First, let me wholeheartedly thank you for your personal and professional encouragement throughout the past twelve months! Indeed, your own investment locally and together with me via Mosaix continues to pay huge dividends in advancing our collective vision: namely, the establishment of multi-ethnic local churches for the sake of the Gospel in an increasingly diverse and cynical society.
With this in mind, and by way of review, here are the Top 10 Highlights of our collective efforts via Mosaix in 2011:
- In January, with proceeds from our first National Conference in 2010, we launched two new websites: one public and one private (for members only). Our public website now provides a more credible presentation of who we are and why and in many ways frames the advancing movement. Our private website (with more than 114 members currently engaged) now provides real-time connection to like-minded ministry leaders, as well as greater opportunity for peer learning through open source resource/information sharing related to multi-ethnic local church growth and development.
- Likewise in January, we purchased a weekly Internet radio show and throughout the year produced 36 episodes now available as podcasts on iTunes. Featuring Multi-ethnic Church Movement leaders such as Dr. Michael Emerson, Efrem Smith, Soong Chan Rah, Scott Williams, Dr. Paul Louis Metzger, Derwin Gray, Tommy “Urban D.” Kyllonen, and a host of others, these shows not only provide insight but a historical glimpse into the movement halfway through the “Pioneer Stage.” The shows can be accessed through the “Live Radio Show” link on our website.
- In April, we helped to redefine the pre-conference strategy for the Exponential Conference by hosting the first Multi-ethnic Church Planting Conference @ Exponential. In doing so, we enlisted eleven speakers and four sponsors (Vineyard USA, Alpha USA, the Church Multiplication Network and Meet the Need) to provide some 15 hours of content to (as best we can tell) some 250 people. Due to the event’s success, we have been asked by Exponential to host this event again in 2012, and we have agreed to do so.
- In June, Mosaix self-published its first book entitled, Should Pastors Accept or Reject the Homogeneous Unit Principle? by Mark DeYmaz. This groundbreaking e-book challenges long-held, erroneous, assumptions concerning the Homogeneous Unit Principle. Far from bashing the it, however, the book shows how the principle more accurately and biblically applies to church planting, growth and development today. The book is available through our online store.
- In September, we hosted a National Retreat in Chicago, IL, for members only and their invited guests. In all, 50 people from 20 states and 13 denominations attended! By all accounts, it was a very encouraging and constructive time of personal and organizational advance. As such, we plan to host a similar gathering again in 2012!
- In November, and in direct response to a group challenge flowing out of the retreat, we empowered our first staff team comprised of four individuals who will begin assisting me in development of the work beginning in January 2012. Included in this team are Bobby Minor from Fort Worth, TX (Communications/Member Services), Robert Upton from Grand Rapids, MI (Conference Planning/Denominational Representative), Bob Sprinkle from Atlanta, GA (Coaching/Volunteer Leadership Coordinator) and Rick Harrison (Strategic Planning/CFO).
- In December, we partnered with Leadership Network to launch a Learning Community specifically focused on multi-ethnic church development. This is the first one of its kind ever sponsored by Leadership Network. In all, some 30 individuals from 12 churches throughout the USA and even one from Canada participated. The group will gather three more times through June of 2013 in advance of future groups we expect to form and launch that year, as well. The validation of the movement as well as the commitment of staff and resources by Leadership Network represents another significant milestone in the life of the movement, one that together with Linda Stanley I have pursued for nearly four years.
- All such things have led to an increasing number of requests from Denominations, Networks and local churches, alike, to represent Mosaix/the Multi-ethnic Church Movement throughout the country. In total, I represented our collective voice and cause at more than 20 events in 2011. To review the year in this regard, click the “Speaking” link on our website.
- Through all such things we have also seen a surge in membership. Today, some 85 individuals and churches are official members of the network including people from Canada, England, Belgium and New Zealand! Given the coming efforts of our staff, we expect to add many more to membership in 2012! Membership packages and benefits are outlined on our website.
- Finally, as if to validate our efforts to date and to cap off another great year of Movement growth and development, ChurchExecutive.com published an article in late December by Sam Rainer (also published by ChurchLeaders.com) entitled 10 (Unexpected) Church Trends to Surface by 2020. Number one on the list was the Heterogeneous (Multi-ethnic) Church Explodes! In part he writes, “The diverse church will explode in growth over the next ten years … Get on board with this trend not because it will grow your church, but rather because it was God’s plan for his church from the beginning.” Sounds like something many of us have been saying all along:-)
Next week, I will write to outline plans for further development of Mosaix and the Multi-ethnic Church Movement in 2012, and beyond. In the meantime, I trust you will join me in celebrating the accomplishments of our collective faith, courage and sacrifice in 2011, as outlined above, to the glory of God for the sake of the Gospel!
One in Christ with you,