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

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

  • "They got money for wars but can't feed the poor." ~ Tupac #trumpbudget || 18 hours ago
  • Heartbroken. Praying for Manchester & the UK. For those mourning loved ones. For those injured and fighting for life. Lord, in your mercy. || 2 days ago
  • Window seat. For the win. https://t.co/yG66Sm2bvu || 4 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/ || 4 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. || 4 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. || 5 days ago