We spoke with Pastor Dustin Boles of Mosaic Church in an effort to better inform our readers of his deep commitment to the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and to give you his perspective on what role the church plays in today’s culture.
Q. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT LEAD YOU TO A LIFE OF RELIGIOUS SERVICE – TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CALLING.
A. The story of my calling is pretty simple. I did not grow up in church and had a very negative view of church and Christianity in general. This was partly due to ignorance of what Christianity really was and partly due to my experiences with those who professed to be believers who lived in a way that seemed nothing like what they said they believed.
A fine Christian man once told me that “having a relationship with Jesus is not based upon how good or bad we have been (that was a relief!!!). Our relationship is based upon the historical fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day. Anyone who puts their faith/trust in Him is saved.
Q. WHERE ARE YOU FROM – WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE COAST?
A. I am originally from Napa, CA. I grew up a Navy kid so we moved every two or three years. I married a Biloxi girl, Natalie, my wife of 20 years, so the Coast has really been my home for the past 25 years.
Q. PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT THE CHURCH AND HOW IT CAME TO BE.
A. Post Katrina, we found that about 180,000 people on the Coast did not have a church home and that there were few if any new churches here. That was it for us. I knew we had to come here. We started the church in May of 2008 with 19 people in our living room. We quickly outgrew our house and moved into a small venue in Ocean Springs called the Mirrored Hall. We quickly outgrew that and moved into In the Zone which is a preschool and skating rink in Ocean Springs. The skating rink allows us to call ourselves humorously “the holy rollers.” The church has grown and we have added three services at our Ocean Springs locations and added a second location in Gulfport that has two weekly services.
Q. YOU HAVE SUCH A SWEET, LOVING REPUTATION – MOSAIC IS FAMILY FOR ITS MEMBERS – TELL ME ABOUT WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU AND HOW YOU REACH OUT TO YOUR FOLLOWING?
A. The loving nature of our church and welcoming feeling comes from the fact that we absolutely know that we are not better than anyone else. We fully realize that we are as sinful as anyone who will walk through the doors of our church. We say all the time, “I will never meet anyone who needs Jesus, grace, and forgiveness more than I do.” We make sure that when someone comes to Mosaic that we look them in the eye and let them know how important it is to us that they have come. We state clearly that we not only want them at Mosaic, but we need them.
Q. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE “ACTS 29 MOVEMENT”.
A. Our church is non-denominational but is affiliated with the Acts 29 Network. Acts 29 is a network of churches that pool resources to start churches all over the world and make the simple message known everywhere we possibly can. The network also holds all of the pastors accountable for their moral behavior and theological accuracy.
Q. PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT THE SPECIAL EVENTS THE CHURCH HOSTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, AND IN PARTICULAR, THE UPCOMING CHRISTMAS SEASON EVENTS.
A. As far as events go, we do a few large events throughout the year but our philosophy is to keep things small so that people can really connect.
Here are a few events that Pastor Boles mentioned.
Fallapalooza – this is a free concert at Fort Maurepas in OS. Our worship teams from both campuses of Mosaic play for a couple of hours while people sit on the lawn and enjoy the music, food, and hanging out. We encourage our church to bring their unchurched friends so that we can get to know them better. Both of our worship bands play through the week at bars and clubs all over the Coast including the Hard Rock, Leo’s Pizza, Woody’s, and much more. They know how to lead worship and they know how to rock.
Financial Peace University – a financial program that helps people learn to budget, pay off debt, and get the most out of their money.
Community Groups – these are small group Bible studies held throughout the week and throughout the area in the homes of church members.
We do not require membership to attend any of our events and most are absolutely free.
Q. PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT THE MANY GOOD WORKS AND MINISTRIES THAT TAKE PLACE THROUGH MOSAIC.
A. Mosaic spends a large portion of its budget on missions both local and international. Some examples of local missions that we have supported are: Back Bay Mission, Advocates for Freedom (rescuing people from sex trafficking), Habitat for Humanity, Homes of Grace, and much more.
Q. PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE MEMBERS – I UNDERSTAND EVERYONE PITCHES IN AND IS VERY ACTIVE – WHY IS THIS SO AND WHAT DO THEY DO TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CHURCH AND IT’S TEACHINGS?
A. Member involvement is absolutely necessary to the vision and function of Mosaic. In fact, without everyone helping we cannot even do weekend services. It is not about the pastors! It is about all of us serving together to reach the 180,000 people on the Coast who do not have a church home. It takes about 300 volunteers a week to make Mosaic happen.
Q. TODAY, PEOPLE ARE GOING THROUGH SOME VERY TOUGH TIMES, GREAT CHALLENGES AND IT IS FRIGHTENING TO MANY – THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO COPE. WOULD YOU MIND SHARING WITH ME SOME OF THE ISSUES YOU HAVE BEEN PRIVY TO THAT ARE FACING YOUR MEMBERS – WHAT DO THEY FEAR AND HOW DO YOU HELP CALM THEIR WORRIES? DO YOU FIND PEOPLE NEED MORE GUIDANCE AND COMFORT IN TODAY’S WORLD?
A. I would say that what we deal with most are issues with marriages. So many of our people strive to have great marriages and find it difficult because of their past, baggage, and just the way life throws curves at them. We work really hard at helping our people have great marriages because getting marriage right tends to help fix many other problems. We also have a lot of people fighting addictions and things like PTSD. We see God’s grace working in their lives all the time and many overcome their issues and are able to get healthy and have a strong relationship with Jesus.
Q. PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT THE “ME TOO” MOTTO
A. Me Too is very simple but profound. We believe two of the most important words in Christianity are “me to.” What we mean is this. When someone comes to Mosaic with a sin or struggle our first words are “Me Too. I struggle too. I have flaws too. I need grace too.” Instead of judging or pretending that we are better we just jump right in and let them know that we are in the trenches with them…“Me Too!”
Q. PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT YOUR MISSION, TO REACH PEOPLE WITHOUT A CHURCH HOME.
A. Our mission is to reach the 180,000 people on the Gulf Coast who do not have a church home. Although we do worldwide missions this is our primary mission. It is quite simple. Everything we do is for that purpose. If we spend money it must be for that purpose. If we have an event it must be for that purpose. If we build buildings it must be for that purpose. It keeps us focused on what matters instead of getting hung up on politics and other peripheral issues.
Q. PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT THE CHURCH BAND – WHY IS MUSIC SO IMPORTANT AND WHAT KIND OF MUSIC IS INCORPORATED INTO THE SERVICES? HOW DO PEOPLE RESPOND?
A. Both of our worship teams focus our weekend services on both traditional and modern worship songs. They really make sure that the songs are theologically correct and that the focus of worship is God himself and not us.
Q. WHERE ARE THE MOSAIC SERVICES HELD AND WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE?
A. Our Ocean Springs Campus is at 2226 Bienville Blvd. The services are:
Saturdays at 5p.m. (both adult and kids)
Sundays at 9 and 11a.m. (both adult and kids)
Wednesday at 6:30p.m. Student Ministry
Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Recovery
Our Gulfport Campus is at 15521 Oak Lane. The services are at:
Sundays at 9 and 11a.m. (adults and kids)
Mondays at 6:30p.m. Recovery
Q. PASTOR, HOW DO YOU ENJOY YOUR DOWN TIME – HOBBIES, SPECIAL INTERESTS AND SPORTS?
A. Most of my time is enjoyed with my wife Natalie, and my three year old son, Rhett. We spend a lot of time at the park and beach these days.
My wife and I love movies and going to hear and see live music. We just returned from the Austin City Limits music festival in Austin, Texas. I love to read everything from history to physics to theology. I also play (not very well) the guitar. I played baseball in college and many sports in high school but these days I ride my bike and spend time watching sports on TV.
Q. WHAT SPECIAL MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEAVE OUR READERSHIP WITH TO PERHAPS BRING THEM SOME PEACE DURING THESE TROUBLED TIMES IN AMERICA AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD?
A. My message is simple. God has a good track record. All through history times have been good and bad. Sometimes it has looked as though God did not care or was not there at all. But in his time he always comes through. He always shows up. It can be frustrating waiting but he always comes through right on time. His track record is perfect. Trust him.
To unbelievers I would say. I am sorry for the way church people have treated you and the way that Jesus has been portrayed as being hateful and narrow. Jesus is way better than that. He is worth loving, worth following, and worth trusting. He can handle all of your doubts, sins, and issues. He really did die on the cross. He really did rise from the dead. He really is alive. And will really have an honest relationship with you if you will simply put your faith in Him. I am a no nonsense guy who does not accept things easily, but I accept Him. He has always been true to me and he will be the same to you.