Eugene Cho

one of the greatest sermons…

It passed quietly this year but as I’ll likely do each year, I want to share about one of the greatest sermons I’ve ever heard. It didn’t come from a pulpit but rather through the stories of about 50-60 folks from a church community that no longer technically exists continues to make an impact through their lives, legacy, stories, and friendship.

Three years ago (June 2007), a 65-year-old church named Interbay Covenant Church (our landlords for several years) chose to “die to themselves” and gift themselves and all their assets to Quest Church.

These amazing folks gave away more than property and assets worth about $5-6 million dollars. More courageously, they shared their lives, stories, and legacy.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote:

One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons…

I am so humbled and blessed to have witnessed this incredible act of obedience. Recently, the folks at Catalyst visited Quest for this video interview and I had the opportunity to share more this act of obedience and about one of the greatest sermons I have ever heard…

Thank you to the beautiful and courageous brothers and sisters of Interbay Covenant Church. Many of you are still worshipping at Quest. Several have moved on to other churches. A few have passed on to be with the Lord. But know this: your story of faith, hope, love, and courage will not be forgotten.

If you’re interested in this beautiful story, here’s some reflections I wrote several years ago – a day after Interbay’s official vote to join Quest to become ONE church. The story was so beautiful that it actually made the cover of the  Seattle PI.

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Filed under: church, faith, leadership, ministry, pastors, seattle

4 Responses

  1. Such a phenomenal story and unbelievable experience. Thank you, brothers and sisters from Interbay for your generosity, graciousness, love, and the joy you’ve shared. This whole process has echoed so much further than the walls of our building–even coming up in conversation with another pastor brother yesterday. It is a testament to your passion for the Kingdom and love of Christ.

    Thank you.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho, Chandra Mickle Lee. Chandra Mickle Lee said: one of the greatest sermons… http://ow.ly/1ZjZr […]

  3. Jin says:

    Friends ask me how’s your church in Seattle, and this is story I like to tell them. This, especially to people like me, is an amazing story because I grew up in a church that was driven by power and money, and though I loved God, the Word, the songs we sing and the fellowship i had with good friends, i became somewhat cynical about the Church. Now I can say I live amongst this amazing story and it heals those wounds of the past.

  4. jchenwa says:

    Wow, that’s amazing, amazing grace. I’m honored to have met Ray Bartel, Ralph, and the others.

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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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