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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This was 10 years ago. I dominated my son in wrestling and I know what you're thinking, "How could you employ a rear chokehold armbar kimura on your own son?" Hey, a competition is a competition.

I love you, son. The world is broken. This ia a sad truth. But the story of redemption is not yet finished. God is not yet done. This is the ultimate Truth. Have hope. Press on. Ten years ago, I witnessed one of those "God things" when a church called Interbay Covenant Church gave itself, its legacy, and a building property worth $7 million dollars to @seattlequest. We were then only 5 years old.

Quest is an urban, multiethnic churchplant that started in 2001. We rented the facilities at Interbay Covenant Church - a predominantly older, mostly Anglo congregation with a rich 65 years history. After some time, Pastor Ray Bartel (senior pastor, Interbay) approached me with a "crazy idea" of Interbay "dying to itself and giving itself to Quest" for the sake of the greater Kingdom and the coming generations.

This eventually led to three years of many conversations and prayers. On June 3, 2007, the two churches officially came together to become one church. In giving itself, Interbay also shared their leadership, legacy, and stories. They also gave all of their assets without any strings and without any debt.

Their radical generosity and courage is what enabled Quest to grow - not just numerically - but deeper in discipleship, and deeper in missions - to the city of Seattle and beyond. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of this merger, we created a short film (check my FB page to see the video) to tell the story - so that our church and the next generations may never forget and that the larger Church may be stirred and encouraged by a greater Kingdom vision.

Thank you, Interbay! The NBA season is over but the hustle and grind continues for my daughter. We argue sometimes but I love training my daughter. She's working hard for her senior year next year. Starting point guard. She's improved a lot. She's one of the quickest players on the floor and has a great midrange jumper. But trying to get her to keep working on her handles, using her off hand and shoulder to protect the ball,  staying and dribbling the ball lower to the ground, and playing aggressive and downhill while remaining in control. That's what we're working on this week. #hoopdreams #ChovarBall Reunited with my favorite elephant, Buh'loom. We bonded earlier this year and I'd like to think that she recognized my voice. Also, appreciate learning about ethical and sustainable eco-tourism. Anywhere. Everywhere. Night markets are the best.

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