Welcome to the Book Journey of Overrated by Eugene Cho.
Have you read the book review and schedule for this book journey?
If not, you can find it here.
Chapter Five – Be Tenacious!
Throughout this chapter, the theme is perseverance and steadfastness rather than switching gears and moving on. To explain, Cho says, “If I have a tenacious bone in my body, I acquired it by watching my parents live steadfastly every day. Sung Wha, my mom, and Tok, my dad, embody commitment, perseverance, and tenacity.” Cho describes his childhood as a son of Koren immigrants, watching them struggle to learn English, start businesses, feed and clothe their family, and push forward, regardless of obstacles.
On the other hand, Cho describes the culture of today. He says, “We live in a culture where it has become easy and tempting to simply quit. It’s easier to move on to the next thing, the next relationship, the next profession, the next calling, the next church, the next conviction. Why? Simply because we can.” As Cho points out, we are surrounded by opportunities and options, and, although that can be positive, it can also lead to entitlement and feeling as those we deserve everything. The danger? “If we aren’t careful,” says Cho, “we won’t grow in our personal or leadership development. Our maturity will be stunted, and we’ll shrug off the responsibility of owning our decisions and pursuing our convictions.”
Cho gives examples in Scripture that share this point. One example is in Luke 5 when a group of friends decide to help carrying a hurting man to the place where Jesus is speaking and then lowering him down through the roof. That took persistence. That took overcoming obstacles. That took pushing past reasonable service in order to finish well.
Cho also shares a personal example of being tenacious through the start-up and success of Q Cafe, a neighborhood nonprofit cafe of Quest church, featuring art, music, and community events. After becoming pastor of Quest church, Cho wanted to intentionally be present in the community and be a blessing there. But, he admits, they had no real plan when launching Q Cafe, although they had great ideas and a romantic vision of doing all and being all. Most notably, the low quality coffee served from poorly-trained staff did not please the customers. “In my attempts to do everything, we sort of messed up on the most essential aspect of Q Cafe. Coffee? Oh yeah. That. ” says Cho.
Instead of giving up, they closed for a couple months to reorganized, renovate, and reflect. As Cho says, they “refined their strategy, developed long-term vision, and positioned ourselves to be a light to the neighborhood. We just needed to listen, pray, and discern.”
To encourage others who are eager to make a difference and launch a new project, Cho says it’s imperative to wait before God on His plan and timing. He says to focus on essentials first, then commit to growth. Rather than trying to do everything, be honest and intentional about what God is putting before you. Listen, pray, and discern.
Here are some posts related to topics in this chapter.
- So you want to live missionally?
- Hope wins
- Velveteen People (or How We Become Real)
- when it would be easier to just move on – Steadfast settles in
- 12 Marks of a Welcomer
- Please don’t do missions – live missions
- MANIFESTO of a Nice-Enough, Well-Meaning Human
Remember, quotes from the book are posted daily on my Front Porch, Inspired Facebook page. Summaries and discussion questions for chapters 7 and 8 will be posted starting Friday, November 27.
NOTE: The summary and discussion questions for Chapter Six are included in a separate post.