Peppermint-Filled Pinatas – Weird book title, hey?
Think that’s strange? Check out the description:
“A guide for overcoming the negative Christian stereotype by embracing the people Christians ‘love to hate.'”
What is Mosaic anyhow?
“The name of our community comes from the diversity of our members and from the symbolism of a broken and fragmented humanity which can become a work of beauty under the artful hands of God. We welcome people from all walks of life, regardless of where they are in their spiritual journey. Come to Mosaic, and discover how all the pieces can fit together!”
Keep reading in order to learn more about Eric and Mosaic. Here’s the interview:
- How did you get from there to here? After college, my new wife and I helped plant a church in Seattle where we had 4 senior pastors the first 4 years. We learned how not to plant a church. In 1998, we moved to Los Angeles to volunteer at Mosaic so we could have an experience at a healthy church before going overseas. Rather than staying 6 months as we planned, we have been here for 11 years. I started as a volunteer in the parking lot then later worked with students before helping catalyze new venues across Los Angeles. The last four years I have been serving as an elder, speaker, and navigator overseeing the leadership team at Mosaic. We realized we can reach the world from Los Angeles.
- What’s the Big Idea behind Peppermint-Filled Pinatas? The book shares how to interact, serve, love, and influence homosexuals, Hindus, and the hard to reach. Erwin’s books often deal with “why we do what we do” at Mosaic, but my book is more about “how we do what we do” in terms of developing meaningful relationships with people with whom we differ, disagree, and even dislike. In many ways, it is my personal journey to discover ministry effectiveness (with some wins and many losses) in a pluralistic and diverse world.
- Mosaic seems to be out in front of the pack. What is your specific calling as a church? We are simply trying to influence, serve, and reach Los Angeles. Since Los Angeles continues to grow in diversity, ooze creativity, move quickly, and dabble in all things spiritual, we feel that if we are able to reach our friends, neighbors, and co-workers in this context, we can help others reach anyone. In many ways, we see ourselves as part of the Research and Development arm of God’s Kingdom. Some of what we are facing here now will be what the rest of the U.S. will face in the near future. We have the freedom and calling to experiment, fail, and try again for the sake of others.
- What are some God-sized dreams He’s placed in your heart that you have yet to see accomplished? We have unusual dreams at Mosaic. We want to live by faith, be known by love, and be a voice of hope to our city. We really, truly want to live out this vision. When someone is in need in Los Angeles or Berkeley or near any of our gatherings, we want them to think that God can meet their needs through our community. We want to become one of the most effective humanitarian organizations on the planet. When someone desires to grow as a leader, we want her to connect to our community. We dream of becoming one of the premier mentoring organizations in the world. When Paramount needs a good film, we want them to hire our filmmakers or option one of our short films. We want to become one of the most effective communities sought after for our creativity. We want to produce the world’s greatest communicators, writers, and teachers. We are catching a glimpse of these dreams through Awaken Humanity, Serve L.A., and even recently, one of our dancers became the lead dancer in one of Cirque de Soleil’s shows. Stuff like that.
- In the circles you run in, what does it mean to be in the world and not of it…to integrate Christ AND culture? We cannot show the world God’s love if we do not truly love the people in our world. Too many believers see the world as our enemy. One of the most important changes we can make to overcome this perception would be to create communities in which people are allowed to belong before they have to believe. Rather than being considered and even treated as outsiders, we need to invite our family, co-workers, and neighbors into our lives and into our communities as friends. As followers of Jesus, we have been “set apart” and “sent out.” We are “set apart” in our behavior, and “sent out” in our relationships. The more religious we become the more these ideas become reversed. We end up being “set apart” in our relationships, and “sent out” from those we are to love and serve. We are “set apart” in how we relate to others, not to whom we relate. As we help others transform their lives, we will transform the culture.
Eric has three Peppermint audiobooks he’s offering to the first 3 people who read this post then email him at [email protected]with “PFP Audiobook” in the subheading. He might also give away some free online resources to those who don’t win. If I were you, I’d drop him a line and see what’s up.