Blogging has gained great prominence recently for its projected revolutionary effect on ministering, but Erwin McManus Mosaic church in Los Angeles has gone a step further to allow blogging on its main web site so that people can comment on Sundays message.
Since early summer, a podcast of the previous Sundays message has been published on the web site and is available for downloading. Beginning last Thursday, members of the church, and anyone in the World Wide Web, were further given the opportunity to then comment and interact with the community virtually.
The hope is to connect both seekers and those who are disconnected from the church to interact and create a community that is connected to whatever that week Erwin is preaching, said Eric Bryant, one of the lead pastors at Mosaic.
As a church that changes its presentations to include drama, arts, or speakers every Sunday for variety, and opts to meet at a university, a high school, and a downtown nightclub for service, Mosaic is best known for creativity, diversity, the youthful congregants, and a seeker-sensitive approach.
Sometimes we see the church as a place to meet our own needs rather than realizing that we are the church here to meet the needs of the world, said Bryant. When we see the church as a place to care for our own needs, we miss the point. His (Jesus) invitation was to join him in the cause of advancing the Kingdom.
Mosaic has grown to 4,000 members since Erwin McManus took the leadership 12 years ago, and is now spinning off a growing Mosaic Alliance that consists of at least 50 churches around the world.
Bryant notes that blogging is no substitute for church, but he hopes it will help the thousands of congregants stay connected in each other's daily lives.
"I think whats interesting is its not a replacement of interacting face to face, but what Im discovering is that its an enhancement of those face to face interactions," said Bryant. "You get to delve into peoples lives."
"Im loving that we're interacting with Scriptures," he added. "We spent the previous Sunday exploring, and it keeps what God wants us to do as a community in front of all of us throughout the week."
Bethany Bevan, 19, is a volunteer staff with Mosaic. She said that it helps extroverts learn better and it builds community.
"For some people, it wouldn't do anything for them, but I think especially for somebody who is more of an extroverted processor, it's really good for them," she said. "There is a sense of community at Mosaic. People just stand and talk for forever after Sunday service, and most people go out and go to dinner afterwards. There's such a great sense of community. The blog is a great way for them to connect with what was said and hopefully that is taking place in conversations and fellowship."
Bloggers are appreciating the online space that allows them to share their reflections on the message.
Wow. Thank you for allowing people to have conversations about the podcasts, wrote Wayne Brown, a student minister at Eastside Baptist Church Student Ministry. I have been listening in to what God has been doing at Mosaic for the past couple of months through the podcasts. This is really great to now listen to what other people think about it and to process what God is saying to us. So thanks for that.
This is pretty sweet. A Mosaic Blog. Welcome to the future, wrote another.
Plans are underway to create an online community of Mosaic bloggers at voxtropolis.com, complete with weekly discussions at neighborhood coffeehouses.