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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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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