In 2005 the course of my life was changed forever.
It was in the fall of that year in the course of a conversation with a close friend that I voiced for the very first time that I sensed God might be leading us to plant a church. Our conversation had been sparked by a defining moment in my life that had taken place months earlier. On a fateful winter night in Minneapolis, Christ met me on the balcony of an old Presbyterian church and He said something that I will never forget. In a time of worship and prayer, Jesus said, “Aaron, you have been seeking to love me while refusing to love my bride, the church, and I’m not done with her yet.”
Over the next six years, God took me on a journey of character and calling in which He slowly and, at times, painfully began stripping me of my cynicism. He began teaching me how to be a creator rather than just a consumer, an infusor of hope rather than a defuser of hope, a servant first and a leader second, an artist in a world so often full of critics.
This time included helping plant and lead Rivertree Church (which I was blessed to do alongside my dad), working as a pastor by day and bartender by night (which God used to give me a love and burden for those churches often miss), going back to college to study pastoral ministry, and then moving my family to L.A. where I studied entrepreneurial leadership and served at Mosaic L.A. under Steve Saccone and Erwin McManus. It was here that God made it clear to Megan and I that a great need existed in the city of Lincoln and that He was calling us to step into it.
In the spring of 2010, we finished our program in L.A. and moved to Lincoln. We hit the ground running, meeting with anyone who would meet with us to share the vision that God had placed in our hearts to plant a church for those who were often missed by the church and who desperately needed God to move in their life in a personal and transformational way.
On July 11 of that year, roughly a dozen people met in the home of Nic and Ashley Fargo in what was the first ever launch team meeting. Over the next few months, that team grew to over 35 wonderful, gifted people crazy enough to believe that God was indeed about to do a great work in the city of Lincoln that would inspire hope and transform lives. This, without any idea of where or how we would find the funds to begin.
So on September 20, 2010, we launched a fundraising campaign called “30in30″ in an attempt to raise some initial startup funds. The idea was to create a video a day for 30 days that shared about the heart, vision and stories of Mosaic, and then to put those videos on a website, where people coud watch them and hopefully give money. During this time we committed to fast as a team as we specifically asked God to provide us with $30,000 in 30 days.
The campaign didn’t exactly start out well. But slowly it began to gain momentum, people started resonating with what we were doing, watching and sharing our videos, and investing financially. Over the next month we had over 12,000 visitors to the website. And on the night of Day 29, just hours before the end of the campaign, a large gift came in putting us over $30,000! God had answered our audacious prayer! Could this really be possible? Might this big, seemingly unattainable vision actually become a reality?
Over the next few months, we pressed in and turned our attention towards focusing on preparing for launch. We met together every week as a launch team in the basement of a couple of team members to worship, pray and prepare. We started life groups, created websites, stuffed thousands of flyers, built relationships, made more videos, spread the word, purchased equipment, practiced setting up in our future worship space.
It was a crazy time of excitement and anxiety. Yet God continued to provide as only He can, providing us with exactly what we needed right when we needed it – including a CPA who offered to do our books for free, team members who turned down jobs to stay in Lincoln and others who moved in from out of state to be a part of Mosaic, even an anonymous $30,000 gift! To this day, I have no idea who sent us the thirty thousand dollars. Christ was beginning to show us firsthand what He meant when He promised to build His church and use His people to impact eternity and change lives!
Finally, on March 6, 2011, Mosaic Lincoln was launched in the city of the Lincoln. Over 250 were there to be a part of the big day. Since then, we have been blessed to see a number of people commit their lives to Christ for the first time, many who have never been a part of a church before. We have seen atheists commit their lives to Christ, Buddhists get baptized, Muslims being discipled, burnt out pastors get back on their feet, even recovering Baptists (like myself) come back to church.
What we have seen God do these past two years has far surpassed our hopes and expectations. God has been so faithful. And this is just the beginning. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for Mosaic and the city of Lincoln in the months and years to come. If you’re in the Lincoln area and you don’t have a church home, we’d love to invite you to come check us out.