Is it possible that we as Christians just aren’t angry enough about injustices like human trafficking and slavery? Perhaps, we’ve grown too desensitized, domesticated, and docile. I’m not trying to say this for the sake of the ‘shock factor’ but I really believe there are times when the Church needs to have a deep[er] anger about the grave injustices of the world particularly when it involves the exploitation of children. Have we deduced our faith to convenient and self serving pleasantries?
You’ve been our children’s director and pastor for several years now. You’ve done an amazing job. I still remember the days of Quest when our (Minhee and I) – then 2 children – were the only kids at Quest. Through you and Christina, our amazing associate director, and other folks like Becky, Karis, Gordon, Stacy and on and on, God has immensely blessed our church community. When we “hired” you as our children’s pastor many years ago, you were just graduating from college and there were some concerns expressed by the interview committee but I remember sharing with them these words: Continue reading “a letter to my children’s pastor”
But one of the joys of planting and pastoring Quest Church is that it’s one of the most unique and diverse communities I have been a part of. This isn’t meant to be a slam against homogeneous churches. In fact, I believe that every community is multicultural on some level – [Hint: think beyond race.] While I miss (very much) the uniqueness of my experiences in Korean-American churches – food, generations, languages, etc. (and still am involved in KA/Asian communities), I now understand why God called Minhee and I to venture out from our homogeneous suburban church into the city to plant Quest and Q Cafe.
While we have a long way to go, we’re thankful that Quest is growing as a multicultural, multigenerational, and urban faith community – with a desire to be an incarnational presence both in the city of Seattle and the larger world – teaching and living out the Gospel of Christ.
Questions: What are ways that you encourage your community to grow in diversity, community, and uniqueness?
These are my encouragements to fellow leaders and pastors:
Know the diversity of your community. Simply, do you know their stories? They may “look” the same but they represent different ‘cultures’ – if not ethnicities. We all have diverse stories. If you know their stories, are you making their stories known? FWIW, this is my story.
Nevertheless, have a vision of the larger Kingdom and the “future Church” and consider what it looks like to take “one step closer…” Even if your church community isn’t ethnically diverse, how are you personally building friendships and encouraging your congregants to live in friendship with neighbors and the larger community? How is your church serving “other” churches and communities – especially those that don’t look like yours? You don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket and think that “worshipping together” is the only expression. Think outside of Sundays and outside the building box.
Be committed to the truth that each person is uniquely created in the image of God. Consider the lessons learned from the story of Susan Boyle of Britain’s Got Talent and meditate on this quote from C. S. Lewis in The Weight Of Glory.
One of the most exciting aspects about ministry at Quest is our stewardship philosophy. It has been there from the beginning – even before the church got started. So, it is exciting to see stuff in my heart/mind come to some level of fruition. If you want to get to know someone on a deeper basis, you’ll likely want to know how they earn, save, spend, and give away.
Churches are no different. We can say all that we want to say with our lips but a church’s budget speaks a great deal to its ministry and stewardship philosophy. We have a long way to go but after several years of saving a few dollars here and there [Quest is a 6 year churchplant] and tinkering with our nomenclature, we are excited about the church’s 1 Fund and 3 Foundations.Continue reading “most exciting aspect of ministry”