Christ-centered Service | A Mosaic of Jesus-Followers

February 20, 2023

I was acutely aware from an early age that God had a call on my life, and this was confirmed with every event that neatly guided me towards vocational ministry. What I wasn’t aware of, however, was that this would, in turn, lead me into church planting and church revitalization. I have been blessed to serve in a diverse range of areas, from urban to suburban and even rural. Although the environments have been different – one thing has been a constant for me: how God used Houghton University in my life, call and ministry to encourage me to be attentive to hear his voice and develop a love for his people. I can still recall the ministry and Bible professors from 20 years ago who poured into me. While I did not know or realize at the time, God was using Houghton to develop a strong foundation.

I have carried this foundation as I planted Mosaic Church along with Rev. Wayne Botkin. Mosaic is in Dayton, Ohio, and is a five-year-old church plant. Mosaic, as the name suggests, is unapologetically multiethnic and a glimpse of God’s kingdom as people. Indeed, those from all walks of life – those who look different from each other, speak different languages, are multi-economic, multigenerational and in recovery – gather together for worship. In this sense, Mosaic is living its vision of “becoming a dynamic mosaic of Jesus-followers.”

Mosaic has always been the type of church I wanted to be part of. Before moving into its first permanent facility, Mosaic was on the move, worshipping in movie theaters, schools, community centers and malls. During the height of the pandemic, the church hosted pop-up parking lot worship venues throughout the greater Dayton area.

Unfortunately, Dayton has become known for being one of the overdose capitals in the nation, but, as God would have it, Mosaic has one of the largest recovery worship services in the area called “Fighting Chance” Recovery. It strongly espouses the belief that God does not call us to run away from the problems our city is facing but to run towards them – just as he calls us to run towards him. In an age of post-Christendom, it is rare, but Mosaic has managed to surpass its pre-pandemic attendance. The key has been an utter reliance on the Holy Spirit; being nimble to carry out the vision over methods; and, of course, spiritual entrepreneurship to get to the next level in reaching God’s people.

While at Houghton and even during other educational pursuits, I never had received or taken a single class on what I am doing now. However, it was not a class that prepared or changed the trajectory of my call; it was my entire Houghton experience that developed me into who I am today. For that, I will be always grateful for Houghton University.

Houghton alumnus Rosario Picardo wearing shirt, better together.

Rosario “Roz” Picardo ’03 is the founding pastor of Mosaic in Dayton, Ohio; leader of Picardo Coaching LLC; and the author of seven books. He additionally serves at United Theological Seminary in a number of capacities and is a member of the Houghton University President’s Advisory Board.