Will You Help Us Plant A Church?

o-SUPPORT-FRIENDS-facebookIt’s an interesting phenomenon that asking for help is often seen as some sort of weakness by our culture. We mythologize figures like the Marlboro Man, the independent spirit who don’t need nobody. We idolize the “self-made” man who didn’t have to rely on anyone to get ahead. But we forget that even the “Lone Ranger” didn’t actually travel alone. Tonto was a faithful companion.

We instinctively know that life was not meant to be lived alone. This is revealed to us time and time again in God’s redemptive story. God created a companion for Adam. He promised Abraham a family. He worked through a nation. And, though He saves us as individuals, He saves us into a family. The Christian life is fullest when we bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-2). We weep and rejoice with each other (Romans 12:15). Following Jesus is a community endeavor. We are to “speak the truth to one another in love” (Ephesians 4:15), and it is by our love for one another that the world will know that we belong to Jesus (John 13:35).

Though Christians come from every culture, we are brought in to a new community. We are expected to do good to everyone, especially fellow Believers (Galatians 6:10). Not only are we called to be sensitive to each other’s needs but we must also speak up when we have a need ourselves.

And that’s where you come in.Mosaic_Church_logo-Stack

In July 2008, after serving as a lead pastor in TX, I planted Church of the Cross in Glendale, AZ. We planted a church because we believe that church planting is vital for the gospel health of any city. By God’s grace, we saw exciting Gospel growth and God transformed an initial plant of 12 adults and 16 kids into a thriving, multiplying group of gospel communities on mission. We saw lives transformed and people grow closer to Jesus.

After adopting four children at once (putting us at 8 children), I made the difficult decision to resign from the church I had poured my life into. We had grown with our church plant but our suddenly expanded family deserved our full attention. We spent most of 2015 focusing on family stability but towards the end of 2015, God began to tug at my heart again.

Now, after nearly eight months of praying, planning and imagining, we are excited and humbled to announce that we are moving to Gilbert, AZ to plant another church. We will be joining our friends Steve and Christine Valero who are also experienced church planters. Mosaic Church was birthed from convictions regarding the importance of applying the Gospel (our need for Jesus) to all of life. This leads us into community where we share one another’s burdens and joys and then overflow in sacrificial love for our communities.

We are raising $100,000 of start-up funding. This will ensure an initial salary base and cover launch costs (such as a quality children’s ministry, insurance, etc.) for the first year as we become self-sufficient. Your one-time or recurring gift will help ensure church stable for the long-term. We need to raise at least $15,000 by the end of July in order to move. Any help is appreciated.

You can give online via PayPal.





You may also give by check. Checks made payable to Mosaic Church may be mailed to:

19619 North 67th Drive

Glendale, AZ 85308

 

 

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We know that you don’t need extra incentives to give. The warm feeling under left rib and knowing that you’ve helped is enough. But because we are so grateful we want to offer a token of our appreciation.

If you give $350, you will receive your choice of one of Brent’s original drawings in a frame. See a sampling of the drawings available here.

If you give $500, you will receive one of Kristi’s original string art pieces. You will have your choice of a “Home” sign in which the “o” is the state of your choice or a “gather” sign.

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If you give $750, you can have one of each.

We can’t thank you enough for your support in helping make this new church a reality.

  • Read the story of our adoption.
  • Read the story of my resignation from ministry.
  • Read some of our spiritual journey in 2015.
  • Read about my call to plant another church.
  • Visit the Mosaic Church website.





Striving To Be Consistently Pro-Life(?)

deathpenaltyI have not read it yet but Christianity Today‘s review of Shane Claiborne‘s new book Executing Grace has much that resonates with me. My views on this issue have changed drastically over the years. I used to believe that capital punishment was not only justified but required because murder is the taking of a human life which is made in the image of God, therefore it was not only a de-valuing of human life but blasphemy (Genesis 9:6, etc.).

I now believe that it is more consistently “pro-life” to oppose the death penalty, precisely because all human life reflects the image of God. When the Supreme Court approved the modern death penalty, they declared that

capital punishment is an expression of society’s moral outrage at particularly offensive conduct . . .

For a Christian to defend capital punishment, it seems to me that we must argue from a theological perspective. It is worthy of death precisely because murder attacks the image of God. But we do not live in a theocratic state. Christian or otherwise.

Instead, the Supreme Court basis its justification of capital punishment on “society’s moral outrage.” A major problem with this, of course, is that society’s moral compass can sometimes seem like Jack Sparrow’s treasure compass in the Pirates of the Carribean movies. Wonky and ever-changing, especially when it comes to “society’s” norms. It wasn’t that long ago that we put suspected witches to the “swimming” text and burned heretics at the stake. What might have earned capital punishment at one time might not at another. Without the Christian under-pinning, there is no consistent ethic with which to decide which cases deserve death and which do not. In short, we cannot be trusted to be consistent. Since all people bear the image of God, we owe ourselves more than this. The taking of a human life cannot be left up to the shifting winds of “society’s moral outrage”.

Our justice system is not only deeply flawed and often unreliable, it is infected with systemic racism. Even if we agreed that murder is the consistent base-line for capital punishment, our application of any standards are not only inconsistent but often unjust. The ACLU argues:

the evidence from the past 33 years demonstrates that capital punishment remains arbitrary and that society’s moral outrage continues to be expressed loudest when wealthy white people are homicide victims.

Our court system simply cannot be trusted to always be impartial and “just” when it comes to this issue. The ACLU article continues:

empirical research across the country consistently demonstrates that a defendant who kills a white person is far more likely to receive the death penalty than a defendant who kills a person of color, and the racial configuration most likely to result in a death sentence is a black-on-white crime.

Amnesty International argues that “the single most reliable predictor of whether someone will be sentenced to death is the race of the victim” even non-whites are just as often the victims of murder. Time magazine comes right out and says it: “there is significant racial bias in the administration of the death penalty.” If we believe that all men are not only created equal but that all people are created in the image of God and therefore human life always has intrinsic value, then we must oppose the death penalty as it is currently practiced.

Capital punishment also carries the idea that certain criminals do not deserve even the possibility of rehabilitation. It simply negates some lives based on norms that we’ve already seen are shaky at best and likely to soon change.

Though there is more to be said, this serves as a brief summary of why I’ve changed my mind over the years. I’ve come to believe that the pursuit of wisdom necessitates that we are willing to sometimes change our views. I’m not saying that if you disagree with me on this issue that you are unwise but that my pursuit of wisdom has led me down this path. As I grow older and understand perspectives which my own experiences never provided, many of my views change.

I know that many of you will disagree and I look forward to hearing from you. But remember to express your views with humanity and kindness. After all, we are all God’s image bearers and deserve respect.