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Jazz Nativity 2013 CD is downloadable!

Jazz Nativity

Many of you have asked if you could buy a Jazz Nativity 2013 CD.   The 4,000 CDs we made are all being distributed here in West Palm Beach, but I have great news . . . the entire album is ready to be downloaded  . . . visit www.GraceFellowshipJazz.com to find out more!

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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.

Peace.

Shawn (for all the Allens)

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REPOST: Digital Influence, or, “the word on the street is to tweet”

Hilarious.  My post about digital influence had several links that didn’t work.  I love it.  Can’t take yourself or your digital influence too seriously.  All the links below work just fine now.  

The word on the street is that one of the most potent ways to build a following is through digital influence.  Since I set foot on the hot and wet Floridian soil, digital mediums I had only heard about have become personal acquaintances.   I want to invite you to check out a few of the new ways I am expanding my digital influence here in South Florida.

1) You are obviously familiar with my South Florida website and blog (jazzysaint.wordpress.com), which I will continue to update for people who want to keep up with the Allens and know how to support what we are doing (through prayer and/or resources).

2) You are also welcome to visit our  new church’s website www.mosaixchurch.com .   This website has been created for South Floridians to learn more about Mosaix Church, but you may find it interesting.  Those of you who have enjoyed following the South Florida blog may want to follow the blog on this new website as well.

3) You may want to visit and “like” the facebook page for our new church, www.facebook.com/mosaixchurchone

4) If you tweet, you can now follow me: @shawntallen

I am very thankful for the wisdom I continue to learn from others about how to use these tools.  Pray that God will use these digital influences to build His church.

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Digital Influence, or, “the word on the street is to tweet”

The word on the street is that one of the most potent ways to build a following is through digital influence.  Since I set foot on the hot and wet Floridian soil, digital mediums I had only heard about have become personal acquaintances.   I want to invite you to check out a few of the new ways I am expanding my digital influence here in South Florida.

1) You are obviously familiar with my South Florida website and blog (jazzysaint.wordpress.com), which I will continue to update for people who want to keep up with the Allens and know how to support what we are doing (through prayer and/or resources).

2) You are also welcome to visit our  new church’s website www.mosaixchurch.com .   This website has been created for South Floridians to learn more about Mosaix Church, but you may find it interesting.  Those of you who have enjoyed following the South Florida blog may want to follow the blog on this new website as well.

3) You may want to visit and “like” the facebook page for our new church, www.facebook.com/mosaixchurchone

4) If you tweet, you can now follow me: @shawntallen

I am very thankful for the wisdom I continue to learn from others about how to use these tools.  Pray that God will use these digital influences to build His church.

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That new church we’re starting has a name . . .

Now you can pray for our new church by name, Mosaix Church.

If you know me, you probably already “get” the name:  one of my highest values (and I got this from a guy named Jesus) is the beautiful tension between unity and diversity.  A mosaic communicates and celebrates unity in diversity.  Hence, Mosaix Church.  Much more to come about the name, but that should whet your appetite.

Now you can pray for our new church by name, Mosaix Church.  Yes, I know you already read that line, but I was serious.  Here’s why we need you to pray:

BREAKING NEWS: We are gathering people for the first time on Sunday, October 7th at 6pm.

1) Pray for us (kids included) as we focus this week on inviting people to join us on Sunday night.

2) Try to wrap your head around the hundreds of thousands of people who live in our county who are spiritually lost and/or not connected to a church.  Pray that some of them will come on Sunday . . .  like the grocery-store cashier I invited last night.  She doesn’t attend church much, but she’s been talking more to God lately.  She’s very interested in joining us – pray that she does.

3) Pray that God will soon draw a few people to Mosaix who I can equip to start our next church.  It may be you.  I’m not kidding.

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Welcome to the blog . . .

stories, insights, pictures, and songs along the journey of starting churches
to help some of the hundreds of thousands
who haven’t yet experienced the joy of loving God and each other

May this blog guide the prayers God will use to fuel this journey
and compel resources to be shared so the journey can continue . . .

CAUTION: This blog is meant to be contagious.  You won’t find any “don’t try this at home” warnings.  Start your own journey, tell us about it, and we’ll help each other along the way.

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