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.
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.