Eugene Cho

imperfectly living out our faith

It’s convenient to bash the church. I think many of us do it – intentionally or unintentionally.

Yes, it’s true that some of it is warranted but hasn’t it become chic and fresh to take cheap shots at the church?

And what befuddles me – at times – is how it appears that many of these rocks that are thrown at the church are from Christians.

As members of the family, you’re certainly entitled to speak  to family (or church) matters but

there’s a fine line between constructive and destructive critique.

Rather than empty bashing, I’m personally inspired to ask myself,

How can I create something more beautiful, hopeful, and gracious – so that others are inspired to join?

Quest Church is far from a perfect church. That’s pretty easy because it’s members are not perfect. Its leaders are not perfect. I am not perfect. We are dysfunctional and yet in the midst of all this, God’s grace is evident and through this grace, we seek to do ministry in such a way that reflects our vision to Love God and Love People.

This week, I’m especially encouraged by the numerous ways we are imperfectly living out our faith as a church community. And I’m especially encouraged because we’re not a large church with tons of resources but we are, nevertheless, committed to having an impact and influence to one another, our city, and the larger world.

Whoever or wherever you are, may you continue to be spurred on to love one another, your city, and the larger world.  And one great way we demonstrate our love for others is to pray, listen, and serve.

Here are some things this week that deeply encourage me:

  • Our children’s ministry is hosting their summer kids’ camp. 84 kids have joined us along with 24 volunteers. Great to see visitors and kids from the neighborhood.  Crazy to think that we only had 2 kids when Quest was planted 9 years ago. Those two kids were my kids.
  • Our small youth group are spending time on the streets of Seattle this weekend learning about the plight of the homeless community of Seattle. Personally, it feels strange not to have my daughter with us at home but rather, out and about in Seattle but it’s good.
  • Our church and Q Cafe is partnering with other sponsors  including the city of Seattle for this Saturday’s “Clean & Green” event as we beautify the larger neighborhood. This is part of a larger “Quest Day of Service” as we have numerous things going on including the To the Streets Ministry.
  • Q Cafe hosts OPEN MIC on Tuesday nights and are also have live music shows this Friday and Saturday. This is in addition to be a community cafe Monday-Friday.
  • And sometime on Friday PST (and Saturday in Tanzania, Africa), one of our church pastors and another elder will be helping to celebrate and dedicate a building & ministry we’ve had the privilege of supporting in Tanzania. Supposedly, the entire village and beyond will be gathering in Chamwino, Tanzania to celebrate.

And oh, this Sunday, I’m personally excited to get back on the pulpit to preach Week 3 on our summer series on the Book of Leviticus. 🙂

If you’re from the Seattle area or know of someone looking for a church, we’d love to welcome you/them to our church.

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3 Responses

  1. your friend says:

    I wish I could hop over to Seattle just on Sunday! I always was deeply blessed by your sermons, but more blessed by watching you put it into practice what you preached!

  2. Drew says:

    Can’t wait to visit Quest next month!

  3. jchenwa says:

    Quest is a very special church community. We were blessed to visit while we were in Seattle. Thanks~

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. 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)

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