Eugene Cho

Quest Church has purchased the building formerly known as Mars Hill Church. Full transparency: Here’s why and how.

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I have some big news to share – news that will likely solicit mixed emotions for many people.

If you’re an internet junkie, it’s possible that you may have already heard as I’ve been receiving my share of texts and tweets. About two weeks ago, Quest Church – the church I lead – purchased Mars Hill Church (Ballard). Yes, that Mars Hill Church.

Since then, there’s been a trickling of blogs, online news, and television reports that have covered this. As such, there’s also been a trickling of criticism of why we would do business with MH, questions about the transactions, and simply, erroneous info about Quest on the blogosphere.

No, Quest is not a social gospel church. No, I’m not a socialist. No, we’re not an emergent church. No, I’m not an Angry Asian (OK, only sometimes). No, Quest is not a cult. No, I was not in a boy band in the 80s. Blah blah blah.

Because Quest deeply values transparency and integrity, I thought it would be good to answer the most common questions we’ve received thus far. We have nothing to hide and would actually ask for your help to clarify any false information or rumors that you may hear. We share this because of the highly sensitive firestorm surrounding MH this past year. We share this because we covet your support and prayers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jesus above all things…including football.

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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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stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

My Instagram

This is real life. #endit #modernslavery #fightinjustice

If you've ever prayed, donated, shared our stories, prayed, launched a campaign for @onedayswages - YOU made this possible. Our matching grant with @theexodusroad allowed us to support a portion of school fees for 11 young trafficking survivors in Thailand. For obvious reasons, we can't show their faces but we do what we do because we believe every person is created in the image of God. Honored to partner with The Exodus Road and others to play a small part in the restoration of these young kids. Wow. Seattle clouds. Backyard.

Stop for God's beauty, mystery, and glory. My prayer for my kids: Love God. Love people. And be there for one another for life. Most of us take water for granted.  It's as easy as turning on our faucet but approximately 748 million people in the world still lack access to clean water. This past December,  I had the privilege of visiting Myanmar and vividly remember walking the journey of what many have to do when they go to a nearby pond to get their water. As you can imagine, many get sick... We can't change the entire world but we can impact the world of some and most importantly, be changed ourselves. Partner with @onedayswages @worldconcern @miir to come alongside 7 villages in Myanmar that were devastated by Cyclone Nargis in 2008. - http://onedayswages.org Couple special days encouraging pastors and leaders from the beautiful state of Montana. Took some personal time for self-care to hike up this cliff. @SeattleQuest is on the move! Lots of mixed emotions but grateful for God's provision. We hope to move in to our new home this October.

Visit eugenecho.com to read the details and how you can pray for us.

my tweets

  • "The gift of Christ is not the Christian religion, but the grace and love of God which culminate in the cross." - Bonhoeffer || 1 hour ago
  • Wow. What the hail is going on? Epic thunder and hail in Seattle. OK. Who sinned? Fess up. || 18 hours ago
  • In his final days,Jesus washed dirty feet, ate with misfits - including a man who He knew would betray him - and forgave his enemies. #grace || 1 day ago
  • RT @seattlequest: @EugeneCho #holyweek http://t.co/LhnRYuEbVj || 1 day ago
  • In his final week, Jesus borrowed a donkey, washed dirty feet, forgave his enemies & went to the Cross. This is LOVE: wp.me/pT6R-2N7 || 1 day ago
  • The question we must ask isn't , "Was Jesus King?" but rather, "What kind of King was Jesus?" Our answer makes all the difference. || 2 days ago
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