Eugene Cho

humble beginnings

We hosted the first “info meeting” for the global poverty organization this past Saturday at Q Cafe.  Like any new ventures, Minhee and I were anxious if anyone would show up.  Well, to be honest, I was anxious…Minhee rarely gets anxious about such things.

Everything needs a beginning and while you may hear stories of things that begin with a HUGE BANG, I think most things begin with a whisper or a whimper.  At least that’s the case with me.

During our first gathering for Quest Church, 7 people showed up.  And one of them was obligated because I asked him to pick up the pizza.  I haven’t reimbursed him out of fear he’ll move on to greener pastures.

Minhee and I also had the privilege of birthing Q Cafe and we did that with about 40 people during the first year of our churchplant.  Together, we helped renovate the warehouse, raised about $80,000 to fund the vision, and compelled this person to take a 30% paycut to leave her job to become our first cafe manager.  Starting a new non-profit in the first year of a non-profit [churchplant]?  Pretty crazy but sometimes, crazy is good.

So, this past Saturday, we were joined by 22 adults, 5 kids, and 1 infant for the first meeting to reveal the name and vision of our organization.  We hope to reveal those things to the larger public and blogosphere next month.  Who knows what the Lord has in store but I want to again sincerely thank everyone that came out.  As of now, we have no office, no budget, several volunteers, a growing Facebook Group, a pending 501c3 status, and a vision to help change the world

 

The first year to all dreams, projects, ventures, plants, start-ups, businesses, blogs, marriages, etc…are always the toughest.  I have my theories but what do you think?

  • Why do you think that’s the case? 
  • What’s your humble beginning story?
  • And what would your advice me to others for the first year?

Filed under: religion

13 Responses

  1. sammie says:

    My advice would be for PATIENCE. We live in such an instant gratification mentality that people want instant results.

  2. Jan Owen says:

    We planted our church with 22 people – 8 of whom were kids!(That’s 14 adults!) We had no money and started with one acoustic guitar and myself plus a few terrified vocalists. Very simple, very humble. No real equipment to speak of and in a dirty little storefront that we tried to clean but it was just in bad shape. We’ve grown since then but our beginning always keeps me humble.

    I would say “remember it takes a lot of hard work” and “You never know what God is up to!”. God uses new ventures in unique ways I think – so don’t think you have what it’s going to look like all figured out. God probably has other, deeper plans for you and those that will be touched.

  3. Jan Owen says:

    We planted our church with 22 people – 8 of whom were kids!(That’s 14 adults!) We had no money and started with one acoustic guitar and myself plus a few terrified vocalists. Very simple, very humble. No real equipment to speak of and in a dirty little storefront that we tried to clean but it was just in bad shape. We’ve grown since then but our beginning always keeps me humble.

    I would say “remember it takes a lot of hard work” and “You never know what God is up to!”. God uses new ventures in unique ways I think – so don’t think you have what it’s going to look like all figured out. God probably has other, deeper plans for you and those that will be touched.

  4. Donna says:

    I think it happens in God’s way & God’s timing…always.

  5. smileforjc says:

    Humble beginnings in praying in a foreign language

    The first time I was asked to lead the prayer in a small ENGLISH prayer group I made such a mess that I did not know myself what I was praying for! Therefore, I just said to God, “Lord, YOU know what I wanted to pray, in Jesus name, Amen”

    Nobody laughed. Nobody was embarrassed. Somehow everyone was touched. Maybe, that’s what love is all about!

  6. Beth says:

    In reality, everybody has “humble beginnings” to use your phrase. We’re all born of woman, completely dependent, and in need of care and nurture. The latter is what sets people apart as they grow. So, I would say that one of the more important advice I would give to people is to make sure they receive good mentorship and leadership.

  7. Jenny says:

    Jesus had a very humble beginning. And look what He did. And he even said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

    The enemy will do his best to throw up roadblocks and discourage. “…be strong and couragous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

    FYI I am dreaming big with you. I was on the verge of driving to Seattle (2 hours) for the meeting but thought it would be packed out and I might not get in. Sure wish I would have gone. I am looking forward to revealed names, plans, etc.

  8. Wayne Park says:

    If I lived in Seattle I would be with u on this one, PE..

    the first year: if I had to do it over again I would say, more homework, test the soil, wait for another year before starting, so yeah, to echo sammie: patience.

  9. eugenecho says:

    @jenny: wow.

    “…but thought it would be packed out and i might not get in.”

    thank you for believing. that comment in a strange way encouraged me.

  10. Kevin King says:

    I read this post intently because I have taken over a church that was so near death it has been like a new plant. I am currently developing my core team (probably about 25 adults) and I am also starting a new non-profit. In July, I will have one year at this new appointment.

    Thanks for the input and ideas. I pray God continues to bless your ministries.

  11. beattieblog says:

    I think the struggle with anything new is to clearly articulate the vision and trusting that those who are supposed to join in will. It’s also difficult (at least for me) to ask people to sacrifice on behalf of my vision. But this is exactly what you should do and are doing.
    I also think one of the hardest things we can do is take our dreams and visions and start to live them out. Our dreams are always so pristine and successful in our minds and notebooks. Once you put them out there, they have a chance to fail – and others put their hands to them with you which inevitably changes things (usually for the better!). This is risky. Good on you for going public.
    My humble beginning is having led a church plant for three years and then making the decision to shut it down. We could have kept going but I felt like my last good decision as the leader was going to be to release folks. I take great comfort in Wesley and others who struggled to get their vocational and ministry groove going. 🙂

  12. Andrea says:

    For what it is worth, we wish we could have come but already had plans to host people at our house. We can’t wait to hear more.

  13. boundbyfaith says:

    I’ve subscribed, and added you to my blog roll. Hope you don’t mind. If you do, let me know, and I’ll remove it.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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One Day’s Wages

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Preach the Gospel at all times and sometimes...use signs.

Really loved this sign from one of our church congregants at the women's march.

Counter cultural. Subversive.
Life giving. Good news. To support both the equality of women and the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but I know we're not alone. May we press on. And may we lead with hope.

I'm at the Women's March in Seattle to show my solidarity with my wife, my mothers, my daughters, and the female congregants of my church. I'm also here to model for my son what we believe in our home. Many people have already expressed their disappointment, dismay, and disgust with my decision. Such is life. We will always disappoint someone. And that's also a lot of words that begin with "d." I'm here not because I agree or disagree with every single statement or sign at this march (although I really liked this one) but because as a Christian, I believe in the fundamental truth that women are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. They are to be valued, heard, and respected.

And because I believe we can't be a flourishing society without the flourishing of women. And because the Church cannot be the Church without the gifts and voices of women. All the gifts of women.

And in doing so, may we together honor the sanctity of life - from womb to tomb. Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders.

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  • Preach the Gospel at all times and sometimes...use signs. Countercultural. Subversive. Life giving. Truth. - instagram.com/p/BPlwJneBSiW/ || 4 hours ago
  • Really loved this sign from the women's march from one of our church congregants. Counter cultural. Subversive. L… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… || 1 day ago
  • To support both the equality of women & the dignity of the unborn can be lonely but we're not alone. Lead with hope: instagram.com/p/BPjMGTOhMjL/ || 1 day ago
  • To support both the equality of women & the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but we're not alone. May we press on. || 1 day ago
  • Going to the Women's March in Seattle bc as a Christian, I believe women are fearfully and wonderfully made and are to be heard & respected. || 1 day ago
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