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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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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