My experience at Mosaic wasn’t much different from The Journey. Both churches have Southern Baptist ties, both have ties to Saddleback Church in California and both are big advocates of The Purpose Driven Church. Because Mosaic, located in the financial district of Manhattan, is younger I’ve dubbed it “Journey Junior.” There wasn’t much difference in the two as they are both accommodating themselves to the surrounding culture in order to reach our more effectively. And if numbers are any indication of effectiveness (it usually isn’t in my opinion) then Mosaic is doing well. They have been in existence just over a year and are already going to two services.
I, as I did with The Journey and Brooklyn Tabernacle, went to Mosaic's website.to get the scoop on the when, where, what and how. I got all the information I needed as the website was friendly. Both The Journey and Mosaic have wonderful websites that are easy to navigate.
It was easy to locate Mosaic as they had signs out on every corner telling you exactly where to go. There were greeters at the door, in the lobby and in the entrance to the auditorium. They had a couple of tables out for refreshments but the set up was not near as extensive as The Journey’s. The difference is that Mosaic is making an attempt to attract families. I was told that there was childcare (I had Sophia with me) and told where to go. I was also told that Sophia was welcome in the service as long as she was quiet. (It seemed funny at first but I can understand the need to make that clear.) I didn’t take Sophia to childcare as I knew from the website that service was “about an hour” in length. Again, there would be no surprises in this church. (I’m assuming you’ve read the journal entry on The Journey.)
The service was the same basic format as The Journey’s. Two songs, announcements, a media team video (more on this in a moment), a sermon and a departing song. Of course there were a couple of prayers mixed in but nothing significant and again, no communion. I felt as if the sacredness of worship had tucked it’s tail and run far, far away.
One note: when doing a video to help bring to life the biblical story being told, do so in a manner that honors the text and respects the Word. The theme of the day at Mosaic was the story of David and Bathsheba. It was in the midst of their series “The Wonderful Life of David.” As we all know, the story of David and Bathsheba isn’t all that wonderful. Deceit, lies, murder, and adultery rule this story. However, the media team retold the story with the voice of a ten year old narrator and three finger puppets. When David saw Bathsheba from the top of the roof, Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On started playing the background. Suddenly the power of sin in this story was relegated to nothing important at all. Surprising when you think of this coming from people who have roots in the Southern Baptist tradition. Is this one of the many ways accommodation looks like?
I like the founding pastor of Mosaic, Gregg Farah. I ate breakfast with him and have listened to his interview with the local NPR station and believe he has good ideas about what it means for the church to move beyond past traditions that don’t seem to be effective. They take seriously the gifts of everyone and especially those in the arts. And I believe that Mosaic, like The Journey, is doing a wonderful job at reaching a demographic that many have not. The friendliness at these churches is overwhelming (maybe a little too much so for NYC?) and I love to see people “on fire” for God. In these ways, Mosaic and The Journey are breaking the mold here in NYC. Praise God for them.