Loving the Church You Serve with Carl Kuhl

Thanks for joining us for this week’s unSeminary podcast. Today we’re talking with church planter and lead pastor Carl Kuhl from Mosaic Christian Church in Maryland. Mosaic was planted in the fall of 2008, launching first in a movie theater, and has become one of the fastest growing churches in the country.

When planting a new church, many leaders are tempted to copy culture from other churches and then create systems of their own. In reality we need to do just the opposite. Listen in as Carl shares some ways to help your church discover its culture and stay true to it.

  • Copy systems and create culture. // There’s nothing wrong with borrowing from other churches that are doing something well, especially when it comes to systems, such as assimilation, discipleship, and so on. When you are planting a new church, don’t be afraid to borrow from books, conferences or other churches for your church’s system development. Culture, on the other hand, can’t be borrowed. Spend your creative energy and focus on developing your own unique culture as a church, which will be greatly influenced by you as the leader, your experiences and personality, as well as the area where you are planting.
  • Don’t lose your culture. // When Carl planted Mosaic Christian, the goal was to be a church where open brokenness is the thing that’s celebrated above all else. When a church knows what its thing is, it can be really powerful, but you have to stick to it with confidence. Churches can get lost when they try to be something they’re not or when they try to change their culture every few years. Go on a journey as a leader and a team to explore and arrive at this idea of what your church’s culture really is. Then hold on to it and build everything around that idea.
  • Know where you are called to lead. // When you’re a leader, even of something like a small group, you have to love the thing you lead or you won’t last there. Don’t just believe in it or agree with it. If your heart isn’t drawn to it and doesn’t love it, it may not be the place for you. We need to identify as leaders: What type of church do I want to attend? What kind of community am I drawn to? These types of questions helped direct Carl when it came to creating the culture of Mosaic Christian.
  • Embrace the culture. // Carl and his wife wanted to create a community that was on mission, but also a place where they’d find deep friendships themselves. Because open brokenness is such a part of Mosaic Christian’s culture, Carl knew he had to model that vulnerability in his own life as well. This meant talking about areas of personal struggle from the stage while preaching so others would see his honesty about his own brokenness. How are you modeling the the aspects of your church’s culture that you are asking others to embrace?
  • Church planters don’t all look the same. // When Carl began to pursue planting a church, he felt like he didn’t fit the mold of what a church planter “should” be. He realized that most of what we’ve heard about church planting is wrong because we place God’s abilities in a box and limit the possible impact on the kingdom as a result. It inspired Carl to write a book based on his experiences, The Contrarian’s Guide to Church Planting, which is less of a how-to book and more about letting God use the gifts and wiring He’s given you. Don’t be limited by what a spiritual gift test says you should or shouldn’t do. Rather identify the things in you that can be used and pour gas on them. Most of all, be yourself and the unique leader God created you to be.

You can learn more about Mosaic Christian Church at www.mosaicchristian.org.

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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Red Letter Challenge

One of the best times of the year to start an all-in church series is the Sunday right after Easter. The team at Red Letter Challenge have become the 40-day church series experts…they created not only a 40-day church series, but offer unique daily challenges as well for everyone in your church to complete. It’s a fun, amazing time and many people take steps towards Jesus! Pastors, grab your free 40-day challenge book here and see what your church can do!

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.