Eugene Cho

a typical untypical work day

People occasionally ask me this sort of question:

So, I know you’re a pastor.  I know what you do on Sundays but I hope this isn’t rude…what the heck do you do throughout the week?  Do you pray all week?  Do you read the Bible constantly?  Do you spend five days preparing your sermons and practice your hand motions for your preaching?

Yes, I read, prepare, and pray but I certainly don’t do all those things each single moment of the week.  But I do want the world wide web community to know that I do pray for more than three minutes/day despite the rumors that are circulating.

I have three staff meetings every week.  Yes, you read that correctly. Three staff meetings.  Why?  Because one of my priorities is the staff because they can do what I can’t do.  My hope is to encourage, equip, and exhort our staff so that they can do that with their respective teams and ministries.  Also, I need to be encouraged by them and truly enjoy their friendships.

Each week, I have a staff meeting on Tuesday morning with the Q Cafe staff to discuss cafe, live music/art gallery, open mic, and community relationships, Tuesday afternoon with the pastors/ministry directors where we study the Bible, pray, and discuss more “ministry philosophy” stuff, and an all church staff meeting [10 people] on Thursdays for more logistics/business.  I also have an Elder Board [Quest] or Advisory Board [Q Cafe] meeting every Thursday evening. Outside of that, each week is a little different.  I suspect in the year[s] to come, my involvement with some of these meetings will decrease as my role changes.

But here’s a glimpse of what my day looked like yesterday [Wednesday].  It’s a little more packed and busy than a usual day but it’s an example of a typical untypical day which is each day:

  • 8am – Help pack kids’ lunch and prepare them for school.  Eldest daughter is nervous about the WASL test which begins today but I remind her she will kick some arse in a nice Christian fatherly way.  Minhee is a little ill so she needs a little extra rest.  Might be the only day of the past year she sleeps in.  Seriously.
  • 8.30am – Drop off the girls at school and son at pre-kindergarten at another school. 
  • 9.15am – Arrive at Q Cafe for work and get my free cup of coffee.  Extra hot vanilla latte.  Nice.
  • 9.30-11am – Meeting to listen and encourage someone wanting to learn more about Quest Ministry Philosophy.
  • 11-11.30am – Check in next door at the church building with staff and Leah, one of our other pastors and the most powerful person in the world.  Stop by the basement to peek in the Moms’ Community Group to make sure they’re not having too much fun.  Babies and infants are all over the place.  Quickly check some emails and realized the latest blogpost is kinda getting intense.  Uh-oh.
  • 11.30-1pm – Lunch meeting with DJ Chuang – Executive Director of L2 Foundation/consultant/uber-networker from California.  Impressed him with pho shizzle at Than Brothers.  Sssh…Don’t tell him it’s the cheapest meal outside of fastfood in Seattle.
  • 1-1.30pm – Check in with Q Cafe barista.  Say hi to a few cafe customers – some church folks are working at the cafe which is cool.  Check email and make couple phone calls.
  • 1.30-3pm – Drive to a downtown hospital to welcome a new baby to the Quest community.  Congratulations to David and Chris.  David is on staff as our community groups director.  I initially drive to the wrong hospital campus but eventually get there.  Highlight of the day…Beautifully emotional.  What a privilege to celebrate with them and pray for baby.
  • 3pm – Drive back to cafe for another meeting but need to call to apologize because I’m running late.
  • 3.30-5pm – Meet a Quester to chat about life, work, dreams, and global poverty.
  • 5.30pm – Arrive home and play hoops with the kids. Impress them with my deadly cross over and smooth shooting.  Beat them handily and ask them, “Who’s your Daddy?”
  • Evening – Family Time
  • 9.30pm-Midnight – Reading, emails, reflection, prayer, and half hour for daily blog post.

There you go.  A typical untypical day as a husband, father, pastor, chief barista, and still aspiring NBA basketball player.  And one schedule amongst several pastors/ministry staff at our church as we strive to do life, community, and missions together.

Any questions? 

On a side note, rented Juno but didn’t get a chance to squeeze that in.  Also, Thursday is the one day I arrive late and stay late.  Work day on Thursday begins about 1pm and return home around 10:30pm.  Cafe is open till 9pm and most of staff are there late for meetings and relationship building.

Filed under: quest church, religion

10 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    That is crazy. I don’t even want to share my day and how it’s so centered around me and my career. No one else. I need to make some changes.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Eugene,

    I know you dont do sermon prep every day, but I would be curious to hear what your process is like for that.

  3. Asad says:

    Do you know any priests, rabbis, or imams? I wonder how their lives are similar and different.

    asad123.wordpress.com

  4. leah says:

    seriously? most powerful person in the world? i’m running for the democratic nomination now!

  5. beattieblog says:

    I like Asad’s question – that would be interesting to hear. I can relate to the, “So what do you do all week?” I’m impressed with your family time. Keep up the good work! It would be interesting to hear what you’re reading / meditating on right now for your own spirituality. That was always a challenge for me to maintain. I dug Juno.

  6. beattieblog says:

    BTW, can anyone help me rotate my wordpress picture to the right 90 degrees? I’m not sure how I did that…

  7. jessica hong says:

    JUNO! JUNO! JUNO! needless to say, i bought it on tuesday when it came out and i now have it on dvd, itunes and on my ipod. honest to blog.

  8. eugenecho says:

    jennifer: yup. will try to share something in a post in a coming weeks. it’s not too impressive.

    ryan: looking forward to juno. i saw bits and pieces. as for books and stuff, i’ll try to put a list together but it’s not very impressive. i really should be more spiritual but keep trying.

  9. eugenecho says:

    ryan, i was going to add that busyness isn’t the danger in my life. i’m busy but no where as busy as i was in contexts before quest. but there’s a certain burden being the lead pastor that is certainly unique for me.

    as for family time…quanity of time isn’t the issue. i have struggled with the quality of my time with them by not always being present in my time with them. that’s an ongoing area of needed growth in my life.

  10. cauet semoun says:

    cauet semoun…

    h r block

    habitat for humanity

    halimbawa ng dula

    halimbawa ng epiko

    halimbawa ng kwentong bayan

    halimbawa ng maikling kuwento

    halimbawa ng mga epiko

    halimbawa ng sanaysay

    halimbawa ng talambuhay

    halimbawa ng tula

    haporn

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Boom. Final fishing trip. Grateful. A nice way to end my 3 month sabbatical. #catchandrelease twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 20 hours ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 21 hours ago
  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 3 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 3 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 3 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 6 days ago