In today’s episode, we’re going behind the scenes with Jin Cho in the early stages of a church plant. Even though he has decades of experience planting and pastoring churches, we’re listening to Jin “in process”—without having everything figured out. Jin is planting with a co-pastor in Southern California, in what he calls a “vanilla” culture, right where the attractional megachurch movement was launched. Let’s dive into all the preliminary work with Jin as he wrestles through what it means to cultivate a deeply integrated space. 

Place and Space:

  • Irvine, CA

  • Church plant, early stages

  • Tradition: Anglicanism

  • In the (literal) shadow of prominent mega churches

I worked 20+ years in ministry, I could do church well, I could be fairly successful at it … and feel like I completely missed my calling.

Theological Themes:

  • Holy dissatisfaction

  • Re-thinking church planting metrics

  • The myth of “sustainability”

  • Theological engagement with culture

  • Dialogical preaching

  • Pastoring as both a cultural insider and outsider (double-consciousness)


Tension and Disorientation:

  • How do we shape a particular identity in Christ in a place architected to be a cookie-cutter, vanilla American city?

  • As public meetings begin and people begin to come, how do we avoid the pull toward numbers and prioritizing the institution?


Hope and New Life:

  • The potential for holding space for rich theological engagement with culture and courageous conversations around hard topics.

  • Experiencing Spirit-inspired creativity and joy while navigating all the questions of contextualizing the Gospel

Note from Host Seth Richardson:

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