Mosaic lingo

It's not that we are trying to create new lingo in order to be "cool" or "different", we simply feel some of the words that are commonly used in the church have either lost their meaning or taken on a meaning that we are not comfortable with.  For example, think about the word "church".  What comes to your mind?  Do you think of a church service?  A building?  An event?  People?  This is why we think it is important to use words that convey who we are, rather than trying to explain our understanding all the time.

  • GATHERINGS: The terminology we use for our church services is "gatherings".  Too often, church services become the center of christian life and are often described as "going to church".  We think this is very unfortunate.  The church is people, not a building and not a church service.  Those people gather from time to time, but they spend most of their life with their family, co-workers, friends and activities.  We believe that it is important to be engaged with our community/city and sometimes that takes us away from the gatherings.  We think that's awesome and encourage our community to be out serving and participating in the place we call home.  Take a read of Jeremiah 29:4-7, then go bring shalom to the city!
  • BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN PIECES COMING TOGETHER TO CREATE A WORK OF ART: We see ourselves kind of like a mosaic art piece. We need each other. Each of us is incomplete by ourselves, but we come together to make a beautiful community! RHYTHMS: If you know anything about music, you know that rhythm is what makes a song sing-able and play-able (unless of course you are really accomplished jazz musician). Even without a melody instrument, the beat can keep everyone together. This is how we see "rhythms" within Mosaic. They are our "way of life" as we intentionally try to orient our lives around the life and teaching of Jesus.
  • INCARNATIONAL vs ATTRACTIONAL: Eugene Peterson in his translation of the Bible called "The Message", states John 1:14 like this - "The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood." In other words, Jesus didn't wait for mankind to make their way to heaven, this could never happen. Instead, Jesus came from heaven to us. This is the incarnational way. Instead of waiting for people to make their way to our gatherings, we make our way into the world and make friends with them. We don't make friends in order that they might agree with our way of thinking. We make friends because we love people, just as Jesus came into our world because he loved us. "Attractional", is a word used to describe how most churches operate, ie., they seek to attract people to their church through church services and programs that meet the needs of the world around them. There is nothing inherently wrong with it, it is simply not the way we believe we are called to operate. 
  • CONTEXTUAL: Mosaic seeks to embrace/embody our bellingham culture. This is why we meet in a restaurant style fashion, eat together and have the style of music we do, etc. We dont want to "churchise" things. The message of Jesus is for this culture. Now. 
  • BEAUTIFY PROJECTS: Once a month we take a sunday to just serve together. These projects usually last about 2 hours or so and there are often 5 - 10 projects happening simultaneously. We find it's a fun way to "be" the Church together. Let's roll up our sleeves and show God's love in practical ways.
  • MISSIONAL: We believe that the church does not exist for itself. The church is the only organization that exists for the benefit of its non members! The mission is love. 
  • EMERGING(gent) CHURCH:  Many people have wondered if Mosaic is "one of those, churches". The answer is, "who knows?" Frankly, we don't like the label as we don't feel they are helpful. What you mean by "emerging church" may not be anything like us. We prefer to be known as a "missional, incarnational community that is intentionally trying to orient their lives around the life and teaching of Jesus." 
  • CHURCH PLANTING: Mosaic seeks to become a network of churches rather than one huge one. The Table in Fairhaven began summer of 2010 and Fountain Parish in the Fountain district began in 2012, but is no longer gathering.  We are actually working to remain intentionally small to medium sized.  So, if we grow, we'll continue to plant.
  • BIBLICAL AUTHORITY BUT NOT WORSHIP: Many people believe the Bible is authoritative because of the following three things - It contains timeless truths, It is a witness to primary events and/or it performs timeless functions.  Although these things may be true, we do not believe they are what give the Bible authority.  We believe the Bible is authoritative because of WHO it is about and inspired by.  This moves it away from being the object of our worship and directs our attention on the ONE it worships.  Therefore, our focus is on Jesus and the God he revealed, rather than on trying to get all our doctrine correct. We would rather act consistent with the way Jesus acted, than think we know all the "right" doctrines about God.
  • BIBLE AS LITERATURE: We feel that to interpret the Bible you need to account for different literary forms. Many passages are epic poetry, allegory, song, art, history, wisdom and a few are apocalyptic. All of these forms/styles of literature require interpretation.  So, while we believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God, we also recognize there are significant challenges when it comes to interpretation. We also recognize that dogmatic interpretations that declare themselves to be the "right" way to believe have been extremely damaging to many people and therefore, we try to hold our beliefs with humility and openness to other thought. 
  • BE THE CHURCH vs GO TO CHURCH: The best metaphor for the Church is a body. You are a body part. You dont "go" to be a finger. You just are one. This is why we say we want to "be" the church everyday of our lives. 
  • WRITE YOUR PSALM: The book of Psalms in the Bible is a book of ancient worship poetry. They are great for use in public worship, but perhaps more importantly they show us a way in which to worship: writing. We often take a few minutes to write our own psalm during our gatherings. The psalmist, David, was transparent. Open with God about his emotions and feelings about things. Did you know that 70% of the psalms are "dark" psalms? Sometimes they are gut wrenching in their honesty. What if we became that honest with God?  
  • FAMILY BUSINESS: This is the time in our gathering where anyone can make the community aware of parties, service projects, prayer needs or anything else you would like to say. 
  • LECTIO DIVINA: An ancient form of prayer. Its a slow, digestive reading of a portion of the Bible. We will often practice this form of prayer in our gatherings. Many of us have found this form of prayer to be very life giving and insightful. Dont worry, we will walk you through it if you're a Lectio Divina newby. 

still don't get it?

Don't worry if you don't pick up on what we are talking about right away.  It's not really about how we talk that makes a difference, its about how we live.  Feel free to ask questions, disagree, challenge and even work toward change.  We are happy to engage.  If you have a question or want to dialogue about Mosaic, feel free to drop Pastor Matt an email and introduce yourself.