Not Like Me Message At Gateway Church

Jul 14

Sunday, sildenafil July 3rd, cure I had the opportunity to share some of the ideas I shared in Not Like Me: A Field Guide for Influencing a Diverse World at Gateway Church in Austin. Here are some of the thoughts I shared:

We should never allow our convictions on theology, morality, or politics become a litmus test for friendship.

Too often we misunderstand the purpose of the church. “The church is not here to meet our needs. We are the church here to meet the needs of the world.” – Erwin McManus

When Jesus invited a motley crew of fisherman and tax collectors to follow Him, He invited them to follow Him and “become fishers of men” (Mt. 4:19).

It seems odd that He doesn’t invite them to follow Him so they can go to heaven, so He can meet their needs, or so He can teach them great things since these “benefits of following Christ” seem to be the message most churches share.

Jesus does not invite us to follow Him for what we can get, but He invites us to follow Him for what we can give! We can be a part of serving, loving, and impacting people around us!

Jesus calls us to love our neighbor, but do we even know our neighbor’s name?

The church should be known for being loving and authentic rather than exclusive and judgmental.

Jonah would have rather died than to see the people of Nineveh turn to God.  He wanted to see them destroyed and feared that God would forgive them.  Fortunately for the people of Nineveh, God’s character always leans towards forgiveness and mercy. (see Jonah 3:10-4:3)

Like Jonah, too often we tend to limit who we think God loves.

Even though I have been tough on Jonah, in the end, after being rescued, Jonah did go into the city (Jonah 3:3).  Will we?

?For more, see “The Suicidal Missionary” article at the Catalyst website.

Listen to Not Like Me chapter 10 -The Mosque Next Door: Building Relationships with the Religious (includes the story about Kidnapping a Muslim)

Not Like Me free chapters plus….

www.NotLikeMe.org includes articles, messages, films, & small group materials.

To watch or listen to this message, go to www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast.

The Art of Woo: Overcoming the Christian Stereotype

Nov 30

Take a sneak peek inside Not Like Me: A Field Guide for Influencing a Diverse World!

Check out the entire Introduction:

The Art of Woo: Overcoming the Christian Stereotype


An Interview with Eric

Nov 09

Elizabeth Ludwig of The Borrowed Book recently featured Eric in an interview.  Here are the questions and responses:

Tell me a little bit about your background and your family.

I was born in California while my dad was in the Air Force. From Kindergarten through college I grew up in Texas. I am fortunate to come from a Christian family, remedy but I struggled to follow Jesus as a teenager. Just after college I got married to Debbie, click and we moved to Seattle where we helped plant a church which had 4 senior pastors in the first 4 years. Twelve years ago we moved to Los Angeles to volunteer at Mosaic to experience a healthy church before planting our own. Instead of planting elsewhere, viagra 60mg I was invited to help with the youth group, then college ministry, then starting new venues, and then about 5 years ago I became a navigator.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies?

I love watching movies, playing Wii with my wife and kids, traveling, and performing stand-up comedy.

What has God been teaching you lately?

I have been reading through the prophets and have been reminded of God’s passion for people. Even as stubborn as they were (and they were really stubborn), he would continue to send messengers to warn them of the consequences of their continued rebelliousness. Ultimately, God loves people so much more than we do.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a professional basketball player. At 5’8” I would have had a better shot at becoming a gymnast or jockey.

How did you get involved in writing?

I wrote my first book in 5th grade. It was an intergalactic adventure called “Thysar and the Benay.” It was never published. In college I wrote a devotional book which was also never published. Most of my writing has come in the form of my journal and my blog posts. Writing has always helped me to express better what I am going through, experiencing, and learning.

What was the most difficult aspect of the writing process?

I am an extrovert to the highest degree, so sitting still to actually begin writing poses a challenge to me at times.

What did you enjoy most about the writing process?

By taking the time to sit still and reflect, I hear God’s voice more clearly than when I don’t do that. I learn from Him when I take the time to write.

How do you find time to write?

I try to write a little bit each day, mostly in my journal, on my website, on twitter, or when working on a message. When writing a book or my dissertation, I would sneak away for longer periods of time to really make progress. At times I would pull together what I had written elsewhere to include in the book.

Where did you get the idea for Not Like Me?

Erwin McManus, the lead pastor at our church in Los Angeles, encouraged me to write a book on diversity. What we have experienced here at Mosaic is quite unique in terms of the diversity of people we have reached and/or who have become leaders in our community. People come from such ethnically, spiritually, and socio-economically different places, yet for far too long, even in diverse cities, churches have remained homogenous. I have personally failed and seen some successes in reaching out to others not like me, so I wanted to be able to help others become more effective in their own mission fields.

What are the major themes of the book?

In essence the book describes how to allow people to belong before they ever choose to believe. Too often Christians view those who do not follow Jesus as outsiders or as people to be avoided. My hope is that through this book, people of faith could become more known for their love of people no matter what they might believe, look like, or the choices they may make. In many ways, I am advocating for the rights of those who do not yet believe. In addition, the book helps people move from social conversations to spiritual ones.

What kind of research did you have to do for Not Like Me?

I share a great deal of personal stories from my experiences as a youth pastor in Texas, as a church planter in Seattle, and as part of the leadership team at Mosaic in Los Angeles. At the same time, I include insights from the Scriptures, seminary textbooks, and pop culture.

Why do you think people struggle getting past these cultural barriers?

The biggest issue is that we don’t even try to get past cultural barriers. Sometimes we confuse the ideas of being “set apart” and being “sent out.” We are supposed to be “set apart” in our behavior but “sent out” into our relationships. Sometimes we do the opposite. We become “set apart” from the very people God has brought into our lives to love, serve, and influence. It’s human nature to spend time with the people who are most like us because of our self-centered tendencies. Another big part of the problem would be our more consumeristic view of the church. At Mosaic, we strive to go against that. Our lead pastor Erwin McManus says: “The church is not here to meet our needs. We are the church here to meet the needs of the world.” If our relationship with God was all about me and Jesus, then my pastor should have just drowned me during my baptism so I could go straight into His presence. Instead, he brought me out of the water because there is much more for me to do. I now represent Jesus everywhere I go.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

My prayer is that those who read the book will be able to love, serve, and influence at least one person they had overlooked before reading the book. One of my favorite responses to the book is when I hear that someone who read the book went on to have a real breakthrough with a neighbor, co-worker, or friend. That is the best result possible!

Where are you headed next?

My passion remains communicating and catalyzing community for the mission of Jesus wherever I may be. Right now at Mosaic I am helping as the campus pastor at both the Pasadena and West Los Angeles campuses, but our roles are always changing according to what is needed.

What would you say to someone who wants to become a published author?

Learn to enjoy writing. I have written a great deal more that is not published than what has been published. Share what you are discovering with the people already in your community (family, church, friends, etc.). If they don’t find what you are writing helpful then other people probably won’t either. Give them permission to help you revise your work, and be willing to edit over and over. It took me 15 years and dozens of rejection letters or conversations before I had a book published, so I would also recommend perseverance as well.

“Enter Here” with Erwin McManus (Origins Event DVD)

Oct 14

Erwin McManus founded McManus Studios, ambulance Awaken, sick and serves as lead pastor at Mosaic in Los Angeles. He also contributed the Foreword to Not Like Me.

Here is an excerpt from Erwin on the Origins Event DVD:

The Origins Event DVD includes 2 discs with speakers, panels, and small group questions based on the July 24th Origins Event plus a round table discussion with several leaders of the Origins Project. The Origins Event DVD would be great for leadership development and for small groups!

Some of those included in the Origins Event DVD include:

Amena Brown
Margaret Feinberg
Dan Kimball
Dave Gibbons
Alan and Debra Hirsch
Rick McKinley
Charles Lee
Eric Bryant
Marlon Hall
and many others…

To see other clips from the Origins Event DVD, go here!

To order The Origins Event DVD for $49 (includes shipping and handling to US addresses), contact belinda@mosaic.org.

Eliminating the Divide (The Nines Video) by Eric Bryant

Oct 11

I shared on a game changer that I’ve experienced: eliminating the divide between those who follow Jesus and those who don’t. Here is the video from The Nines event:

“The Art of Woo-Next Steps” by Ryan Daugherty

Aug 19

Ryan Daugherty develops  Cisco technology solutions for CompuCom Systems and is an instrumental part of  Mosaic:

“While I’m not bald, find I still count myself a BWG – a Burbs White Guy. I grew up in the suburbs of Northern California, my first words were Christaneese, and as good Christian’s do – developed a thick social bubble to protect myself from all the bad influences of the world. And I succeeded. I managed to isolate myself from people who held different views and values than my own. I thought it was all about convincing people I was better than they were. I thought it was all about being right.

I had a lot to learn.

All the protection I had created for myself trapped me into a life that was all about me.  The well intentioned barrier I built to keep myself focused on Jesus kept me from living like Jesus.

At the age of 28 I snapped. I hadn’t been Winning Others Over, I was just co-existing.  When everyone is the same as you, there’s not much that needs to be won.

I started to ask myself a lot of questions. “What would my life look like if I refused to exclude myself from people who thought, acted or believed differently than me? What if I was intentional about including people of different backgrounds, life philosophies, and worldviews into my everyday activities?

With my 30th birthday fast approaching, I have wrestled with these questions for almost 2 years.  My journey stirred up 3 critical shifts and 3 relational focus’ that redirected my life for the better.  Here is what worked for me as I have strived to be intentional about making all kinds of new friends.

Relational Focus 1: Include Others

The Shift: Isolating Yourself to Relationships with Similar Views -> Build Relationships with People of Diverse Views

Possible Risks For The Journey:

  • Who are the people you are around frequently but don’t share your life with? Get to know them. Share something that is interesting to you with them.
  • Bring others into your activities. Everyone likes movies. When you go, text a friend that isn’t in the peer group you are going with.
  • Meet others in their place of comfort. Find out what they like to do and join them.  My friend Amado likes steak, so I’ve been eating more beef lately.
  • Create inclusive environments and invite everyone. What are you doing for Halloween? Your Birthday? Saturday Night? Open the doors to your apartment, invite your friends from work over, and tell them to invite their friends too.
  • Find the underappreciated and appreciate them. You know that person who is looked over? Talk to them for 5 minutes each time you see them. Invite them over to mix with a larger group of people.

Relational Focus 2: Seek Commonality

The Shift: Focusing on Differences in Life -> Creating Bonds Through the Similarities of Life

Possible Risks For The Journey:

  • Pick a friend. Discover how are you and them motivated in similar ways? Make this a topic of conversation when you hang out.
  • Watch a TEDTalk (www.ted.com) and write out ways that the speakers creativity inspired you.
  • Focus on recognizing life themes in each conversation you have today. At the end of the day write down what was similar about each person’s life.
  • What’s one of your favorite activities to do? Say it’s basketball. Play the game with the intention of making new friends. Make a date to hang out after the game.

Relational Focus 3: Embrace Uniqueness

The Shift: Seeing Your Method as the Right Method -> Finding Truth in Various Methods

Possible Risks For The Journey:

  • Pick a topic, ask someone their opinion about it, tell them what you appreciate about their perspective.
  • What’s a topic you have no interest in? Say it’s art. Have a conversion with someone in your life that has an artistic bent and seek to understand what energizes them about walking through a museum.
  • You know that coworker that accomplishes tasks differently than you? Think about what benefits come from their method, and let them know you noticed.
  • When are you at your best? Look for that moment in a friend and ask them how you can be better in their area of talent.”