Joseph Yoo is a West Coaster currently living in Houston, Texas with his wife and son. He works as a pastor at First United Methodist Church of Pearland.
I had no other choice but to grow up in a Korean immigrant church — my dad was the pastor. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays were church days. Wednesday for the midweek service; Friday for youth group when I was old enough; Saturday for Rainbow School (c’mon Korean church folks, you know what I’m talking about); and Sunday for, you know, church.
The biggest scars we carry in life are not caused by random strangers. They’re given to us by the people we once loved and trusted, the people we allowed to love us. Sometimes these wounds heal. Other times we pick at the scabs and reopen the wound time after time.
“You don’t put a frog in already boiling water because it’ll jump out immediately. Too hot. You put the frog in room temperature water first. Then as the water begins to boil, he’ll wonder why it’s getting so hot. And then, next thing you know, it’s too hot and he’s cooked. That’s how it works with sin. You compromise on the small things and then next thing you know, you’re in hot water not knowing how to get out.”
Working at a church can often strengthen your faith journey. But a lot of times, working at a church is like taking a peek into seeing how sausages are made. As the saying goes, you don’t want to know how the sausage is made because you won’t want to eat it anymore. Working at churches can expose us to the behind-the-scenes of ministry, and at times, the things we discover can never be unseen.
I arrived late for the opening worship of a conference for second-generation (and beyond) Korean American pastors and church leaders. Instead of quietly sneaking into the sanctuary, I found myself hesitating to go in.