A Home Church Away from Home
Finding a home church to plug into as a university student can be challenging. That’s why mosaicHouse East, a Resonate Global Mission church plant partner, is investing in students and equipping them to be leaders.
A multisite church in Edmonton, Alberta, mosaicHouse supports mosaicHouse East, a campus located in the Ottewell neighborhood near The King’s University. For university students, finding and investing in a home church can be challenging. Many students long for a supportive faith community—but they are often busy with work and school. Many are only on campus during the school year or move away after graduating. It can be hard for both churches and students to invest in what is often a short season of life.
But Derrick Lee, who planted mosaicHouse East, said that the church plant has found a niche in inviting university students to join their community and use their gifts. While it doesn’t come without challenges, God is working in powerful ways to raise up leaders for his kingdom.
Connecting with Students
An interesting mix of long-term residents of the neighborhood and university students who live in the area for just a few years, mosaicHouse East’s community is intentional about connecting with students on campus. Lee touches base with the university’s campus pastor to see how they can collaborate, and at the beginning of each school year the church plant attends a fair on campus and connects with students who are looking for a church community they can join.
“We bring intentionality to it,” said Lee, “but what has really caused it to blossom is what the King’s students have done as they’ve made mosaicHouse East their home church.”
Lee said that university students often bring their friends, and those friends bring their friends. Young adults have become an integral part of the church plant’s community—but they don’t just gather with the church for worship or plug into a weekly house church. They’re also bringing their gifts and skills to the community by serving.
Belonging Is Serving
“One of the distinctives of mosaicHouse is that when you come, you’re involved,” said Lee. That’s true for all of mosaicHouse’s campuses. Pastor Victor Ko, who oversees all campuses, says that “the best form of belonging is serving.”
“As we serve, we belong to God’s House and God’s people. We serve one another, we serve the city. We serve the community,” said Lee.
Many university students who join mosaicHouse East jump into serving. They help lead worship, work with kids, and welcome people to worship. Some students even serve as leaders of volunteer teams while they’re part of the church.
Lee said that it can be hard on the church plant when students, especially those who have become leaders in the church, graduate and move away—but he doesn’t see it as a loss.
“Whoever comes in and is willing to serve, we’ll raise them up and take the time,” said Lee. “And with King’s students, knowing that they’ll leave and bless other churches with their skills and gifts they developed at mosaicHouse.”
Equipping Christian Leaders
Lee planted mosaicHouse East and now serves as a chaplain at a nearby school, but he remains a committed and engaged member of the campus. He said the church plant has seen God at work in students’ lives.
One student, Jonah, was studying business at The King’s University. But as he joined mosaicHouse and started to serve, he felt God calling him to pursue ministry full-time. He changed his major to theology and will be enrolling in seminary. Lee started giving Jonah more responsibility at mosaicHouse East, and the university student started leading the call to worship on Sundays.
“I’m very excited about what God is doing in his life,” said Lee.
But Lee is also excited about the students at mosaicHouse East who study business, environmental studies, and more.
“What does it mean to be a Christian leader?” asks Lee. “Is it a pastor or is it someone who is in business and bases their ethics and morals on the Bible’s teaching? It’s all about empowering students to say, ‘What does it look like to not just live in the world but to advocate for change in the world?’”
Give thanks for the unique ways church plants like mosaicHouse East connect with people in their communities. Thank you for supporting this church plant as they provide a supportive community for university students and equip them to be faithful Christian leaders for God’s kingdom.