Born Irving Rafael Mesa-Cardona, in San Salvador, El Salvador, McManus was raised by his grandparents for the first years of his life. McManus, along with his brother Alex, immigrated to the United States when he was young, joining his mother. He grew up on the east coast - primarily in Miami, Florida, but also in Queens, NY and Raleigh, NC.
The name McManus comes from his mother's second marriage. McManus was not a legal name, but his stepfather's alias and later was legalized by McManus in adulthood.
McManus studied Philosophy at Elon University and later earned his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He also received a Doctorate in Humane Letters from Southeastern University in Lakeland Florida.
He and his wife Kim have three children.
While working on his master's degree in Dallas/Fort Worth, McManus began two congregations while serving among the urban poor. Cornerstone became nationally known for its work in urban renewal, social justice, and racial reconciliation.
He became the Metropolitan Consultant and City Strategist for the city of Dallas and served in that role as a Futurist and Urbanologist from 1990-1993.
He moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1993 and became senior pastor at Mosaic. Since the 1990s, McManus has been associated with the Leadership Network. In addition, he partners with Bethel Seminary as a lecturer and futurist.
As lead pastor of Mosaic, McManus speaks in multiple Sunday gatherings in Hollywood, California. Mosaic has opened multiple campuses, including Beverly Hills, Pasadena, South Bay, Whittier, Pomona, San Diego, and Berkeley.
He launched the Mosaic Alliance, a loose international association of like-minded churches.
McManus has used psychological personality metrics to his church, such as the Myers-Briggs type indicator and Gallup's Strengths Finder. He is currently an advisor with the Awaken Group, a transformation design company.
McManus has spoken in 60 countries to over a million people.
McManus has written nine books:An Unstoppable Force: Daring to Become the Church God Had in Mind (ISBN 0764423061) (June 1, 2001)
Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (ISBN 0785264310) (September 4, 2003)
The Church in Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives (ISBN 0310254876) (October 1, 2003)
The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (ISBN 0785264329) (February 10, 2005)
Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (ISBN 0785281134) (January 10, 2006)
Stand Against the Wind: Fuel for the Revolution of Your Soul (ISBN 1404102965) (February 14, 2006)
Seizing Your Divine Moment (ISBN 0785263160) (June 30, 2006)
Soul Cravings (ISBN 0785214941) (November 14, 2006)
Wide Awake (ISBN 078521495X) (July 1, 2008)
The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life Into A Work Of Art (ISBN 0062270273) (February 25, 2014)
Since 2004, McManus has worked as a filmmaker in multiple roles. McManus started and owned companies in both the fashion industry and film industry.
In 2013 McManus Studios and McManus experienced a hostile takeover and lost his company unexpectedly. McManus took out loans to pay employees and finish contracted projects. McManus designed men's suits, bags, and apparel and sold them both in the US and overseas.Turnipseed: 2008
Wide Awake: Short Film Series (actor, writer, director, producer) -- 2008
Crave: Vancouver (writer) -- 2010
A Day Without Rain (producer, writer, director) -- 2011
Crave: Calgary—2014 (writer, director, artist)
Waiting For the Miracle to Come—2016 (actor)