Over 10 years ago, God woke me up in my sleep. Literally.
The dream shook me up so much that I couldn’t go back to sleep. Over the next several months, I tried to resist the meaning of the dream but I knew that while I didn’t have full clarity, the Holy Spirit was stirring my wife and I to “get ready.”
The vision and dream I had was surreal because it was unlike anything I had personally seen or experienced. Minhee and I were then at a homogenous Korean-American church in the suburbs of Seattle but we were stirred to leave our comfort zone to plant a church in urban Seattle and invite people from diverse backgrounds to worship Jesus together, grow together, serve together, and be on mission together.
The calling for us was to be faithful in proclaiming and living out the gospel of Christ but in pursuit of a diverse church, it wasn’t merely to be post-racial, politically correct, or multiethnic, but in reality, to be about a faith community taking a step closer towards the vision and reality of the Kingdom of God.
The end goal isn’t the banner of a post-racialized world or even to have a multiethnic community. This post isn’t to boast or to indirectly point the finger at homogenous churches, white churches, suburban churches but rather to ask the question:
Are we taking steps towards the vision and reality of the Kingdom of God?
I specifically remember a glimpse of this vision where I was preaching in front of hundreds of people – but everyone looked different and yet, bound together in community by grace, love, and faith in Christ. We were to be on a “quest” together: loving mercy, seeking justice, and walking humbly. The video that we showed [RSS readers: click here] and our anniversary service this past Sunday reminded me of that dream again.
- Quest is so far from a perfect church. You can just ask my critics and they’ll be quick to tell you.
- Quest is not a well known church.
- Quest is not a mega church.
- Quest is not on any lists of influential, fastest growing, trend setting, or any other lists that are compiled out there.
Having said that, there’s nothing unique or special about Quest. What we are is very simple: a church.
And more specifically,
We aspire to be the church.
…a community of people living out faith in Christ with hope, beauty, and courage.
More simply, while “our” story is unique, we do not exist on an island to ourselves but rather, we are woven together with others – past, present, and future – to a greater Story.
And because we are comprised of fallen and broken people led by a fallen and broken pastor, we are an imperfect church and we are often reminded of our brokenness but nevertheless, I have witnessed – again and again (and again) – God’s grace and sufficiency. This past Sunday, I shared some of the amazing “chapters” of our church and each chapter points to God’s faithfulness embodied in a community of people on a mission.
I am no churchplanting guru but over the years, I’ve come to realize that the work of God – while it can be done “strategically” or “organically” ….
never happens out of chaos.
There must be purpose, intention, and as I often like to say, “a trajectory.” Over the next couple weeks, I’m looking forward to sharing a few posts about the significant intentions of planting our church.
I’ve also come to realize that no one voice or one church expresses the totality of God. Such a declaration would be blasphemous. Quest is simple one response…one expression…to God’s larger narrative of resurrection, redemption, and reconciliation.
I do not know if I’ll be around when Quest celebrates 20 years. But this past Sunday, as I do today, and as I will this upcoming Sunday, I praise God for giving my wife and I the great privilege and joy of planting this church and being a part of this community (see video above).
All glory to God.
Here are some pics from our 10 Year Anniversary celebration [courtesy of Leo Chen Photography]: