Dance as an Innovation

We are incredibly fortunate to have some remarkable dancers at Mosaic. We have men and women who are now performing in shows like “Wicked” in San Francisco, “Hair” on Broadway, “Kooza” with Cirque de Soleil, and we have two dancers (Kathryn McCormick & Phillip Atmore)  in the top 20 of this season of So You Think You Can Dance? (Watch Phillip’s audition here. As an important aside, please pray for Phillip and his family as his father’s funeral is today).  Some of our artisans have been traveling around Europe serving our Mosaic Alliance churches.

In conversations with other leaders, people dismiss the possibility of creating a dance team (or any type of artisans ministry). They feel like we have an edge by being in Los Angeles, a place that attracts the world’s most talented dancers, actors, filmmakers, painters, musicians, etc..

Before giving up on mobilizing artisans within your context, here are a few thoughts to consider:

1. There are many churches in Los Angeles that have not mobilized artisans.

2. Many (if not most) of the artisans in Los Angeles grew up somewhere else (perhaps near you).

3.  Erwin has pointed out that churches in the middle of nowhere somehow found organists.  I imagine there are way fewer organists than artisans across the U.S..

4.  Our first dancers were not professionals. One was a physical therapist and the other a nurse. They were two women with a passion for dance and a desire to use their talents in one of our gatherings.

5. Once others saw them dance, they either asked to be involved if they also had these talents or they began to invite other dancers to our church.  Some of our best dancers came to Mosaic before they connected to Jesus.

6. Most churches highlight the speaker and those who can sing while the rest of us watch those who speak and sing. We’ve tried to create other opportunities for people to contribute – speakers, singers, dancers, actors, artists, greeters, baristas, chefs, set builders, and so on.

7. Some of the best ideas were not initiated by our paid staff but by those who serve as our volunteer staff. We’ve tried to create an environment for our community to experiement and live out their passions and talents.

What innovations have yet to be discovered because they are being overlooked?

Any new innovations you have implemented in your community?

Showing 3 comments
  • david

    Hey Eric,

    Challenging thoughts.

    What’s the key to Mosaic organizing all that in rented facilities? Dealing with storing sets for the next week, etc. A challenge that I’m sure can be overcome but seems pretty huge when you start off in that direction.

  • Anita Peterts

    The Urban Poets are amazing, but I am not telling you anything you probably don’t already know. They are world renown. We used to attend Mosaic when we lived further down south before moving to Bakersfield, CA and would look forward to the Sundays that they would perform. I have a friend in NC who opened a studio (Masterpiece Studios) inspired by your program after we attended the Origins conference. Congrats on one of your own making it into the finals of SYTYCD. Phillip is a brilliant dancer and it was only time before your dancers would make it to a stage such as SYTYCD. Hopefully at some point Phillip can talk about his affiliation with Urban Poets. My prayers to the loss of his father.

    Anita Peters

  • Eric Bryant

    Thanks for the kind words and prayer, Anita!

    David, at some of our facilities we rent storage space or we rent the entire space for the entire week. Both of these options solve the storage issue. In the other venues where we don have storage access, we have old UHaul trucks we use for storage. Every Sunday for the past 10 years, we unload and reload the truck before and after those gatherings. It is a lot of work, but there are lots of people who enjoy serving as part of the setup and takedown teams. Being mobile creates more opportunities for people to serve. This style requires leaders who can be effective recruiters & mobilizers.

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