Eugene Cho

video interview: dave gibbons & ‘the monkey and the fish’

gibbons21I want to introduce you to Dave Gibbons. He’s known in some circles and not in others but what he has to share and offer is important to the larger Church – especially as the World changes in a way that the majority of the Church cannot see or [want to] acknowledge.  I first met Dave about 14 years ago on a tour bus in Seoul, Korea [a long story].  This was before he planted NewSong Church and before Quest Church was even a thought in my heart.  

One of the things that’s most impressed me about Dave – in his various roles – is his vision as a ‘social entrepeneur.’ And honestly, I’m also encouraged that he’s one of the handful of Asian-American faces that’s recognized in the so called ‘mainstream subculture of Western Christianity’.  Truth be told, he’s half Korean and half Irish but we’re going to go ahead and claim him.

As my readers know, I’m working through my list of books I want to read this year and his new book, The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership in a Third Culture Church,is on that list.  I had a chance to sit down with him and ask about leadership, his understanding of social entrepreneurship, ministry and of course, the idea of “Third Culture’ and The Monkey and the Fish.’  You may also be interested in checking out my recent video interviews with Scot McKnight and Phyllis Tickle.

Here’s the interview:

Filed under: asian-american, christianity, emerging church, ministry, pastors, religion,

15 Responses

  1. good stuff man, thanks for sharing this. I started reading his book on the plane today and am absolutely loving it…

  2. Wayne Park says:

    Dave cites Nouwen’s In The Name of Jesus as his premiere book for leadership. Man am I thankful for this, as it is a book that’s affecting me deeply now. I’m glad he didn’t mention something from John Maxwell or some other CEO-type leadership approach, not that it’s bad, but it’s just not it when it comes to pastoral leadership, I think.

  3. coachmickey says:

    Dave and Eugene,
    Awesome and thanks for sharing.
    I will be speaking with Dave before I leave for France and The Philippines.
    Who knows, a side trip to a seriously rural area is in the plan too?

  4. steph says:

    great book – i actually just finished reading it and immediately turned back to the beginning to read it over again! thanks for the interview.

  5. akoosticman says:

    going to read this on the plane ride back tomorrow! good seeing you eugene!

  6. Lon says:

    I’m reading this one right now.. thanks for sharing to the both of you!

  7. Charles Lee says:

    Dude…I should have had you do all the interviews at the Idea Camp…:) You’re awesome. It was good to hang out with you this past weekend.

  8. Barb says:

    Eugene, I love all your interviews–I’ve just finished this book–I’ve been trying to tell people what it is about–now I’ll send them a link to this interview.

  9. daniel so says:

    Eugene — Great interview! Dave’s insights into leadership are really powerful. I’m still wrapping my head around some of the things he talked about at The Idea Camp… leadership is building trust and bearing pain; leadership is painful adaptation. I’m with Wayne – that Dave cites Nouwen as a primary influence is so encouraging.

  10. DK says:

    Eugene! It was great downing some Chik-Fil-A and In N Out while talking about the Literacy issues of our friend at the table… haha. would love to visit Seattle some day and hang with y’all! Great job on the interview

  11. […] the way, davegibbons.tv is now powered by wordpress too! Plus, Eugene Cho interviewed Dave this past weekend; watch the video at eugenecho.com […]

  12. What a great book.. the book says several things which seem so obvious to many people who live outside of America that you wonder why anyone would write a whole book about it. But these are not that obvious to large segments of the evangelical world in the U.S.

  13. […] grateful for these words, working in my soul right now. Which is why I was so thrilled to hear in Eugene Cho’s interview of Dave Gibbons that his (Gibbon’s) fav book on leadership is the above book by Nouwen. You kind of see why […]

  14. Currently it looks like BlogEngine is the best blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  15. Janean Devan says:

    Usually I do not read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.

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One Day’s Wages

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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) May our hearts break for injustice and exploitation - whether abroad or in our own backyard. Spending a few days for @onedayswages in Thailand. Along with one of our board members, I'm traveling with a group of 10 others to learn, listen and visit a few NGOs including one of our partners, @thefreedomstory. Couple days ago, we spent an evening walking through Soi Cowboy. On a given night, about 10,000 people are in the ring of prostitution in Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, and Patpong. Much of this is driven by the consumer demand. Approximately 70% of male tourists go to Thailand for the sex industry.

Human trafficking is complex. Anyone that says otherwise is lying or selling you something. 
To reduce it to simple terms, or simple problems, or simple solutions…cause harmful consequences. While we can all agree that it is sinful, egregious, evil, and wrong…there are many nuances and complexities. It would serve all of us to grow deep in the awareness not just of the larger issue but the nuances and complexities.

When people speak of human trafficking, they tend to be ‘attracted’ to the issue of sexual exploitation. Dare I say it, human trafficking has become trendy as a justice issue.

Clearly, it’s evil and egregious. But to reduce the entire issue of human trafficking into one form is not helpful. Because the mission is to fight the entire injustice of slavery. And if that’s the commitment, we have to not only combat sexual exploitation but engage in issues of poverty, forced labor, commercial exploitation in tourism, land rights and power abuses, organized crime networks, cultural and economic realities, etc.

Oh, it's so complex but we have to be engaged whether in Thailand or in our own backyards. May our hearts break for the things that break the heart of God... More thoughts to come.

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