Eugene Cho

“everything redeemable…”

About 7 or 8 months ago, I did an interview with Outreach Magazine about…umm…outreach but the article was just published for Jan/Feb 08.  These people certainly plan in advance!  I think I surprised them when I shared honestly that I don’t ever remember ever using the word “outreach” since we planted Quest Church.  I wasn’t trying to be smart-arsy about it because I know the importance of the traditional language of ‘outreach’ but I was trying to convey that in my ecclesiology, outreach really wasn’t an event, a thing, or something that you necessarily do but rather a lifestyle, presence, and worldview; Not an accessory but something that is inside you and thus, it’s not outreach but the very expression of living it out daily.  It’s incarnational.  Outreaches are good…nothing wrong with them per se.  Church do “outreaches” because it’s a platform to help people enage in outreaches but if we’re not careful, we end up teaching christians to be programatic and fragmented but not necessarily incarnational.

Remember I wrote couple months ago about a photo shoot where I had to take several hundred shots [for that one perfect picture]?  Well, they didn’t quite find the perfect picture.  When I showed my wife the article and picture, she actually busted out in laughter citing how big the dot on my nose looked!  Here’s one quote from the article [you can also click on the pic below to view the entire article]:

Q: Why do you think Quest Church is receiving such a positive response from the unchurched in Seattle? 

A: I had an interview with The Seattle Times a few months ago and the reporter said that Christians think Seattle is godless, and I had to stop him because I was so offended by that! I think it’s ridiculous for Christians or the Church to say that our cities or our countries are godless. That’s a very grave statement because it betrays a worldview that defies the realm of God’s power. I believe that all people have the capacity to see God, or to rebel against God, and that makes everything redeemable. Nothing is outside the redemptive power and grace of Jesus Christ. Knowing this has been really helpful for us in the way that we go about our ministry. As a result, our church is very committed to being as honest as possible about our agenda to present the Gospel. When I’m teaching, I purposefully use words like “agenda.” I say that my agenda is to communicate as effectively as possible the amazing, captivating grace of Jesus Christ. I think it has resonated with people, particularly the urbanites of Seattle.

outreachphoto2.jpg

FYI, things have changed since 7 months ago.  Q Cafe is going through some remodeling and revitalization right now as things aren’t going all that great right now.  Fow now, we’ve chosen to focus our time and energies to four main areas:  Cafe, Art Gallery, Live Music, and Community Space.

Anyway, thanks to Outreach Magazine for seeking, writing, and printing the interview.

Filed under: religion, , ,

9 Responses

  1. Liz says:

    Eugene,

    Great article. Good that you’ve got a sense of humor with Photoshop!

  2. Wayne Park says:

    my experience with YWAM taught me that “outreach” can be a selfish thing. We do it as a merit badge, sometimes as an almost purging kind of thing. Particularly in the overseas context, it’s done more for our own development and maturation. Some cutting edge thinkers recognize the flaw in this, how can we reach the nations if it’s for our own benefit?

  3. j says:

    Wayne,

    I completely agree with you.
    “your left hand should not know what your right hand is doing”. Have seen too many “christians” taking on different positions. Or going on 1 week mission to mexico to build houses. Those mexican can build houses on their own if you give them money. Or mission to Africa….all the money used for these overseas trip by Americans…is it really justified. 1 week overseas with those who are hungry, yes it will have a everlasting memories of your accomplishments. however, the $3000 you spent for the trip, could have fed one Kenyan child for 3000 days. or $1500 you spent, you could have sent a little mexican kid named Juan a school for a year.

    Fellow christians, lets not be consumed by the promise of fantastic christian experience but really think about what other method of help are available…

  4. j says:

    can you slick it all back with no parting and no superman curls?

  5. Wayne: I was not surprised to hear such wisdom from someone with a Transformers avatar.

  6. Ben C says:

    I’m coming to learn you love to be in front of the camera

  7. e cho says:

    ben: i dislike being in front of the camera but have learned to be comfortable with it.

  8. chad says:

    i’m proud of you for avoiding use of the word “missional” when talking about outreach!

  9. djchuang says:

    you’d think they coulda photoshop’d the dot out of there; all the other magazines photoshop and airbrush the photos of their models… maybe they wanted to keep it “real”?

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One Day’s Wages

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These are crazy, turbulent times. Fight the good fight. Run the race set before us.

But we also need you for the long haul. Don't burn out. Discipleship and justice work is a marathon. Learn to take care of yourself. Don't play the victim. It's far too tempting to blame others. Be rooted in prayer, Scripture, and community. It's okay to pause, critical to rest and retreat, and godly to practice Sabbath.

#NoteToSelf Everyone loves the idea of  reconciliation...until it involves truthtelling, confessing, repenting, dismantling, forgiving, and peacemaking. Charlottesville. So heartbreaking and infuriating. We weep and mourn over the hatred in the hearts of these white nationalists. We weep and mourn but we can't be defeated.

As I stare at this photo that's making its round on the internet, I'm reminded of the utter importance of showing up. I'm grateful for the news media, law enforcement, clergy, and peaceful protesters that are currently there to report, protect, pray, and protest.

And this is an invitation to us. May we not be mere bystanders. May we keep pressing forward. Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly. Commit to truth-telling, justice, reconciliation, peacemaking. Follow the ways of Christ. Every day. And it's important to note that we don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. In fact, it's more important that we do this exactly where we're at. May we live out the call to reconciliation in our churches, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and around our dining tables. Lord, may it be so... We don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. We have to do this wherever were called to be.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. /// Thanks to those who let me know that the photo wasn't actually from today but rather from last month in Charlottesville. - https://www.facebook.com/FrankSomervilleKTVU/posts/1551137301616258:0 Grateful for a spontaneous, last minute trip with Minhee to my old stomping grounds - San Francisco. 48 hours of visiting this special city that I called home for so many years.

Pic 1: Went to the Cliff House restaurant where we got engaged about 21 years ago to make out. Oops, sorry, I meant...to reflect on God's faithfulness over these many years.

Pic 2: Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge because it's such an iconic place - with some of the most incredible views.

Pic 3: Enjoyed a glass of some Cabernet Sauvignon and pretended to be wine connoisseurs at a vineyard.

Pic 4: Had lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Sam Tung, which boasts some of the best chicken in the country. And of course, we ate at In-n-out.

Pic 5: And finally, celebrated with the good folks at @thefreedomstory where @onedayswages received their annual Freedom Award. What an honor.

Grateful. Thankful for this sabbatical. Breathe.

Show yourself some grace.

We can't do everything for everyone in every situation. Do what you can and do it with a joyful heart.

Amen A family that eats sushi together stays together.

Seriously, I don't ever remember eating so much as a teenager but these kids eat and eat and eat. Perhaps, the reason why this kid is pushing 6 feet tall. Grateful for a special treat with the family at @JaponessaSeattle.

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