Eugene Cho

monday sermon quarterback

as a pastor, there’s more to life, ministry, and leadership than preaching.  my prayer is often, ‘God, let my life be the deepest sermon i ever teach.’  but let’s not lie, for the majority of churches and pastors, the preaching ministry has a critical value.  it certainly does for me.  i believe it to be both a gift and a passion. 

through this blog, i hope to give folks (especially people that attend our church, Quest) an opportunity to share feedback, challenge the content, and ask questions) – all in hopes of deeper theological understanding that i pray, will compel us into deeper worship.

after beginning pastoral ministry at the age of 21, i’ve developed some thick skin.  apart from my sensitivity with my pentecostal hands in preaching, i’m more than happy to engage your thoughts.  another reason why i’m eager to share the occasional sermon reflection is to share any personal corrections and post-sermon convictions i have with folks.  i do, however, wish, i was starting ‘monday sermon quarterback’ on another week.  why?

last sunday’s sermon was a true stinker.  i sincerely apologize to the 10am folks.  i have my excuses but wow, it was a stinker. 

post sermon thoughts:  parenting is tough.  it may be, in my opinion (along with marriage) one of the most difficult (and edifying) things we engage in.  i was hoping to share both the sociological and biblical perspective about sin, parenthood, and children.  simply, depravity (and beauty) is inherent in all children.  sin is contagious.  children don’t necessarily suffer ‘God’s wrath and judgement’ because of the sins of the parents.  Despite Exodus 34:7 stating, “visiting the inequity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation.”  From a sociological perspective, i completely agree that our actions will influence our children and our children’s children (both good and bad).  we can share statistics after statistics that corroborate that belief.  from a biblical perspective, i was always disturbed by this passage (especially for my kids’ sake) but have since studied, read, and interpreted this passage to mean, both parents AND children that persist in their rebellion and sin will be judged.  Now, this is the context of the OT and I believe in grace and Jesus and the redemptive power of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness.  But, I also believe in the the consequences of our rebellion and sin.

Ezekiel 18:19 speaks to this situation: “the son shall not suffer for the inequity of the father, nor the father suffer for the inequity of the son…when the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe my commandments, he shall surely live.”

so, may our lives as parents be reflective of God’s grace; let’s stop playing the victimization role and give our parents some slack, and finally, we need to teach and nuture our children to both love, fear, and rejoice in the Living God.

Filed under: ministry, quest church

8 Responses

  1. Rebecca says:

    Just for the record, I don’t mind your pentecostal hands. I’m pretty outgoing with my hands too. And the sermon wasn’t that bad…although 11:30 was better than 10:00. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the 10:00 to get everything in.

  2. Steve says:

    Pastor Eugene, thanks for the opportunity to give feedback and ask questions. One brief thought about the ‘sermon stinker’- we give you grace as I’m sure it’s hard to go from an hour to 35 minutes. Don’t worry about it but DON’T LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN! j/k. We love you and appreciate you.

  3. David Park says:

    Amazing that you would even post this. We’ve never met, but I think we have a few friends in common. I am very encouraged by what you are doing and look forward to visiting someday.

  4. peterong says:

    stinkers are good…content is important, delivery is subsequently HIS. I remember an experience that really humbled me. I was visiting this Chinese church as part of my ministry networking and was listening to what I thought was a horrendously delivered sermon…all the points were okay (no heresies…as if I was a good judge of that…)…as the sermon concluded, I was so relieved…I approached a sister at the church and asked her what she thought…she started weeping…I asked “what is wrong?” she said that the sermon touched her deeply because she was struggling with experiencing the presence of God and she said the verse preacheds was the same one she read that morning and that the words of the pastors were words that she felt God was speaking into her heart that morning. I was humbled. dumbfounded. silenced. From that day on…I realized that I can’t say what is a stinker…and to this day I celebrate any time the word is preached…because 2/3 of the world can’t hear what we hear on Sundays. Keep preaching preacher…blessings to you!

  5. Sarah says:

    Wish I could have heard it… but reading the analysis and feedback about the original sermon is still pretty fun for me. And a “stinker” is better than nothing at all! For the record, Quest is still my home church and probably will always be that way.

  6. me says:

    peter: what humbles me is the other spectrum of that experience. i’ll walk away feeling pretty darn good about a sermon and people come and ask, ‘what in the world were you talking about?’

    i love that.

  7. Kay Byrd says:

    I love your hands. Now if each one did the exact same thing at the exact same time, that’d be a different story. As to the your “stinker” sermon, I don’t think so. But I must admit I’m looking forward to see how everything will be fitting into an hour.

    Hey, I found an interesting website that might be of interest to you.
    http://www.thekindlings.org
    And to think they are in our back yard….Hale’s Brewery.
    Looking forward to Sunday.

  8. eugenecho says:

    kay
    yes, it’ll be very interesting how the 10am service will work out. we basically have 70 minutes max to do what we normally do over 100-110 minutes usually. for the 10am service, the sermon time will need to be cut from 55-60 minutes to 40 minutes. thank goodness (for me) that we’ll have ample time at the 11.30am and especially at the 5pm service. but we really didn’t have much of a choice with the size of the sunday gatherings soon to edge over 350-400 folks…

    regardless, we pray for a deep and substantial time of worship, reading, sacraments, prayer, and preaching.

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One Day’s Wages

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"He Makes All Things New." In other words, Christ is our eternal hope. I'm sitting in my swinging bench on the comforts of my front porch after an exhilarating and exhausting day at church. It never gets tiring, stale, or old to preach and proclaim the good news of the Gospel - not just on Resurrection Sunday but every week as we gather as the body of Christ.

But it was this picture of Coptic Christians in Egypt pouring into churches on Easter Sunday that deeply moved my heart...just a week after two churches were bombed by ISIS terrorists taking 45 lives and injuring hundreds.

Even in the face of persecution and suffering, I'm so grateful for the witness of these sisters and brothers in Christ. May they be comforted and strengthened...and wherever you are reading this post, stay encouraged. Be faithful and steadfast. Don't give up. May we keep running the race set before us as we fix our eyes on Christ.

It's not just there. It's all over the world...God is still at work. The Holy Spirit is still moving. God is not yet done. There's only one explanation: 
Christ has risen! He has risen, indeed! Jesus is alive! Hallelujah! #OneChurch Remember, there is no Resurrection without the Crucifixion; No Easter Sunday without Passion Friday; No empty tomb without the Cross.

So, before we move too swiftly to the celebration of the risen Christ, may we sit at the foot of the Cross...and consider the depths of His sacrifice and love. "Oh, what love is this..." Just when we think we get what it means to follow Him, Jesus washes the feet of His disciples including...the one He knew would betray Him,

and the one that would deny him,

and the others that would abandon Him in His greatest need.

What amazing love.
What amazing grace. Oh. What. Amazing. Grace. M(inhee) + E(ugene). Not taking anything for granted. 20 years = 7300 days = 175,200 hours. A flourishing  marriage doesn't just happen. The idea that two Christians who choose to get married will produce a Christ honoring marriage is a gigantic myth. Its also extremely dangerous. The truth is that it takes so much intentionality and work. Intimacy definitely includes physical touch but is not only about physical touch. We have to pray, read, listen, learn, mutually submit, confess, forgive, repent, laugh, dream, rest, play, and the list goes on.

In other words, we have to keep Christ at the center because it's inevitable, there's a lot of messing up. So much messing up. It's both beautiful and painful and without grace, it's impossible.

Grateful. Thank you, Jesus, for your grace. And thank you, Minhee...

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