the Will of God for his life.

 
Allen
Allen Jones, Director of Work
Allen Ladd Jones, an avid dog lover, is a Warren County, North Carolina native. For over the past 30 years, he has been a funeral director.  The Army Reserve received 13 years of his service.  Allen has 1 son and 5 perfect grandchildren. He was licensed to preach the Gospel on the 4th Sunday of January, 2013.
 
 
 
 
 
christineLarry & Christine Justice, Mo’Kids Ministry Director
Larry & Christine are wholehearted, passionate, lovers of Jesus! Their love for people and Jesus spill over into all they do.  Larry plays piano. Christine likes to cook, play the piano and flute, sing, and sew. Her favorite chapter of the Bible is I Corinthians 13. They love their children, grand-kids, adopted kids and others that God has brought into their sphere of life.  Both of them  are  positive, energetic, colorful children of God who love making new friends!
 


Our Core Values

Our Core Values:

Mosaic embraces the following values to find joy in life and service:

Acceptance: We show care, concern and compassion for all men and   women whom Christ loves and gave His life, accepting where they are in their walk with Christ or the path leading to Him.  We believe ‘No perfect people allowed’ as we are all a work in progress, keeping in mind “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Authenticity: We model faith, transparency, and genuineness not in mere religion or in false humility, but understanding truth brings freedom. (John 8:32 & Romans 12:9-16)

Diversity: We value people from all walks of life: ethnically, economically, generationally, and spiritually to join and pursue the Gospel.  We      recognize people bring with them preferences, talents, passions, and stories that make them unique.  These qualities are not forgotten but are embraced and seen in the various ministries, music, and styles of service.  Collectively, we pursue unity through diversity as Jesus taught about in John 17. (Romans 12:3-8)

 Community: We value community through people joining as a family.  We desire to look out for other’s interests above our own.  Rejoicing      together, working together, encouraging each other in love and good works, bearing one another’s burdens, comforting each other, and helping the weak in patience.  We need each other and are stronger together than we are individually.  (Hebrews 10:24-25 & Philippians 2:1-4)

 Service: We value serving each other and those around us so that others may see Him. Through service we promote the power of resurrection, reconciliation, and transformation in the community and beyond for the sake of the Gospel. (Mark 10:45)

Laughter: It is a joy to use our gifts serving God and others.  Laughter is the real sense of enjoyment together. We will laugh loud and often.   Therefore, we value laughter, a spirit of celebration, and having fun as we lead and serve together. (Proverbs 17:22)

 



What We Believe

Doctrinal Statement

† We believe in one God who eternally exists in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

† We believe in the Father, maker of all that is seen and unseen. We believe He providentially upholds and governs the universe according to His good   purposes.

† We believe in His only Son, Jesus Christ, born of the mystical union of the Holy Spirit and the virgin, Mary. We believe He existed bodily on this earth, fully God and fully man. We believe He was crucified for our sins, He died and was buried; He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. We believe in His personal and future return to the earth; He will someday judge the living and the dead. We believe there is no other name under heaven by which men and women can be saved.

† We believe in the Holy Spirit, who empowers and encourages all who      believe for daily Christian living. He indwells believers, convicts concerning sin and illumines the Scriptures.

† We believe that God’s Word, the Bible, is our ultimate authority. It is     composed of the Old and New Testaments, the inspired word of God, without error in the original writings.

† We believe salvation (eternal life) is a free gift offered to mankind via the grace of God; that the dead will be resurrected bodily and the believer raised to eternal life.

† We believe that the passion of Christ is for all people of the world to be saved.

† We believe that the prayer of Jesus Christ (John 17) declares unity among believers to be the greatest expression of God’s love for the world and the greatest witness to it of the fact that He, Himself, is Messiah.

† We believe the pattern of the New Testament local church reflects this   unity and that in these churches, people of varying ethnicity and economic means pursued God together as one.

† We believe that the kingdom of heaven is not segregated along ethnic and economic lines.

† We believe that local churches on earth should not be either.