Eugene Cho

not your typical church sleepover

I’m stumbling my way as a quasi “project manager” for our church remodel. Ahh, add more lessons learned via planting Quest six years ago.   Ready or not, we’ll cross the parking lot and return back to our new “traditional” church building on Sunday, September 23. 

We’re about 70% done with what we need to do.  This would have been a far easier thing if we had the money to simply HIRE OUT for the entire thing but so goes the law of economics.  With 70K, we’ve needed to basically remodel the entire church building that was built almost 40 years ago:

  • New Exterior Paint
  • New Interior Paint Everywhere
  • Stain Beams
  • Remove Pews and Purchase New Chairs
  • Build two Extensions for the Sanctuary
  • Create New Family Room [cryroom]
  • Update Moms’ Nursing Room
  • Paint Doors and Re-Trim everything
  • Remove a Part of the Stage and Extend Stage
  • Complete New Sound System
  • Stage Lighting for Sanctuary
  • New Fencing for the Backyard
  • New Landscaping
  • Roof Repair
  • New Signage
  • And Lots and Lots of Small Minor Things [emphasis on LOTS]

When half of the 70K budget is spent on new sanctuary chairs and sound system purchases, you’re not left with much.  This is the reason why 80% of the work that we’re doing is done w/ church volunteers.  We’re blessed with having couple architects, interior designers, several professional contractors/project managers, graphic designers, a landscape architect and friends of quest that include a seamstress, a structural engineer, a roofer, and whatever else comes up.  We’re also blessed with the staff that have worked overtime to help lead the volunteer work parties in the evenings.

Lessons learned:

  • Colors you see in paint swatch come out differently when you paint in on the wall or building.  This was a painful lesson but we feel like we got the right colors…
  • Stained beams looks incredible.
  • Having volunteers are great.
  • Having volunteers with experience is better.
  • But having volunteers – regardless – is just wonderful.
  • Make sure you order the right paint.  Ordered semi-gloss paint for all our doors but needed to have purchased “quick dry” paint but instead, ordered the normal paint which takes 24 hours to dry…which means that the church was without doors over night…which means I needed to sleep at the church.
  • BE FLEXIBLE

That’s something you can’t necessary ask others to volunteer for – especially last minute.  But fortunately, two  guys “volunteered” to hold the fort down with me.  I’m thankful for George and Jin – two brothers amongst the seven folks the joined our first bible study over six years ago.  We’ve had out tiffs and spiffs, but they have been some of the most loyal and dependable friends and partners in ministry. 

Thanks George and Jin for being there last night and freezing on the floor with me. 

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Filed under: church, churchplanting, emerging church, quest church, religion

6 Responses

  1. Rebecca says:

    As one of those volunteers without experience, I can say that stumbling along doing the work has been hard but I’m grateful for the opportunity to put some heart, soul, and sweat into this building we now call home.

  2. Randall says:

    I thought you were joking about sleeping over…now it makes sense!

  3. Shaula says:

    I’m feeling your pain. I thought I’d never make it through our warehouse reno. Thank goodness I never had to sleep there.

  4. Tract says:

    Jin and George are blessings, its no surprise they were by your side.

  5. Sue says:

    What a very ambitious and heartfelt project! I am interested in knowing what wall color you chose to paint your sanctuary. Yours is a modern church, I know, and mine is a quaint, old New England style Congregational in Massachusetts, but I’d like to know what you used, anyway. We just recently had the pipes on our beautiful old pipe organ painted gold and I thought that a very subtle grayish-green might really make those pipes stand out! I’d just like to know what others are doing! God bless you.

  6. […] after 26 very intense days, the church renovation is done.  OK, there’s a few more loose things that need to be taken care of but we worked […]

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

my tweets

  • Heartbroken. Praying for Manchester & the UK. For those mourning loved ones. For those injured and fighting for life. Lord, in your mercy. || 1 day ago
  • Window seat. For the win. https://t.co/yG66Sm2bvu || 3 days ago
  • As leaders, we must not sacrifice our family for the sake of ministry because loving our family IS good leadership: instagram.com/p/BUVAGVwg-5z/ || 3 days ago
  • We long for a Gospel that comforts but resist the Gospel that disrupts. Having the former without the latter seduces us into complacency. || 3 days ago
  • Love wins in the end but in the meanwhile,it fights for things that matter. Love isn't sentimental. It's both gentle & fierce. Love endures. || 4 days ago
  • This is what we love to do. Empowering local, indigenous leaders to serve their own communities. Thanks for your su… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… || 5 days ago