A Final Update on Mosaix Church

Before The Beginning
8 months ago we were in Richmond, Virginia, serving a great church (Gayton Baptist).  Our ministry was fruitful, our kids were involved in a healthy children’s ministry and were attending a good school.  Life was good.

After spending a couple of years in prayerful reflection, I identified several of my highest values that were not influencing my ministry or family.  To put it in a sentence:

I sensed God leading me to relocate my family to a multicultural region
where many lost people live with few opportunities to follow Christ in a healthy church.

The Beginning
South Florida is an intersection of multicultural life and spiritual need.  Grace Fellowship, a church in West Palm Beach, offered me a job so that we could begin shining a light in this region.

We left Richmond with a plan to start a new church, and were encouraged to do so in a city called Delray Beach.  We moved to that area, named the church, and began gathering about 15 people at our house each week.

The Middle
As I began to understand the city better, we found a part of Delray Beach that seemed to be a great location for our family to start a church.  However, we soon discovered a new church plant in that area already doing a great job reaching people.  So I shifted my focus to the western part of the city.

The next part of the story is hard to communicate in words.  I began to sense this western part of Delray was not where I was supposed to plant our family and plant a church.  On one hand, I struggled with the demographics of the area.  As you go west the population becomes less and less diverse and the median age climbs into the 70s.

On the other hand, I just didn’t sense God’s hand of blessing on our efforts to start a church (I know that sounds kind of strange, but it’s hard to put intuition into words).

While I was on this journey of wondering whether or not we were starting the church in the right location, a far more concrete challenge was emerging.  To put it succinctly, our family didn’t transition well into our new life.

Finding a good school situation for Nelly turned out to be a significant challenge.  Further, because we wanted to get connected to the church we were starting and the new community we were trying to reach, we didn’t get Sara and the kids involved at Grace Fellowship more than attending services on the weekends.  (By the way, if anyone reading this is simply attending a church on the weekend, don’t be surprised if you feel disconnected – you probably are!).  Well, moving my kids away from a wonderful church family and not moving them to a church family was a mistake.  They began to express feelings of loneliness and unhappiness.

The End
As we discussed the possibility of moving to a new location and re-starting the process of planting a new church, we realized that starting over in a new place would not be a wise decision given what our family has experienced the past 7 months.

Convinced that we were not in the right location and knowing that our family needed to become part of a healthy church family, we have made the difficult decision to not continue the process of starting a new church at this time.

Our challenges are not unique – everyone reading this update has their own set of challenges.  What is more unique is receiving support (financial, prayer, and just plain old encouragement) to go on a mission, and not fulfilling that mission.  It brings me great sadness to share this update with you.

After the End
For now, we are trusting that God may open a door for us to continue to make an impact here in South Florida.  The need is still very compelling, and there are many ways to meet that need besides planting a new church.

Please continue to pray for us.  Pray that . . .

– God will lead us to an established church where I can use my gifts and provide for our family

– The church family we find will be a great church home for our family

– We will find the right school option for 2013-2014 (in a region where good options are hard to find)

We are so appreciative of everyone who has been a part of our effort to start a church here in the Delray Beach area of South Florida.  Some of you have prayed.  Some of you have shared your resources.  Some of you have attended our gatherings.  We thank God for all of you.

While our current situation is discouraging, we are hoping that God will redeem this experience.  Regardless of what happens next, our real hope is not in how we serve God, but in God himself, who is always faithful to His children.


Shawn (for all the Allens)

Categories: Information | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “A Final Update on Mosaix Church

  1. gail mayberry

    Praying for you now and every time I think of you. I trust that God led you there for a wonderful purpose, and He will reveal the next step to you as He has revealed each one to this point! Hopefully, the next time we are in Florida we can meet somewhere! Love you all, Gail and Bill

  2. Wayne Faison

    Shawn, sorry to hear about the challenges you are currently facing with the new church start in Florida. You have been a great friend to us at the VBMB, in general, and more specifically, the Courageous Churches Team. Let us know how we might be a help to you during this time of transition and discernment. To God Be the Glory!!

  3. Faye Morauske


    We are sorry about this, but understand….God is in control and He is leading you somewhere else. The Delray church plant was just one step of your journey. We will continue to pray for your family and hope you will keep us posted as to where you land. Love to you all,
    Keith and Faye Morauske

  4. Lyn

    Shawn, Sara, Nelly, Grace and Walker,
    We love you, we re-commit to praying for your family and the people of South Florida, and are confident God will use you in a mighty way.
    Lyn and John

  5. Dude. Come back to Richmond. I love you all so much. You’ve changed one life (mine) that’s for sure. I know you have SOOOOOOOOOOOO much more work to do, but you need to start your own church Shawn. It will happen when the time is right.

  6. Charlene

    Shawn and family,
    It saddened me to read your post, because I know how hard it was for you to write it! I remember how excited you were in the anticipation of what God had in store for you! I only can believe, HE still does and it will be even greater than you expected! Just remember our time is not HIS time, but HE is always there with you every step of the way! I will pray for you and please know I care!

  7. Wow, Shawn, I’m so sorry to read your post. I have to agree with Faye that this may be just a step toward the real thing. I know that’s hard to grasp. Tammi and I had a similar experience in Kentucky when we were so certain God was leading us to move there from Wyoming. After a year, we were forced to relocate. The whole year seemed like a complete disaster. We had misunderstood God. All those feelings of failure. But God provided the way for us. And after a few years we even started to see why we had that year. That’s where Tammi started her nursing career. And that’s where I discovered my passion for writing. All that to say God is faithful, and even the dark times have a reason. You may not see it for awhile, but you will. Please know that we will increase our prayers for you. Keep us posted. Love to your family, Michael

  8. Marybeth Essex

    Praying for your whole family that you will feel His peace as you take your next steps.

  9. MA Powers

    Thinking of you and praying for clarity and peace. XO

  10. Sarah Rivera

    God’s in control of everything and all the things that happens is for a reason,probably we don’t understand right away but He knows what’s the best for us. Praise God all the time.
    Praying for you and your family!!
    Miss you all, say hi to Sara, Nelly, Grace and Walker!!

    Love, Sarah

  11. Rob

    Shawn, please know we are renewing our commitment to pray for and think about your ministry and your family. Also, I know those moves can be tough to get through. God has good things in store for your obedience. Wait on Him!

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