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Outcry Christian festival in Wichita to feature workshops, praise bands

Written by on April 9, 2018

While other Christian festival tours have played Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena, the Outcry Tour on Friday, April 13, includes an educational component, with the mainstage performers conducting afternoon workshops.

“Outcry is geared more toward equipping worship leaders and equipping the church,” said Andy Figueroa, a member of Mosaic MSC, a Los Angeles-based praise band. “That kind of format brings it up from just a simple concert.”

Also performing and educating will be Elevation Worship, Bethel Music and Vertical Worship. Christine Caine, an Australian activist and evangelist, will speak.

Mosaic MSC – the letters stand for both “music” and “Mosaic” without the vowels, Figueroa says – is an offshoot of a former Baptist church in Los Angeles that has been described by The Associated Press as a “hipster megachurch.”

Its praise band got national attention beginning in 2015 with the release of its first album, “MSC (Live from LA).”

“It really began to expand beyond Mosaic,” said Figueroa, a keyboard player and songwriter as well as a pastor at the church. “Once we got to a place where we thought the songs were good enough to record and release, we took that first step.”

The band’s second album, “Glory & Wonder,” charted at No. 2 on iTunes’ Christian & Gospel chart in 2016.

Eight to 10 of the church’s band members are involved in the concerts on the Outcry Tour, he added.

Figueroa said he can’t pinpoint why the band’s original music has caught on with a national audience.

“Hopefully it’s a fresh sound that just caught peoples’ attention. Hopefully our lyrics are fresh, or at least relatable,” the 30-year-old said. “That kind of encompasses the mission of our church, to be the kind of language that believers and nonbelievers can understand. Hopefully people get a sense of that and it speaks to them in a new way.”

One of the charter members of Mosaic MSC, Figueroa was not among the original group of four to five songwriters in the group.

“I’m like, ‘I’m just a keyboardist,’” he said.

But through the urging of other band members and church leaders, he began to compose his own songs.

“It was very natural for me to write worship music. Part of it was I was brought up in a worship environment. Worship came to me very naturally,” he said.

At times it can be frustrating coming up with ideas, he added.

“The tricky thing about worship music is that it’s kind of easy to write, therefore it’s hard to write,” Figueroa said. “It’s easy to write a worship song. It’s hard to write a worship song that sticks out or is great or is unique.”

The band’s lead singer is Mariah McManus, daughter of Mosaic’s pastor, Erwin McManus.

“The language she provides for us helps us a lot to express what we believe about God in fresh ways,” Figueroa said. “Worship has kind of been a natural thing, and now it’s doing the work of keeping it consistent – consistently writing, consistently pushing ourselves – and making sure our lives are connected to Jesus, and you’re writing from a genuine place of trusting in Jesus.”

Mosaic MSC played the Outcry Festival in Dallas last year, and is on the fourth-annual tour for the first time.

“That was an amazing experience, and we felt like we really fit in,” Figueroa said. “The crowd was really in tune with what we were creating and what we were making.”