Eugene Cho

one of the greatest sermons…

It passed quietly this year but as I’ll likely do each year, I want to share about one of the greatest sermons I’ve ever heard. It didn’t come from a pulpit but rather through the stories of about 50-60 folks from a church community that no longer technically exists continues to make an impact through their lives, legacy, stories, and friendship.

Three years ago (June 2007), a 65-year-old church named Interbay Covenant Church (our landlords for several years) chose to “die to themselves” and gift themselves and all their assets to Quest Church.

These amazing folks gave away more than property and assets worth about $5-6 million dollars. More courageously, they shared their lives, stories, and legacy.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote:

One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons…

I am so humbled and blessed to have witnessed this incredible act of obedience. Recently, the folks at Catalyst visited Quest for this video interview and I had the opportunity to share more this act of obedience and about one of the greatest sermons I have ever heard…

Thank you to the beautiful and courageous brothers and sisters of Interbay Covenant Church. Many of you are still worshipping at Quest. Several have moved on to other churches. A few have passed on to be with the Lord. But know this: your story of faith, hope, love, and courage will not be forgotten.

If you’re interested in this beautiful story, here’s some reflections I wrote several years ago – a day after Interbay’s official vote to join Quest to become ONE church. The story was so beautiful that it actually made the cover of the  Seattle PI.





Filed under: church, faith, leadership, ministry, pastors, seattle

4 Responses

  1. Such a phenomenal story and unbelievable experience. Thank you, brothers and sisters from Interbay for your generosity, graciousness, love, and the joy you’ve shared. This whole process has echoed so much further than the walls of our building–even coming up in conversation with another pastor brother yesterday. It is a testament to your passion for the Kingdom and love of Christ.

    Thank you.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho, Chandra Mickle Lee. Chandra Mickle Lee said: one of the greatest sermons… […]

  3. Jin says:

    Friends ask me how’s your church in Seattle, and this is story I like to tell them. This, especially to people like me, is an amazing story because I grew up in a church that was driven by power and money, and though I loved God, the Word, the songs we sing and the fellowship i had with good friends, i became somewhat cynical about the Church. Now I can say I live amongst this amazing story and it heals those wounds of the past.

  4. jchenwa says:

    Wow, that’s amazing, amazing grace. I’m honored to have met Ray Bartel, Ralph, and the others.

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One Day’s Wages

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The Western Wall in Old City of Jerusalem (aka The Wailing Wall) - from the Second Jewish Temple.

I'm hoping to share a few stories of people that I met (Jewish, Muslims, and Christians) in the Holy Land in the days to come. One of our Palestinian tour guides said to me, "You will leave with more questions...and that's a good thing." He was absolutely right. We want everything so nicely packaged but if we're honest, it's very rare in a broken, complex world...and I can't think of too many things more complex than the situation in Israel and Palestine.

While I certainly understand and resonate with Israel and its history and its need to protect itself from harm, one can't deny the history and existence of Palestine as well. 
Is peace possible? This was the focus of my trip to the Holy learn more about the conflict and those that are working towards peace. My friend, Scott (and other pastor), Mae (our guide) and I had the privilege of going to a Jewish synagogue this past Friday. We were then hosted by a local rabbi and his family for a Shabbat meal. It was marvelous. Incredible. Illuminating. Delicious. A true honor to be invited to his home with his wife and three children. To pray, learn, share, and ask questions. 
What I loved the most was the story of how Rabbi Daniel and his wife rented a bus to take 15 of their friends to the West Bank ... to see for themselves the impact of the wall and the Israeli policies. Some of their friends had never even entered the West Bank...don't personally know a Palestinian. It's impossible to work towards peace when we don't know anyone from the other side...when we don't understand the other side.

Thank you, Rabbi Daniel. Old Jerusalem. So many stories. So much history. The synagogue in Capernaum (Galilee) where Jesus began his public ministry. He taught with authority... Pray for your pastors and teachers...that they may teach with courage, conviction, humility, and ultimately, directing people to Christ - the Word made flesh.

Speaking of, so excited to be teaching at @Quest Church tomorrow. If you're in the Seattle area, join us. A glimpse of Jordan River where John baptized Jesus. "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." What amazes me most about this event is about...timing and patience. For Christ, it wasn't about "if" but about "when." In a world of supersonic pace,  impatience, quick results, hurry and now and NOW...Jesus waited for the Father's timing. He was patient and faithful. I need to learn that waiting on the Lord in itself isn't apathy but rather an act of faith. The town of Bethlehem and at the site of the cave (aka manger) of the birth of Christ.

One of the highlights was a class of Palestinian Muslims and Christian kids in a local public school singing a Christmas carol for us in Bethlehem...just across the Shepherd's Field. Galilee. Surreal to be at the mountainside where Jesus delivered "The Sermon on the Mount" ... aka The Beatitudes. Walking around praying for Paris, Beirut, Istanbul, Nigeria, Mali, Palestine/Israel... This verse is so particularly important in light of all the violence in the world. "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9

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