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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Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

Know who you are.
Know what you're about.
Know WHO you serve.

The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on. I have to remind myself of this every day...because I can forget every day:

Don't be lazy and make assumptions about people. Ask about their story. Then listen. Be humble. Be teachable. Be human. Be a good neighbor. It's a sad reality but our society runs on the currency of fear. Don't feed into this frenzy.

Rather, invest in faith, hope, and love.

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