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

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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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