Saturday, April 16, 2011 • 2:41 am
I’m very fond of this season in the Christian calendar because I can mention the word “ass” during my blog post and sermon and still keep all the fundamentalists off my back.
But seriously, the message of Palm Sunday is very significant. True, this fulfills the prophecy of the Old Testament and that’s very significant but there’s more:
The image of Jesus riding on a donkey – aka “an ass” – during Palm Sunday is a great paradox.
In some ways, it’s when things go downhill really fast for Jesus and for anyone and everyone associated with Jesus that had a different agenda about “the Kingdom” than Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: christianity, church, Jesus, justice, leadership, ministry, ass, donkey, palm sunday
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 • 12:01 am
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 Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, faith, leadership, ministry, pastors, seattle
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 • 12:01 am
Some of my readers have too much time on their hands. While I do appreciate some of you sending me interesting materials for my blog such as funny videos, interesting articles, other blogs to check out, and topics you’d like for me to address, I also get a few readers that send me stuff…about me.
Seriously. I know that I have stuff I need to work out in my life and I’m constantly trying to live in the tension of “I must decrease and He must increase” but I am no megalomania. I don’t need folks to send me stuff about what others are saying about me, my ministry, blog, sermons, articles, blah…
But when someone sent me the stuff below regarding my comment in the NY Times about mixed martial arts, I just had to chuckle: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: christianity, leadership, pastors, criticism
Monday, July 20, 2009 • 10:22 pm
I read this piece from former President, Jimmy Carter, over the weekend explaining his decision to sever his ties with the South Baptist Convention – after being an active member for six decades. While I don’t agree with everything he writes, I agreed with the crux of his column: Enough is enough.
Most of you are aware of my hermeneutics and convictions pertaining to the issue of equality of women and my full support for women in all levels of leadership in the Church. I’ve written numerous posts about the issue but here are some worth checking out:
I hate to admit it but it still seems lonely with that “position” so I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be a woman – called by God – but seen not only as “unqualified” but in essence, “living in sin” for being deceived…a la Eve all over again. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: bible, christianity, church, Jesus, leadership, ministry, Jimmy Carter, SBC, southern baptist convention, women in leadership
Monday, December 8, 2008 • 1:42 am
Minhee and I moved to Seattle in 1997. We are entering our 12th year in Seattle but it was only about 8 years ago when I really began to grow in love with the city of Seattle. I was kayaking in Lake Union when I just gushed over the beauty over the city. And I just started praying for the city and the hope – someday – of being able to plant a church in the city. God honored that prayer and on occasion, I’ll trek over to Kerry Park [few mins from Quest] and lift occasional prayers for the city and people of this city.
It isn’t a perfect city by any means: I wish there was more diversity; city remains ethnically divided; the road systems are wacky; a subway system would be nice; our sports teams are dreadfully cursed, we need more sun, etc. But there are also some amazing things about this city: the topography is absolutely breathtaking; the local music scene is alive and well; everything is green and wet; the city is a creative force and is the hub of numerous companies, etc.
How about you? Where do you live and what do you like or dislike about your city or town?
One of the regular chats I give when I’ve had the privilege of speaking at conferences or churches has been the importance of knowing, loving, and engaging your city. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, churchplanting, family, leadership, ministry, quest church, seattle, travel
Wednesday, June 27, 2007 • 1:36 am
I’ve been meaning to post [some repost] much of this statistical information about the ministerial calling and career. I “work” 2-3 hours/month as a representative of the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program of my denominational tribe. This program was funded by about 1.7 million dollars through the Lilly Foundation in response to growing and alarming statistics and stories about the decline of the health of pastors – emotionally, relationally, spiritually, and physically. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let my picture below speak for itself: I am pooped. As pastors and church leaders, it helps to understand some of the challenges ahead; to not always be reactive but proactive. Since many have asked for a summary of my presentation, here it is… Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, emerging church, leadership, ministry, pastors
Monday, April 9, 2007 • 8:40 pm
i managed to find a few minutes to watch ‘the apprentice: los angeles’ for the first time last night. asides from my enjoyment of espn and dvds, i really don’t catch too much TV – even if jack bauer is everyone’s hero. i had been wanting to catch the apprentice because of james sun, who was a member of the church i pastored in lynnwood (north suburb of seattle) from 1997-2000. he was a college student back then and i’m very pleased for him. i hear that james has done an exceptional job on the show and has a good possibility of being revealed as the ‘winner.’ as of last night, he’s still in the running. but… Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: leadership
Friday, March 23, 2007 • 2:37 pm
Quest gets its share of external visitors wanting to check out the church and the cafe. They’re mostly local (the Pacific Northwest) but at times, folks are actually silly enough to spend money to fly into Seattle. Although, I need to be honest here. Quest is usually an ‘add-on’ to peoples’ church visitation agenda. People fly to Seattle to usually visit Mars Hill or a few other known commodities. I hate being a jerk but the visits take so much time and energy, we usually say, ‘Sorry.’ We occasionally do meet with folks – churchplanters, pastors, cafe starters, reporters, authors, etc. – and they usually fish from the same pool of questions. One prominent question in some form or another is: “What’s been the most significant highlight in your ministry this past year(s)?” Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, emerging church, leadership, quest church, seattle
Friday, March 2, 2007 • 8:11 pm
the fact is we are all biased and prejudiced; all depraved [and beautiful] and jacked up. we’re certainly all ‘racialized’ in many ways. long story short, i’ve been following some drama with the folks at Youth Specialties (Zondervan) over a book published by YS called, skits that teach. well, one of the skits is outright racist as it parodies asians. and yes, this is supposed to be educating the youth of america. i re-posted the above video entitled, ‘silent racism’ because it is so appropriate. it was created for an assignment during our church’s 2006 faith and race class. for me, it speaks so much to the systemic racism that exists and how we’re all guilty and must seek to see the beauty and dignity God gave to each person, each tribe, and each ethnicity. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: asian-american, christianity, church, emerging church, Jesus, justice, leadership, ministry, pastors, quest church, religion
Wednesday, February 28, 2007 • 5:15 pm
I just got back from a quick visit to Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve only been in AZ in the summertime prior to this visit (and it’s crazy nasty), but I now understand why so many folks choose to spend their winters in Phoenix. It was about 70 degrees and warm with a slight breeze. Anyway, I am part of a group of pastors that aid our denomination in the discussion and work towards building ‘pastoral health and excellence.’ Couple years ago, we received a grant from the Lilly Endowment Fund of about $1.7 million dollars. Not exactly chump change. The funds go towards a variety of things that iIm still trying to understand but the issue is very simple: the ministerial profession (life as pastors) is now considered one of the most dangerous or unhealthiest profession. It’s usually rated last or second to last. Nice. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, leadership, quest church