A picture of Michael (second from the right) and others in the Mosaic community serving during one of their “Fifth Sunday Missional Projects.”
One of my main hopes as I began my ministry at Mosaic Church of Clayton was to experience church in a different, creative, and meaningful way. Now that is not a knock at all on the previous churches I have served in, but I knew my years in Divinity School would likely be the only time I could explore this new possibility. I didn’t want to miss the way that my approach to ministry could be shaped by such an internship.
My hope of experiencing church in a different, creative way has certainly been fulfilled, but maybe more than that, I have begun to process through what it means to be a church. At its core, I see church as a community of people trying to figure out how to be in this world and how to be in relationship with God. It is a practical place to be challenged, to be affirmed, to grow, but most of all to be transformed to somehow participate in God’s reconciliation of the world. Transformation in our individual selves, but also in all parts of the world.
Through my experience at Mosaic and Campus Ministry, I have started to define a church as: A community of people who are actively living into personal transformation and the transformation of the world. The means to bring about that transformation is so much more than learning about God in a bible study or sermon or singing a powerful song. The “how” possibilities are endlessly creative, but it should always be about experiencing the God who dares to love us where we are.
Aaron Niequist, in his book The Eternal Current: How a Practice-Based Faith Can Save Us from Drowning says, “Rather than approaching our church gatherings as a classroom (to fill our minds with information) or a concert hall (to move our hearts with emotion), we long to create a spiritual gymnasium, which can form our whole selves….Only then can we become holistic people who can live out Jesus’ teachings in our everyday living.”
With each “how” we do as a community, I am learning to ask the question, how is this helping us live into the holistic transformation that God desires for us and the world? That is what a church is about. That is church at its core.
Michael Sizemore is a third-year student at Campbell Divinity School. He currently serves as Pastoral Intern at Mosaic Church of Clayton through the CBF Church Starts Internship Program, as well serving with Cooperative Baptist Student Fellowship (CBSF), a CBFNC Campus Ministry at UNC Chapel-Hill.