Update: Quest is currently renovating our new space and will be hosting our first service in our new location on Sunday, September 13.
I have some big news to share – news that will likely solicit mixed emotions for many people.
If you’re an internet junkie, it’s possible that you may have already heard as I’ve been receiving my share of texts and tweets. About two weeks ago, Quest Church – the church I lead – purchased Mars Hill Church (Ballard). Yes, that Mars Hill Church.
Since then, there’s been a trickling of blogs, online news, and television reports that have covered this. As such, there’s also been a trickling of criticism of why we would do business with MH, questions about the transactions, and simply, erroneous info about Quest on the blogosphere.
No, Quest is not a social gospel church. No, I’m not a socialist. No, we’re not an emergent church. No, I’m not an Angry Asian (OK, only sometimes). No, Quest is not a cult. No, I was not in a boy band in the 80s. Blah blah blah.
Let’s be honest: the issue of homelessness just isn’t as sexy as some of other ‘justice’ issues like the global water crisis, human trafficking, or shoes. Yes, I just went there.
The reasons for homelessness are numerous and complex but the numbers – indicating real people – are real. Very real.
Approximately 2.3 – 3.5 million people are homeless each year in U.S. (Urban Institute)
12 million adults in U.S. currently are or have been homeless at some point in their lives. (National Coalition for the Homeless)
The largest and fastest growing group of homeless folks are families with children, comprising 40% of the homeless population, mostly with single mother head of household. Average homeless family has 2.2 children. (HUD)
33% of homeless men are veterans. (HUD)
22% of single adult homeless population suffer from severe and persistent mental illness. (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2001)
In the Seattle area alone, on any given night there are 7,980 homeless in Seattle/King County.
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?
Even watching the 5 year Anniversary video above [RSS readers, click here], I couldn’t stop crying. So much has happened out of ‘nothing.’ Certainly out of two people with nothing to boast of ourselves and yet, God created something unique: Continue reading “god, i am so amazed by you…”
Thank you so much for your partnership in the gospel.
I am so proud to be one of your pastors and to have had the honor of planting Quest Church almost 10 years ago. This past Sunday, while Pastor DeAnza was preaching a spirited message at Quest from our ongoing study through Philippians, I had the joy of visiting and preaching at the Burmese Karen Churchplant in Kent, Washington. On their behalf, I pass on their sincere greetings.
Several years ago, Quest helped plant this church and it is in part because of your prayers and generosity that allowed us to have a small part in birthing this beautiful church through our Quest Churchplanting Foundation.
This church and community did not exist 3 years ago. In fact, the majority of them are recent refugees and have entered this country in the past couple years. This past Sunday, I asked – before my sermon – how many of them had arrived to the United States in the past year and it appeared that over half of the nearly 150 people raised their hands! Many of them were living in refugee camps…and how amazing it must be that a church community was here to be their fellowship and support.
Those two words – depending on the circles you roll with – are either really bad news or really good news.
But for the latter, it’s not truly the good news.
But if you truly believe in the good news … as in the Gospel…
If you truly believe in the Gospel, then you have to believe that it matters not just for your personal salvation and blessings but God’s pursuit of restoration, redemption, and reconciliation for the entire world.