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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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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