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    606 West 3rd Ave., Spokane, WA 99201

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Nov 02, 2014

Making Our City God's City

Passage: 2 Corinthians 9:7-11

Preacher: John Repsold

Series: Mosaic On the Move

Keywords: relocation, transformation, stewardship, generosity, god's nature, faith promise, sacrifice


This message launches our relocation project in Spokane. We look at what it will take, how we will get there and the one driving reason we should all be a part of it at Mosaic


Making Our City God’s City

Message#1 of Mosaic on Mission

November 2, 2014


For the next four weeks we’re taking a side road on our journey through the book of Nehemiah. We’ve been looking at the big picture of what God does when he rebuilds a city by renewing souls. And we’ll come back to Nehemiah in a few weeks to pick that study up again.

            But we’re taking a little detour into what God specifically is calling us at Mosaic to do to reclaim lives and rebuild Spokane. And the next major task before us happens to be a relocation to a facility that enables us to expand ministry and impact more people for the Kingdom of God.



  • Interplayers—about 140 on a Sunday. Single service. One room for children of all ages. Besides environmental issues of mold and water damage, there wasn’t space to do what we wanted to do.
  • We moved into this Art Gallery about 5 years ago. We’ve hovered around the same numbers, tried doing 3 services to accommodate more, done the best we could with limited space for children.

But we’ve come to several realizations.

  • As much as we don’t want to be defined by a building, the ministry is being constrained by this building.

o   Hard to multiply children’s groups on Sunday.

o   The space limitation of about 80 people in this room is limiting.

o   Our desire to develop a holistic ministry in the core of the city that deals with the spiritual, relational and economic “next steps” that most people want and need to make can’t happen in this place.

So we either stay a church of about 175 people, having a few groups throughout the week in homes and a couple of services on Sundays, doing what most smaller churches do for fellowship and discipleship, maintaining pretty much the existing demographic make-up of a few families with mostly singles or couples without children still at home OR we make some changes now that will allow us to begin to venture into the kinds of ministry downtown that God has put on our hearts from the beginning.

            It’s frankly easier not to change. But like it or not, we will change if we stay right here…and it probably won’t be for the better.

            But if we move, it will change us too, hopefully in ways that most everyone here today is able to enjoy, enter into and grow through.

  • Our value of helping everyone experience the heart of God in the heart of our city will not change.
  • Our value of growing through serving others, of being a genuinely loving spiritual family and of bringing the light of Christ to one of the darkest areas of our city will not change.
  • Our love for God’s Word and for putting it into practice will not change.
  • Our desire to develop a vibrant urban ministry that trains the next generation how to do ministry in challenging settings will not change.
  • Our value on developing innovative models of self-sustaining ministry whether by doing business as ministry or developing non-profits that are inroads into our community will only expand.


So as we have looked at the opportunities, the challenges, the needs and the realities of ministry in our urban core, we have come to some initial conclusions.


1.)    We want to stay downtown, in the core, so that we do not become simply another suburban church.

2.)    We must 8 expand our space to accommodate expanded ministry in THE most economically challenging environment in Spokane. (Costly physical facilities; costly ministries; minimal resident resources.)

To do both those, we must move.


We’ve been looking seriously and steadily for almost 2 years. We’ve found places that we have liked only to find that, for one reason or another, we can’t take advantage of them.


Most recently, as we found one location that has definite promise, we’ve had to come to grips with the financial realities of what it will actually cost to make that move. We have concluded that whether it is this particular option we are currently pursuing OR whether in 2 or 3 months it becomes another facility in a different downtown location, what we need to have in-hand, in the bank, in order to actually make the move, must be something in the neighborhood of $250,000 cash.


Unless God spoke to one or several of you last night in a dream and said, “Get up tomorrow. Go to Mosaic Fellowship. And get ready to write a check for $100,000-$200,000,” I doubt any of you came to church this morning just dying to hear me talk about this, right?

            Well, hopefully by now you know that I’m not a big building or budget guy. But I am a big Kingdom of Christ fan. I hope I’m a pretty big “live by faith” guy. I’m definitely a big fan of taking an all-in spiritual journey with other people who love God and are willing to work hard until Christ comes to see God’s church revived and our city reclaimed for Jesus.

            That’s why I’m convinced we must take this “next step” of faith and relocate to a facility we will either lease or buy beginning early next year, a place where we can branch out into new arenas of ministry in this city.


And that’s why I’m convinced we must talk and dialogue about some very practical, very spiritual, very timely financial issues over the next few weeks. My goal in doing so is not to get you to give Mosaic anything but what God might want you to give. It’s not to squeeze more money out of you to do more of what I or anybody here thinks needs to be done.

It is to only do what I’ve tried to do here from the day we began: help us all hear the voice of God and respond to that voice in the best and deepest way each of us is able to.


NOTE: And if you’re new here this month or this Sunday and you’re thinking, “Great, I knew that’s all the church ever talks about is money!”, I’ve got a news flash for you: this is the first time in 7 years that I have sensed that God wanted us to talk specifically about this topic in this context.

And if you are sitting there thinking right now, “Well, he can’t possibly be talking to me because I don’t have a checking account or a home or a retirement fund or even a job or…or…,” then I’ve got a surprise for you. YES I AM! This is about a spiritual journey that I’m convinced God wants ALL of us to take. Because it really doesn’t matter whether you don’t have 6 bucks to your name or you do have $6,000,000 in your investment portfolio. This is a spiritual journey in which God has so much He wants to do with each of us. It’s a journey that could potentially revolutionize life for so many of us that whether this is your last chapter in life on this earth or whether it is your first chapter of life in Christ, you and I and this city will be eternally thankful that we took God up on the offer.


So to help us begin this discussion about what God is stirring in us, I’ve asked one of our Financial Council members, Chuck Potter, to take some time today to address just HOW every one of us can take this journey of the next few months…together. He’s going to talk with us about what it means to develop a culture of giving. He’s going to talk about how some of that will happen in the next few months. And then I’m going to come back up and point us to a passage of Scripture to chew on this coming week as we dive into Mosaic on Mission this fall.


[Introduce Chuck.]






How Do We Develop a Culture/Heart of Giving?

Let me give you 3 short, simple ingredients that will have to be a part of our lives if Mosaic is going to develop a culture of giving…if I…if YOU…are going to grow a heart of giving.


#1. It starts with God (as everything does that is transformational). God does everything with radical generosity. The more I recognize God as the greatest giver in my life, the more my heart will change.

            Whether God is creating a universe, forming a galaxy called The Milky Way, or spinning a solar system and little blue planet into which he can plant one of His greatest creations in that universe—mankind—God does everything from a heart that loves radical generosity. He’s not a god who just gives when it’s convenient…or doesn’t really cost him anything. He’s not a god who is miserly about how much he gives or stingy about sharing resources. He gives and gives and gives when it pains him deeply, when it changes him eternally, when it costs him dearly. And he gives blessing upon blessing, gift after gift, often in massively good quantities.


That is amazingly good news in a world where most people are trying to hang onto as much as they can get. It is tremendous news in a world where billions of people have needs every day, some of them life-threatening needs. That is one of the most needed truths in a world that spins lies about wealth and money and happiness all day long. Because if giving is not what God is all about, then developing a culture of giving and becoming a people with giving hearts is doomed to failure.

            But since God is THE most generous, giving Being ever to exist, then that truth alone could so radically change how you and I live the rest or our lives on earth that this world will never be the same.

            From Genesis 1 where God gives an entire perfect planet to our first parents to steward and rule to Revelation 21 where God gives us an eternity with a river of life flowing from his presence with the tree of life that bears not 2 or 4 or 7 different fruits but 12 different kinds…all the time… every month…and whose very leaves bring healing of the nations, we have an abundantly giving God!

            We have the only true God, who gives breath to every living thing, bread to his own complaining people, blessings to those who never return to bless Him, sunshine and rain on those who love…and those who hate…Him.

James 1:17 tells us that, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father….”

Luke records in Acts 17:25 what Paul said to pagan people in Athens as he introduced them to the God they did not know by telling them that the true God who made the world and everything in it, “…himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”

John tells us in chapter 3 of his Gospel that “God loved the world SO much that he gave His Only Begotten Son….”

The ongoing, constant, sustaining love of God for us is evidenced this day and every day we draw breath by the myriad of good things and experiences and people He has given to us that sustains our lives this very moment.


What does it do to a person to live around someone who is so wildly generous? Well, probably one of a couple of options.

1.)    It can cause a person to become something the giver isn’t-- terribly spoiled and wasteful. Some people who are given much turn into overgrown children, demanding, expecting, considering themselves entitled to abundance. That’s one possibility.

2.)    Others take it the other direction. They become more like their benefactor, more like the one they are blessed by. They become generous. They give when it isn’t appreciated. They share when doing so will help the needy. They experience the reality that it truly is more blessed, more life-giving, to give rather than receive. So they give away most of what comes to them, keeping only what will help them be more generous.


APP: Friends, one of our greatest needs is to really know our constantly giving God. Becoming a transformational community of people in this city must always start with God. It doesn’t start and certainly doesn’t end with getting in touch with ourselves. It doesn’t start and end with keeping a close eye on our bank account. It doesn’t start and end with working harder or trying to be more generous or getting more money. It starts with God and our relationship with Him. Because when we know God as he really is, we will know the most abundantly generous Being in the universe.  

            On the other hand, the more we keep receiving from our God who gives and gives and gives without growing in thankfulness, the more spoiled and demanding we will become.


CHALLENGE: take one day this week…or all 7 if you really want transformation… and try to stop at least once every waking hour to think about and thank God for every single thing of blessing you have experienced just that hour, every little gift from God whether clean air to breath or strength to work or a phone to receive a call on. Just draw near to God in simple thanks for that one part of His being—giving.


#2. Developing a heart/culture of giving begins with knowing God’s heart but moves to CHANGING OUR HEARTS.

In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul writes to a group of people probably a lot like us today—people of different economic means, at different levels of spiritual maturity, at different places in their experience with God. And he says this.

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

            Notice briefly a few vital words:

  • “Each one must give….” Giving financially for God’s Kingdom work here and now is not for those with a certain level of income. It isn’t for people who have maxed out their retirement account. It isn’t just for people who own homes or drive nice chariots/cars or have the latest clothes. When the love of God really reaches us, we will feel a longing to give no matter how little we have.
  • “…as he has decided in his heart…cheerful[ly]….” Giving that changes us is giving that is decided in our hearts.

There is this amazing connection between our hearts and our money. Jesus told us that “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” (Mt. 6:21). So if my treasure is in the bank or in the stock market or in my house or in my monthly check, my heart will go there first. But if my treasure/my money is in what Jesus is doing in my day, my family, my town, my mission projects, then my heart will delight to go and invest there.

Developing a heart and culture of giving must pass through our hearts. It will involve a wholly different heart attachment in this world from those who don’t know Christ. It will mean that giving rather than consuming will become what brings us joy. It will mean that making decisions in our hearts to be generous is what will make changes in our moods of being cheerful.


And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,

“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever.”

All grace [abounding]…all sufficiency…all things…at all times. Has God left anything out? NO. Paul is clearly giving us an amazing promise here, the kind I challenged you to highlight and start claiming last week as Nehemiah had. When our hearts follow God’s heart in giving, God’s hand follows our hand in blessing.

10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

           While giving always started with God, if it ends there, we are the losers. But giving that starts with God and flows through us, changes both our hearts, our incomes (yes… “seed for sowing” = income) and our world. It’s our heart choice!


APP: How about doing this little giving exercise this week. As you go about your days spending money here and there, notice if there is any difference in your happiness factor between money that is spent just on yourself and money you spend/give for someone else.

  • What happens to you when you treat someone else to coffee rather than just paying your own?
  • How do you feel shopping for food for your family or someone else you know needs food rather than paying for your own meal out?
  • How does it feel to give to Mosaic or some other ministry this week as opposed to paying the cable bill or renting a movie at NetFlix?


APP: Take the card and begin to pray about each category every day this next month.

Ask God to show you what he wants you to do in each type of giving.

Take time to listen, to write down what you think you are hearing from God in each category.


Over the next three weeks, I will be teaching on each of these types of giving, taking one per week and really seeing what God has to say to us about it.

            On the Sunday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 23rd), we’re going to ask you to turn these cards in. We’ll see how God works with us and what He leads us to do in the next few months.