Eugene Cho

Jesus above all things…including football.


In case you don’t know, Seattle has football fever. And for a city that hasn’t had much to root for, it’s an exciting season for the city of Seattle as the Seattle Seahawks advance to this Sundays’s playoff game versus the Atlanta Falcons. After living here now for 16+ years, I’ve adopted all things Seattle culture and sports. Or at least most things. I still get weirded out by the Subaru automobiles everywhere and the Starbucks coffee shop to my left, right, front, and back.

But I digress.

The Seattle Seahawks is in the playoffs and by the time you read this post, there’s a good chance that they are playing against (and likely beating) the Atlanta Falcons.  This entire week, several of our church congregants – have jokingly, half-jokingly, and seriously asked:

  • “Will Quest move our church worship service times to accommodate the Seahawks playoff game at 10am?
  • “Will Quest cancel services altogether?”

Heck, even the Seattle Times called to ask what I would do as the senior pastor of Quest Church.

What is Quest doing on Sunday in light of Seattle Seahawks playoff game?

Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Nope.

Like many, I love sports. I really do. And I really dig Seattle sports. And I really dig the Seattle Seahawks and especially dig our quarterback, Russell Wilson, Beast Mode, and our Defense. But having said that, we’re not doing anything.

But in some sense, what we are doing is extraordinary.

We celebrate the Resurrection…and that is extraordinary.

For me, it’s simple. Would we move our Easter service worship schedule to accommodate a Seahawks playoff game? Of course not. And I would think that other churches wouldn’t as well because the celebration of the resurrection of Christ is the crux of our faith. Well, tomorrow isn’t Easter technically but we are celebrating the good news of the hope and resurrection of Christ. We celebrate it tomorrow as we do each time we gather together.

And in this sense, we are truly doing some extraordinary at church this Sunday: We are celebrating the good news. We are celebrating the Gospel.

For God so loved the world that he sent His Son, Christ, for us…

This is truly extraordinary and good news.

Will I condemn and judge church folks for not coming to church?

They are going to hell. J/K. Of course not.

We’re not legalists. If you want to stay home and watch the game. Great. Enjoy. If not, do what others are doing and utilize DVR or TIVO or whatever…

Am I condemning other churches that are moving services or canceling church?

Nah. Nope. None of my business.

I’m not their pastor and I’m not on their elder board or leadership team. They have their church culture, their leaders, and their decision making process. Some churches are using the game as supposedly a way to reach out to their neighbors and neighborhoods and I think that’s absolutely great and hope that they’ll attract many visitors.

Heck, several of our church folks have let me know that they’re thinking of going to another church this Sunday because these churches are moving their services to an earlier morning start and then showing the game on the BIG JUMBO MEGATRON GINORMOUS SCREEN and doing a big tail gate party with hamburgers, hotdogs, garlic fries, chips, salsa, dip, ice cream, sushi, and all that good stuff.

Dang. Suddenly…I’m really hungry.

Yes…I’ve heard. I’ve heard. And I’ve already blessed folks to go to places like Eastlake Church and other churches that are doing cool stuff. I’m totally cool with that. Go for it.

How about Quest?

Like I said above…For Quest, we’re doing the same ol’ same ol’. I do promise that my sermon will be under an hour.

I promise. I really do.

Jesus above all things…

Football or not, let’s do our best to fix our eyes on the Christ – the author and perfector of our Faith.
Let’s worship God with our heart, soul, body, and mind.
Let’s encourage one another in faith.
Let’s engage in fellowship and warmly welcome visitors with deep hospitality
Let’s proclaim the Living Word.
Let’s sing songs of worship, praise, and adoration.
Let’s celebrate the sacraments – the visible form of God’s invisible Grace.

Whatever we choose to do on Sunday, remember to live out your faith in Christ on Monday and throughout the week. Worship on Sundays are important but I’ve always believed that True Worship happens when you exit the doors of your church.

And lastly: #GoHawks


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10 Responses

  1. Penny Hunter says:

    Living in the mountain time zone has its benefits when you are the 12th man. Married to him.

  2. Syed says:

    I love your spirit, Pastor Cho.

  3. Anne says:

    And this is why Quest is my church!!! Can’t imagine going to a church that worships football (or any other idol). Thanks PE. Thank you for keeping our eyes focused on the one true God.

  4. Good on you for keeping your focus on the better thing.

  5. Barton says:

    Tired of your holier than thou righteousness. Churches are trying to be creative and reach out to their cities!

  6. Bob says:

    Good on you, Eugene

  7. Dennis Lyons says:

    Very classy report! I love football but have ALWAYS gone to church first and formost, then watch my team latter if possible. I agree some churches have made a good out-reach threw sports and that’s ok, but it’s sill just an outreach.

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

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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