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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#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. Minhee and I are filled with gratitude as we reflect on the @onedayswages gala last night. So many friends and guests came to support our work...and of course, our scrappy staff, interns, and board. In 8 years, we've impacted 561,000 people around the world that are living in extreme poverty and vulnerable situations. This year, we are expecting to have our largest investment of grants at $1.3 million! Over the next couple weeks, I'm going to share some of those stories of impact.

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