Introducing Mosaic MSC, the worship music that carries the culture of Mosaic, a church in the heart of Los Angeles.
Surrounded by the celebrity status and desperation that makes tinseltown infamous, MSC gathers an anomaly of people declaring unapologetic love for their Creator. Led by MSC, these declarations are passionate and hopeful, intense and accessible. Free of clichés and religious jargon, the language of humanity’s sacred songs floats on the wings of freedom offering peace and purpose where notoriety and fortune’s promises fall short.
This eclectic and vibrant church community has banded together in a variety of colors and backgrounds, with no shortage of ambition, questions and dreams. They seek to navigate the current culture while intersecting their faith and the creativity that brought them to this city in the first place. Out of their kaleidoscope of stories rises a collection of songs that connect the created to their Maker. They are sharing these songs with the world on their new Essential Worship debut that released in September 2016. This album, Glory & Wonder, marked their second iTunes Top 5 debut as they charted at No. 2 on the iTunes Christian & Gospel chart.
Mosaic MSC was created over time as the worship of Mosaic evolved. The church is led by pastor and futurist, Erwin McManus, who has also authored numerous books including his newest release, The Artisan Soul, which has received multiple awards both in the general and faith community markets. It is in his recently released book that he shares the core values and energy behind Mosaic MSC.
Says McManus, “In The Artisan Soul I write that every human being is both a work of art and an artist at work. Because every human being is spiritual and every human being is creative, when we are recreated by the God who created us, everything we do becomes expressive of both God's character and creativity. MSC is a natural expression of our creative essence. It makes perfect sense that if we are new creations and if God has given us a new heart that he would call us to sing a new song.”
Through MSC, Mosaic has found new songs to sing, yet they were a long time coming. McManus’ daughter Mariah McManus has been at the helm of Mosaic’s worship for over eight years and struggled to find adequate expression in songwriting for their church community until more recently.
“A group of us from Mosaic tried a couple times over the years to write, but it was always pretty bad.” Explains Mariah, “A good effort, but it never really worked out. In LA there are so many transitions. People are constantly moving in and out of the city to chase their dreams or change them altogether. Three years ago the right people came together at the right time in the right season. There was a lot to say and a lot to talk about and the individuals who were coming into our worship ministry were so talented with a heart for songwriting, so it felt like the right time had finally come along.”
Songs quickly accumulated and the Mosaic family eagerly adopted the new worship, influenced by a variety of artists and genres. Shares Mariah, “Writing music for our church has changed its culture from not being a community that really connects with worship to a tribe of people that live for it and thrive on it. It’s a lot different when your songs come from those who are in the trenches with you. There’s more ownership of the things you’re singing about because it makes sense for the environment you’re in and the people with whom you share life.” Even now Mariah receives emails and messages from churches everywhere sharing their stories of impact that MSC’s songs have had on their congregations.
“On the outside it looks like there’s a lot of differences in the way churches approach things, but I just love that music has created a united environment.” Shares Mariah, “When people hear the songs we’re writing, they’re so excited about being able to play them at their churches. Knowing that, we write with those people in mind. We’re a young band and a young church but we have become passionate about writing songs that all churches and types of people can identify with. What’s happened so far is bigger than anything we could do or a marketing team could accomplish. It’s about being able to worship Jesus in the way we know how and hoping people resonate with that.”
While building up the church, Mosaic authentically opens its arms to those who don’t yet know Jesus. In the same way, MSC hopes to extend the same embrace through their songs.
“What we’ve run into is that there are a lot of worship songs that don’t make a lot of sense to people who aren’t familiar with the Bible,” Mariah explains. “We want to say things in such a way that anyone who hasn’t heard the message of Jesus or read the Bible could understand what it means to love Jesus and what Jesus does in people’s lives and how He changes our hearts in the simplest yet most splendidly profound ways.”
Adds McManus, “Our music is born in the middle of a context where thousands of people who do not yet believe in God pass through our doors and are unexpectedly brought into worshipping a God they do not yet know personally.”
The overflow of MSC’s creativity is worship that is creating camaraderie between churches and extending a kind hand to those who rarely open themselves up to the Divine. In a place like LA, where it is difficult to find community and easy to fall into loneliness, Mosaic rolls out the welcome rug and invites new friends to settle into a place and people of purpose. MSC’s mission is similar though in a more figurative way.
“Our hope is that the music of MSC will be like kerosene igniting a fire in the hearts of millions across the world.” Concludes Erwin. “In the end everything we do is about connecting people to Jesus. We know that worship opens the hearts of those who have closed their hearts to God. We also know that worship causes our hearts to burn brighter and our love for God to grow deeper. We hope that the music of MSC will be a gift to the church and a light to the world.”