Saturday, December 17, 2011 • 12:01 am
Let’s be honest: the issue of homelessness just isn’t as sexy as some of other ‘justice’ issues like the global water crisis, human trafficking, or shoes. Yes, I just went there.
The reasons for homelessness are numerous and complex but the numbers – indicating real people – are real. Very real.
- Approximately 2.3 – 3.5 million people are homeless each year in U.S. (Urban Institute)
- 12 million adults in U.S. currently are or have been homeless at some point in their lives. (National Coalition for the Homeless)
- The largest and fastest growing group of homeless folks are families with children, comprising 40% of the homeless population, mostly with single mother head of household. Average homeless family has 2.2 children. (HUD)
- 33% of homeless men are veterans. (HUD)
- 22% of single adult homeless population suffer from severe and persistent mental illness. (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2001)
In the Seattle area alone, on any given night there are 7,980 homeless in Seattle/King County.
This is the main reason why Quest Church envisioned and funded a ministry called The Bridge Care Center and I can’t tell you how proud, encouraged, and convicted I am to be a part of this ministry. It’s the aspect of Quest that I’m most proud of this past year. What is the BCC? Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: , ballard, bridge care center, quest church, seattle
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 • 12:01 am
Over 10 years ago, God woke me up in my sleep. Literally.
The dream shook me up so much that I couldn’t go back to sleep. Over the next several months, I tried to resist the meaning of the dream but I knew that while I didn’t have full clarity, the Holy Spirit was stirring my wife and I to “get ready.”
The vision and dream I had was surreal because it was unlike anything I had personally seen or experienced. Minhee and I were then at a homogenous Korean-American church in the suburbs of Seattle but we were stirred to leave our comfort zone to plant a church in urban Seattle and invite people from diverse backgrounds to worship Jesus together, grow together, serve together, and be on mission together.
The calling for us was to be faithful in proclaiming and living out the gospel of Christ but in pursuit of a diverse church, it wasn’t merely to be post-racial, politically correct, or multiethnic, but in reality, to be about a faith community taking a step closer towards the vision and reality of the Kingdom of God.
The end goal isn’t the banner of a post-racialized world or even to have a multiethnic community. This post isn’t to boast or to indirectly point the finger at homogenous churches, white churches, suburban churches but rather to ask the question:
Are we taking steps towards the vision and reality of the Kingdom of God?
Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: , quest church
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 • 12:10 am
I’ve never been a crying person but the last few years, for whatever reason, I’ve been so easy to cry. I could be watching Dumb and Dumber and I’ll start tearing. So, let me warn you in advance:
This week: I’m going to cry like crazy.
It’s not because of my 41st birthday on Thursday but because Quest Church will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary on Sunday.
Even watching the 5 year Anniversary video above [RSS readers, click here], I couldn’t stop crying. So much has happened out of ‘nothing.’ Certainly out of two people with nothing to boast of ourselves and yet, God created something unique: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: , 10 year anniversary, quest church
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 • 12:01 am
Thank you so much for your partnership in the gospel.
I am so proud to be one of your pastors and to have had the honor of planting Quest Church almost 10 years ago. This past Sunday, while Pastor DeAnza was preaching a spirited message at Quest from our ongoing study through Philippians, I had the joy of visiting and preaching at the Burmese Karen Churchplant in Kent, Washington. On their behalf, I pass on their sincere greetings.
Several years ago, Quest helped plant this church and it is in part because of your prayers and generosity that allowed us to have a small part in birthing this beautiful church through our Quest Churchplanting Foundation.
This church and community did not exist 3 years ago. In fact, the majority of them are recent refugees and have entered this country in the past couple years. This past Sunday, I asked – before my sermon – how many of them had arrived to the United States in the past year and it appeared that over half of the nearly 150 people raised their hands! Many of them were living in refugee camps…and how amazing it must be that a church community was here to be their fellowship and support.
But for a second, I want to encourage you to think Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: , burma, churchplant, karen, quest church, refugee, seattle
Saturday, August 7, 2010 • 12:01 am
Yes, you read the title correctly. I’m growing in love with the book of Leviticus. It’s been a very long time since I’ve read through the book of Leviticus but we’re currently teaching through Leviticus for about 3-4 months at Quest.
While it’s true that there are some parts that are not very enjoyable, Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: , leviticus, old testament, preaching, quest church, Scriptures
Saturday, December 26, 2009 • 12:01 am
Quest recently received one of the most encouraging letters… From the beginning, we’ve tried to BE the church and as such, not be a community that merely worships (and hides) behind our liturgy or church building. Remember the post entitled, The Blog Post No One Wants to Read?
For example, the Q Cafe was started to help us engage the larger neighborhood and city and various ministries have been sprouted including one called, “To the Streets” led by Pastor DeAnza Spaulding (one of our pastors) and her team from the Compassion & Justice Ministries.
She received this letter during this month’s To the Streets distribution. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been very encouraged to see Questers take up her challenge and invitation to purchase and provide necessary stuff to help our homeless friends with the cold elements: clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, etc.
In the upcoming year, I’m excited to hear more about the vision of the Quest Justice Compassion (QJC) Ministry to build and fund a Drop In Center on or near our church campus for the homeless community that takes the care and distribution from once/month to a regular engagement.
Here’s the letter:
To All the Members of Quest Church, Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: , homelessness, quest church, seattle, to the streets
Friday, May 22, 2009 • 12:18 am
Is it possible that we as Christians just aren’t angry enough about injustices like human trafficking and slavery? Perhaps, we’ve grown too desensitized, domesticated, and docile. I’m not trying to say this for the sake of the ‘shock factor’ but I really believe there are times when the Church needs to have a deep[er] anger about the grave injustices of the world particularly when it involves the exploitation of children. Have we deduced our faith to convenient and self serving pleasantries?
Because we are informed and transformed by Christ, I wonder if we just need to say: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: , human trafficking, international justice mission, justice, north korea, Q Cafe, quest church, slavery
Friday, April 24, 2009 • 1:08 am
You’ve been our children’s director and pastor for several years now. You’ve done an amazing job. I still remember the days of Quest when our (Minhee and I) – then 2 children – were the only kids at Quest. Through you and Christina, our amazing associate director, and other folks like Becky, Karis, Gordon, Stacy and on and on, God has immensely blessed our church community. When we “hired” you as our children’s pastor many years ago, you were just graduating from college and there were some concerns expressed by the interview committee but I remember sharing with them these words: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: , children, kids, ministry, quest church, seattle
Friday, April 17, 2009 • 12:38 am
Ministry has its up and downs. Such is life.
But one of the joys of planting and pastoring Quest Church is that it’s one of the most unique and diverse communities I have been a part of. This isn’t meant to be a slam against homogeneous churches. In fact, I believe that every community is multicultural on some level – [Hint: think beyond race.] While I miss (very much) the uniqueness of my experiences in Korean-American churches – food, generations, languages, etc. (and still am involved in KA/Asian communities), I now understand why God called Minhee and I to venture out from our homogeneous suburban church into the city to plant Quest and Q Cafe.
While we have a long way to go, we’re thankful that Quest is growing as a multicultural, multigenerational, and urban faith community – with a desire to be an incarnational presence both in the city of Seattle and the larger world – teaching and living out the Gospel of Christ.
Questions: What are ways that you encourage your community to grow in diversity, community, and uniqueness?
These are my encouragements to fellow leaders and pastors:
- Know the diversity of your community. Simply, do you know their stories? They may “look” the same but they represent different ‘cultures’ – if not ethnicities. We all have diverse stories. If you know their stories, are you making their stories known? FWIW, this is my story.
- Nevertheless, have a vision of the larger Kingdom and the “future Church” and consider what it looks like to take “one step closer…” Even if your church community isn’t ethnically diverse, how are you personally building friendships and encouraging your congregants to live in friendship with neighbors and the larger community? How is your church serving ”other” churches and communities – especially those that don’t look like yours? You don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket and think that “worshipping together” is the only expression. Think outside of Sundays and outside the building box.
- Be committed to the truth that each person is uniquely created in the image of God. Consider the lessons learned from the story of Susan Boyle of Britain’s Got Talent and meditate on this quote from C. S. Lewis in The Weight Of Glory.
“There are no ordinary people. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, churchplanting, ministry, pastors, seattle, C.S. Lewis, quest church
Thursday, November 20, 2008 • 1:14 am
Over the past year, our family and I have been trying to be a source of support for a brother at our church who was diagnosed with brain cancer. He, his wife, and their two young children are wonderful people. Folks from Quest and his friends recently threw him a surprise birthday party and it was amazing to see people from around the city, state, country, and world fly into Seattle to celebrate his life.
While my “ministry paradigm” say it’s supposed to be the pastor ministering to the people, many times it just doesn’t work that way. It’s both. It’s reciprocal. It’s all. And sometimes, we’re all clueless and we live and wrestfully rest in the mystery of God’s infinite knowledge and grace. So, at times, we’re speechless, silent and still.
I’ve been reflecting on this brother’s journal – the ups, downs, and everything in between. His physical days are numbered – whether it be one month, one year, or 50 years. We obviously pray and hope for the latter but the life expectancy statistics from doctors and medical reports say otherwise. I’ve particularly been blessed by his “life lessons” that he’s been sharing through his journal. Here’s his latest. I’m also sharing a new video created by Justin [aka Roboto] from Quest who made this as an encouragement to his Community Group: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, family, religion, cancer, faith, quest church
Monday, November 10, 2008 • 8:40 pm
I am incredibly thankful and indebted to Shane. I first met Shane six years ago at a conference we spoke at together in Seattle and met at Q Cafe. We recently re-connected over the past year and so, I asked him if he’d be willing to visit and speak at Quest Church - specifically after the elections seasons since his book Jesus for President engaged the faith and politics conversation. Umm, this all happened in the last month but it happened.
But I had no idea how much Shane went out of his way to be with us at Quest last night until we hung out last night. Shane flew from Philly to Vancouver, spoke three times on Sunday at a church up North, and then drove about 2.5 hours [not including an hour stoppage at the US/Canada border] to Seattle. He made it to my home only a half hour before the event! Shane: Brother, thank you very much. It means a great deal to me, to Quest, and to the Seattle community that you went out of your way to share in fellowship and ministry!
As promised, here are some pictures and mp3s from the event “A Quest Conversation with Shane Claiborne.” Any feedback and pushback from the conversation? Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: religion, quest church, shane claiborne
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 • 12:36 am
If you’re in Seattle, near Seattle, or have friends around this part of the country, I want to extend an invitation to our church’s community and vision. Our hope is to be changed by the transforming grace of Christ and subsequently, be agents of change here, there, and everywhere. Here’s a simple but great video of our faith community [much thanks to Roboto!] and some stuff coming up in November.
Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: religion, quest church, seattle
Monday, October 27, 2008 • 1:21 am
With no being fanfare, Quest celebrated our 7 year anniversary this weekend. We had some cake to mark these seven years. We had a big celebration at 5 years and will do another at 10 years but figured 7 was biblically important enough that we should at least have some cake.
I want to thank each person – past and present – for your friendship, partnership, and belief in what God has done through our church. To my estimation, there have been four signifanct “seasons” at Quest so I picked out some pics for each season including our living room about 7+ years ago where we gathered for our first meeting. Praise the Lord for his faithfulness… Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: religion, quest church
Wednesday, October 22, 2008 • 12:55 pm
Update: Event is sold out.
I first met Shane about six years ago when we spoke at a conference together in Seattle. All the speakers gathered at Q CAFE for some coffee and chat. He’s since grown to be an immensely important and prophetic voice to the church and beyond. One reason why is because there’s substance to his lifestyle and choices underlying the talk. Agree or disagree or somewhere in between, it’s challenging, refreshing, and thought/heart provoking.
Long story short, I’m excited to welcome Shane to Quest on Sunday, November 9 [7-9.30pm]. I’m glad Shane agreed to come join us at Quest at an opportune time…the Sunday after the presidential elections. Some of you will be overjoyed and others will be despondent. While I care about this country and the elections, I also…don’t care because whether I like the results or not, Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: religion, quest church, shane claiborne
Monday, August 25, 2008 • 11:29 pm
Quest Church, the church I serve as lead pastor, is excited to invite you to join us for our Annual Learning Conference on October 10-11. This year, we host Lauren Winner for a conference entitled, “Faith & Gender.” Asides from a stimulating and challenging conference, one of our commitments is to make the conference as financially accessible to the larger Seattle and Northwest community. Registration is ONLY $15 and $10/students but space is limited. Register now and help spread the word by sharing this entry or the conference site on your blog or website. Here’s the Facebook event.
Quest has always affirmed women in ministry but it has been a while since we have had a sustained discussion on why that is and how we can take discussion further to issues of what it means to be men and what it means to be women “in Christ” and how we can construct our ideas of gender from a Biblical perspective Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: religion, faith, gender, lauren winner, quest church
Monday, June 2, 2008 • 1:02 am
This past weekend, Quest Church celebrated the one year anniversary of Interbay Covenant Church merging into Quest Church. For those that are new to this blog or not familiar with this story, carefully read and enjoy this story. It still continues to amaze me.
Interbay Church – a 65 year old, traditional, urban, older, and mostly Anglo church – decided to “close” down and join Quest Church – a 6 year old, emerging, urban, and multiethnic churchplant. In closing their church and merging with Quest, Interbay gave to Quest ALL of their assets which includes a church building and small warehouse valued around $7-8 million dollars. Many of the 50 or so folks from Interbay continue to be a part of the larger Quest community. A year ago this time, I wrote an entry sharing three things [amongst several] that amazed me about this “merger”: Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: religion, quest church
Tuesday, March 11, 2008 • 12:51 am
One of the most exciting aspects about ministry at Quest is our stewardship philosophy. It has been there from the beginning – even before the church got started. So, it is exciting to see stuff in my heart/mind come to some level of fruition. If you want to get to know someone on a deeper basis, you’ll likely want to know how they earn, save, spend, and give away.
Churches are no different. We can say all that we want to say with our lips but a church’s budget speaks a great deal to its ministry and stewardship philosophy. We have a long way to go but after several years of saving a few dollars here and there [Quest is a 6 year churchplant] and tinkering with our nomenclature, we are excited about the church’s 1 Fund and 3 Foundations. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: religion, emerging church, quest church, seattle