Today is the 60th birthday of my friend and mentor Erwin McManus!
I met Erwin in 1993 and was amazed at his passion for Jesus and the mission of the church. I remember meeting his son Aaron at the time who was about 3 or 4 years old. I asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up. I expected the common answer of astronaut or fireman or basketball player, but instead he said:
“I want to tell people about Jesus!”
For me and so many others, the more you spend time with Erwin,
the more you want to follow Jesus and tell others about Him!
My wife Deborah and I moved to Los Angeles to volunteer at Mosaic in 1998 – before Erwin had written any books or was known as a headlining speaker at conferences.
I still believe more people know about Erwin now because he was one of the few Christian communicators willing to travel and speak in the midst of the fear surrounding Y2K, 9/11, and SARS.
(I share about this at the 15 minute mark in the video below)
It was in that season, Erwin shared a very counter cultural message of truth:
“You can choose how you live even if you cannot choose when you die.”
Mentored Up Close
So much of who I am has been shaped by what I learned from Erwin about the character of Jesus, gratitude, humility, faithfulness, communicating the Scriptures in a broken world, living by faith, innovation, diversity, creativity, and servant leadership.
He is someone who is actually better close up than he is from a distance because what he shares on the stage is true of him off the stage.
Mentored from Afar
Moving from LA to Austin
In 2010 as we were preparing for our move to Austin, Erwin was kind enough to ask me to speak to share one last time with our community at Mosaic, and he gave such a kind introduction. I was grateful he wanted me to share my story and to be able to speak a message to my West Coast family. I lived in Los Angeles longer than I have lived anywhere else in my life, and we truly love Mosaic and Los Angeles.
Here is my farewell message at Mosaic called Beyond US: Faith Hope and Love.