Eugene Cho

the most important sermon you’ll ever preach

Easter Sunday was an amazing weekend.

Not only because we celebrate the great events surround Good Friday and Easter Sunday but for us as a church, it’s usually the only Sunday each year we get to worship together in one service – in a rented facility. While we’re neither a small or large congregation, it just feels so good to be together. Every year during Easter, we celebrate the glorious news of the Resurrection and then host an amazing Feast together.

Easter is special not only for the obvious reason of “The Resurrection” but let’s be honest, there’s a certain energy and vitality that’s not always present each and every Sunday. For some pastors and preachers, they look to the Easter Sunday sermon as the most important sermon of the year. I suppose one could certainly make a case for that but I would respond that the most important sermon preachers will preach

is the next sermon.

Here are some reasons why:

1. Resurrection! So What?

You preached recently on the Resurrection. The following week, you again preach on the power of the Resurrection…and teach in response to, “So what?”

2. Let the past be the past

Preachers don’t rest on the laurels of past sermons. Nor do they allow our mishaps and missteps to decimate them in discouragement. Pick yourself up. Stay humble. Preach the word – in season and out of season.

3. Preaching for the glory of ONE

The most dangerous and difficult challenge for preachers is to preach to gain the pleasure and favor of their listeners. We can mutually manipulate or be manipulated. Ultimately, we preach – mindful of our community and context but we preach for the glory of ONE.

4. Relationship and Love

Preachers should be humbled and honored to be teaching the word of God to their community that have built trust in their pastors. What an amazing privilege! So, we teach in order to share the love of God but in that process, to also demonstrate our love and care for our community. Preachers need to stop thinking about the greener grass on the other side of the fence (aka: other churches) and preach with great love for their people.

5. Faith, Hope, and Love.

Preachers get to not only teach the Scriptures but invite people to once again…worship. In my understanding and reading of Scripture, worship equals “responding to the revelation of God.” We preach – by God’s grace – to invite them to a deeper experience and expression of Faith, Hope, and Love.

6. Reconciliation.

Preachers preach Jesus and the “enough” of Jesus. By the grace of God, we are reconciled and also invited to the work of the Mission and Kingdom of God. We are called to the ministry of reconciliation. We are called to love mercy, seek justice and walk humbly.

The humbling andamazing privilege for preachers is that we get to preach the word of God again this weekend.

Let’s pray and prepare because the next sermon you teach is the most important sermon you’ll every preach.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in your sight, O God.”

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5 Responses

  1. jchenwa says:

    You guys be more excited about the risen LORD!! He is REAL! Why do you suffer? It’s part of life, as the prophet Job said, should we not accept bad with the good? But you have many good works to be proud about, and GOD sees them all. All of you can preach, not lengthy sermons, but share what you know about the power of the Christ to change lives with whoever the LORD puts around you and in your journeys (paths). Let’s do our best. Pastor Eugene is legit!

  2. dan says:

    Loved this post.

  3. Janet says:

    Hi Eugene,

    Thanks for this post and for reminding us the importance of preaching and teaching.

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One Day’s Wages

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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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