Eugene Cho

Jesus above all things…including football.

Seattle-Seahawks-Logo-400x600

In case you don’t know, Seattle has football fever. And for a city that hasn’t had much to root for, it’s an exciting season for the city of Seattle as the Seattle Seahawks advance to this Sundays’s playoff game versus the Atlanta Falcons. After living here now for 16+ years, I’ve adopted all things Seattle culture and sports. Or at least most things. I still get weirded out by the Subaru automobiles everywhere and the Starbucks coffee shop to my left, right, front, and back.

But I digress.

The Seattle Seahawks is in the playoffs and by the time you read this post, there’s a good chance that they are playing against (and likely beating) the Atlanta Falcons.  This entire week, several of our church congregants – have jokingly, half-jokingly, and seriously asked:

  • “Will Quest move our church worship service times to accommodate the Seahawks playoff game at 10am?
  • “Will Quest cancel services altogether?”

Heck, even the Seattle Times called to ask what I would do as the senior pastor of Quest Church.

What is Quest doing on Sunday in light of Seattle Seahawks playoff game? Read the rest of this entry »

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A conversation about prayer with President Barack Obama.

Unless it’s Justin Bieber I don’t get star-struck, but I have to admit, it was pretty cool to meet President Barack Obama earlier this month. During his visit to Seattle on the weekend of February 16, I had the opportunity and privilege to attend one of the events he was speaking at. Specifically, it was an event at Boeing Everett to celebrate the work of American workers, Boeing, and the culmination of the work of the Dreamliner 787.

Light to the World.

As you know. I don’t run in these circles.  Sitting in a special section with dignitaries and politicians including mayors, various council members, business bigwigs and the Washington governor was awkward to say the least.  How I got invited to this event is a little unclear but over the past couple years, I’ve been building relationships with the White House via their Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. It’s also from a commitment I’ve had – as a Christian, a pastor, and a leader – to be a light to the World and not just merely light to the Light. Translation: As we serve and love the church, we must also look outward and engage the larger culture. Folks notice and when opportunities arise, they sometimes ask for input and involvement or just merely your presence and that’s what happened.

Because of this theology and ecclesiology Read the rest of this entry »

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homelessness just isn’t as sexy…

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.

This is the main reason why Quest Church envisioned and funded a ministry called The Bridge Care Center and I can’t tell you how proud, encouraged, and convicted I am to be a part of this ministry. It’s the aspect of Quest that I’m most proud of this past year. What is the BCC? Read the rest of this entry »

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how to start your own non-profit cafe

 

One of the most common emails I get is about Q Cafe and it goes something like this:

How did you start Q Cafe?

and then it escalates into about 50 other additional questions. Q Cafe opened its doors in 2002 and during that time, there weren’t many folks to ask simply because there weren’t many who were doing these kinds of things. In the first couple years, I genuinely tried to be a good dude and attempted to answer those questions but eventually, I couldn’t sustain it. I stopped responding to most of the emails or at best, I responded with my infamous “Haiku Emails”…

Hey.
Your vision is cool.
Go for it.
Hard work.

And indirectly, I ended up being a jerk not because I’m a jerk (or at least, I hope I’m not) but I just couldn’t answer all the emails and our other cafe staff are stretched as it is. This is why we’ve tried to pull some resources together to be of some small assistance and encouragement to folks.

I ended up videotaping a Q/A session Read the rest of this entry »

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moving beyond the janitor’s closet

Dear Quest,

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.

But for a second, I want to encourage you to think Read the rest of this entry »

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social justice matters because the gospel matters

Social justice.

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.

I believe in this Gospel.

I live for this Gospel.

And while folks may disagree on the meaning, context, and agenda behind the vernacular or verbiage of such words as social justice… Read the rest of this entry »

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your favorite “not yet discovered” musicians?

As you know, I’m a fan of music. In some ways, it’s hard to come across people that don’t like music. And while I wish I had more time to enjoy and invest, I very much love being a small-time music promoter in Seattle through Q Cafe. This past year, we’ve had another super year at the Q and look forward to another exciting year in 2011.

While we all have our list of big time favorite bands or artists,

who are some of your “not yet really discovered” musicians?

Here’s my two contributions for “not yet discovered” musicians. Check them out and thank me later. And make sure you share your contributions… Read the rest of this entry »

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harvests & crusades in a post-christendom world

When was the last time you attended a huge “crusade?

I’ve been to a couple including one that attracted about 700,000 people in South Korea. They said it was 700,000 people but then again, I’m not really sure how you confirm that sort of attendance. While I’ve never attended a Billy Graham crusade (which I regret since he’s such an iconic figure), I once attended a Greg Laurie Harvest.

Speaking of Greg Laurie (a megachurch pastor and evangelist), he was in Seattle this past weekend for the “Seattle Harvest” whatchamagacallit in Key Arena – former home of the Seattle Sonics. From their recent press release:

Seattle is the most technologically wired city in America, and although its residents are “connected,” Read the rest of this entry »

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is yoga demonic?

Today’s Seattle Times paper had an article about the practice of Yoga and 1) its growth in popularity and b) the push-back from some Christian leaders that believe Yoga is ‘demonic.’ Now, let me first say that I’ve never practiced Yoga but know of several folks that regularly do Yoga.

Let me also say that I’m not writing this as a back-handed slap against the two pastors/leaders that are prominently featured on the article: Mark Driscoll [Mars Hill] and Al Mohler [President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary]. I share this because pushback comes up in the form of:

“Eugene, why are you such a jerk? Why can’t you first contact “them” to work stuff out with them rather than writing about it on your blog?”

Umm, nothing to work out. I’m just responding to public leaders and their comments on a public medium.

But back to the topic at hand. The simple question I pose to you:

Is ‘yoga’ demonic?

Here are some of my vomitaceous thoughts: Read the rest of this entry »

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epic album covers

I dig music. And wished I had more time to enjoy it. Regardless, I’m very excited about the first ODW compilation album we’re releasing later this month (and then a LIVE CD album for Q Cafe early next year).

I’m very encouraged by how the ODW compilation came together and how artists are beginning to partner with ODW as part of our artists for a cause.”  One example is Rocky Votolato who is donating 10% of the royalties of his new album, True Devotion, to the movement of ODW. Check out this video and song he created for us: Read the rest of this entry »

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arizona, immigration, and xenophobia

I know that there are many of you that are engaging, debating, learning, and wrestling with the issue known to most as Immigration Reform or known to others as, “What the Arizona?” And these debates and discussion will continue with more and more incidents like this one.

One thing that is clear to me is that no matter where you might “stand” on the issue, silence should not be an option but from my view (and I can be wrong), the church – especially evangelical Christian churches and its leaders – have been mostly silent. While I know that many are still “waiting” to receive & research more details  and “praying” about how to respond, don’t just pray and wait  - and remain silent.

But what are your thoughts:

How are YOU engaging and wrestling with this issue?
What are your thoughts about the AZ Immigration Law SB 1070?
Does Governor Brewer’s changes to the original law make a difference?

Here are some of my thoughts:

  • It’s nonsensical to throw out terms like “racist” or “racism.” It doesn’t help the dialogue. Let’s not demonize and vilify one another.
  • No one in their right mind is advocating for open borders.
  • For goodness sake, do not criminalize acts of mercy and compassion.
  • Governor Brewer: ““These new amendments make it crystal clear and undeniable that racial profiling is illegal and will not be tolerated in Arizona.” – Hmm.

While I disagree with Arizona’s bill, I somewhat understand their intent. People are afraid Read the rest of this entry »

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my top 10 wedding advice

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In the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of teaching at my church on dating, relationships, and marriage. Later, I’ll share with you some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my marriage but today, I want to share my top 10 wedding advice – both the preparation & day of the “event”.  Marriage is biblical but the wedding industry is one of the most undiscussed idolatries of our society in my opinion. It’s so easy to get sucked in so here’s some advice to consider:

  1. Be the right person. Read the rest of this entry »

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my TEDx talk (video) – social technology, being over-rated, another F-word, and our story

Been having some brain and creativity freeze as of late and thus, having a hard time finding the motivation to blog regularly. So, for now, here’s my talk I’m entitling, Social Technology, Being Over-Rated, An Alternative F-Bomb, and the Story of One Day’s Wages, from the TEDx Seattle event couple weeks ago.

Some other stuff: Read the rest of this entry »

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reflections on TEDx seattle

Last week, I had the privilege of being part of the TEDx event in Seattle. Along with giving my 18 minute chat about “The Story of One Day’s Wages“, I had a chance to soak in the various speakers under the following theme of the event:

This regional TEDx event will bring together great minds in creativity, scholarship, and entrepreneurship to discuss the possibilities and prospects of social development enhanced through information technologies. Inspiring projects and innovative leaders from Seattle to Cape Town will be showcased in this day-long conference.

Here are my 10 random observations & take-aways:

  1. I really had a good time. But I had another wardrobe malfunction. I was so concerned about my zipper that I actually came out on stage with my 3 button sportjacket all messed up.  Minhee was in the audience and she was cracking up. Embarrassing. #Fail. Read the rest of this entry »

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speaking at TEDx

Hey friends,

I’ll be posting up a schedule of my speaking events for the rest of the year in the next couple days but wanted to put a heads up for the Northwest community in case you were interested in attending the TEDx Seattle next Friday, April 16 (8.30am-5pm) at the Pacific Science Center (IMAX Theater). I have the honor of speaking about the impact of social media, action, and the story of One Day’s Wages. I’m thinking of titling my chat:  “We are the most over-rated generation in human history.”

For those that also enjoy the TED talks, share some of your FAVORITE videos?

For those that are not familiar with TED:

TED is a nonprofit that started in 1984 as a conference dedicated to bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED). Devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” TED created TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. This event is called TEDxSeattle where x = independently organized TED event. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

And specifically about the TEDx Seattle: Read the rest of this entry »

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the tragedy of a 15 year old girl’s abortion

As I’ve shared in posts before – here and here – I believe emphatically that abortion is wrong and as Christians, we should graciously hold and believe in everything that upholds the sanctity of life – which includes protecting the lives of the unborn.

But how? The government should be involved but how does a government legislate and enforce such a value? And I agree with others that the church needs to be careful not to relinquish – blindly or in totality – our responsibilities to a mostly secular government. As I wrote earlier:

Rather than legislating it, I wonder how abortions can be reduced by speaking and appealing to the Heart and Soul of a person and to make all necessary provisions if a person decides to have that baby. In short, can we maintain choice but do all that we can to preserve and ensure the life of an unborn? This is where most of us fall short.

I find it incredibly frustrating and naive when Christians take a stance of being against abortion at all costs but are unwilling to yield to issues that have direct correlation to abortions: sex education in schools [starting in middle school], health care benefits for low income families and women, post birth care and benefits, usage of contraceptives, etc.

Having said that, I was reading an article online on the airplane en route to Seattle from Guatemala (research trip for One Day’s Wages) about a 15-year-old girl who ended up getting an abortion without her parent’s knowledge. She is a student at Ballard High School in Seattle (which is couple blocks from my home) and the school that my 6th grader will be attending in couple years.

It is true that Washington is one of seven states that give minors the right to act alone in deciding whether to have an abortion, [The other states are Oregon, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, & Washington, D.C.]. And yes, it is true that no laws were broken through this situation but the fact that Read the rest of this entry »

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inviting artists and musicians to help change the world


I’m a wanna be musician. I live in Seattle so I have to pretend that I’m in a band. I have a guitar sitting in the corner of my room and I also have drumsticks on my desk…and I don’t even play drums.

Because there’s something unique about artists and musicians. Yes, there’s vanity and narcissism but then again, who amongst us aren’t vain and narcissistic?

Hear this: No one gets a free pass so we’ll be sharing ways that everyone can join the movement of One Day’s Wages! But one of our strategies we’re sharing today is to partner with artists and musicians from all around the world that are interested in using their voices and platform to partner with ODW and our movement towards ending extreme global poverty.

We’ve just started this initiative and we’re pleased to announce our first partners including Seattle’s very own Rocky Votolato. If you’re an artist/musician, click on the image below to learn more about what the partnerships can look like. And PLEASE forward this to bands, friends, artists, your favs…for their consideration.

But here’s my question and your help is important: Read the rest of this entry »

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break dancing competition at qcafe

We were hosting a rental fundraiser via a b-boy competition and so after a busy and eventful Saturday, I stopped by the Q Cafe in the late evening for some relaxation and flashback to the past.

I wasn’t expecting much but woah, these cats were serious and there were some pretty good 1v1 b-boy/b-girl competition going on. Here’s a clip of some of the battles of : Read the rest of this entry »

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stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

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Wow. Blessed are the artists that help others reimagine the Gospel. #HeIsRisen #questchurch Amazing Resurrection celebration service. Especially love celebrating Communion every Sunday. Today, hosted a super Feast with bread from many different countries. #HeIsRisen Don't rush too soon to the empty tomb. Reflect on the cross. Thank you, Jesus, for your life & love. Thank you, Jesus, for you have redeemed this day of injustice and violence to be "good." You are truly the Light of the world. #GoodFriday Layover. San Francisco. Having grown up here, my heart still flutters. No other city like it. A quick, busy, & meaningful 26 hrs in Wash DC but managed to go for an hour walk for this view. One of the greatest monuments in the world. A true American hero. #AbrahamLincoln

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