Mosaic deconstructed

Gerardo Marti is a keen sociologist, who was well-positioned in leadership at Mosaic, while gathering data for his research. His findings got published this year as: A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church.

I’ve visited Mosaic on several occasions myself, having seen it morph from Church on Brady over the years, and heard today that they’re now running 6 worship venues all over greater Los Angeles. Led by Erwin McManus, I’ve also seen his gaining broader exposure. Would’ve loved to hang out with Erwin during his online course running this week, but couldn’t swing the sched. I love how they exemplify creativity as a natural overflow of spirituality. We’re made in the image of the Creator, why wouldn’t churches be the most creative place?

I asked him for an estimate of the ethnic diversity breakdown at Mosaic, and at various levels, and about the book. He promptly responded with:

[Mosaic] is about 1/3 White, 1/3 Hispanic, 1/3 Asian, with a smaller number of African American, Middle Eastern, and others. This ratio is consistent throughout the congregation as I found the same ratio among elders, pastoral staff, leadership, small group members, and ministry
teams. The book provides historical background on this 60+ year old church, nuances of theology developed by its pastor, distinctive leadership roles, and the various experiences created to stimulate the significant degree of ethnic diversity.

Many are aware of Michael Emerson’s (and team’s) study of multiracial churches, and Mosaic was one of the original churches studied for the project. The book provides great depth in understanding how this one congregation became and remains diverse. Pastors who have read it have told me their appreciation for the discussion of race/ethnicity as well as the immersive look at the workings of the church.

Also see this article, Sociologist?s Book Explores Keys to Multiethnic Church Membership (Davidson newsletter, September 2004).

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