Eugene Cho

thank god for george

No, this isn’t a post about President Bush although can read my latest one here about W.

About 8 years ago, Minhee and I sent an email to folks about our desire to plant a church in the city of Seattle  called Quest.  It was pretty scary not knowing who was going to show up – if anyone.  But seven people showed including two people that are still with us right now.  Over the next several months, about 30 people joined us of which about 5 people are still us with us.

Lots of changes.  People coming in and out.  Lots of pain.  Lots of growth.  Lots of joy.  Lots of memories.  And lots of “What in the world am I doing?”  There’s been lots of ups and downs and but through it all, Minhee and I have been privileged to have a handful of people journey with us for the majority of our journey.

In particular, I’m thankful for George and Jin – two brothers amongst the seven folks that joined our first gathering in our living over seven years ago.  They have been some of the most loyal and dependable friends and partners in ministry. Every pastor and leader needs people like these two to journey with them.  I’ll roast Jin another time.

George has served the church in almost every way conceivable including being our worship director from Day 1.  Now, nearly 50+ musicians rotate through various teams.  For the first couple years, George volunteered ALL of his time and it was only in the recent years that the church “compensated” him as a part time worship & arts director.  After  7+ years as the church’s worship director, George officially stepped down from his position last Sunday. He’ll be taking couple months off to rest and simply enjoy sitting and worshipping on Sundays next to his Vivien [his wife], attend a community group together, and prayerfully discern how they can serve God together at Quest. 

georgesong1

But before I give him too much praise, I want folks to know that I taught him everything he knows about what it means to be an artist and leading worship.  When I first “discovered” him, he was a little rough on the edges:  no style, no range on his voice, guitar playing was a little shaky, rhythm was off, and he kept wanting to wear sunglasses while leading worship.  But I saw his potential and invested in him.  But just in case you don’t believe me, I have a clip of George when I discovered him.  Make sure you check it out.  Thankfully, he’s since much improved in his giftings as an artist and musician:

*  Just in case you don’t know, the youtube video is NOT George.  C’mon!  Not all Asians look the same.  If you want to listen to one of George’s original worship songs, click here to listen to ‘Testament.’

Filed under: quest church, seattle

10 Responses

  1. […] que toca também a Q Café, um sonho de café missional na cidade, ele postou ainda hoje “thank God for George“, um agradecimento a um amigo seu que o acompanha desde quando começaram as primeiras […]

  2. Rachel says:

    You say, “thank God for George.” But does George say, “Thank God for Eugene?”

  3. lfbatista says:

    As you see in trackback, your post gave me great inspiration when I read about the beggining of your community in Seatle, also, I could appreciate how important is to have loyal friends with you at the beggining.
    Thank God for you both
    luis f.

  4. Pam Christensen says:

    PE,
    With George not on staff, who will you have people send irate e-mails to after one of your fiery sermons?🙂

    George, thank you for the amazing ways that you have led us into the Lord’s presence. We are truly thankful for you and your service to our church family.

  5. gar says:

    No matter how many times I see that YouTube video, I’m still in awe. Hilarious.

  6. david says:

    hi. i read your post regarding your views on george bush.

    you said that his memoirs would be the biggest selling because he would share things he could not during his presidency as well as an apology.

    and i would like to know if he had explicitly communicated that he would issue an apology in his memoir or are you just implying in a back handed way that you view his decisions as huge mistakes to be apologized for?

    if not, then i would like to remind you, with respect, the words of romans 13 instructs us that we should respect our governing authorities and fall in submission to them. paul wrote these words as christians were being persecuted and killed. the same apostle instructed us that everything is permissible but not beneficial and you who are mature should always be mindful of the weaker christian.

    pastor eugene, as someone whom i greatly respect for the honorable work and service you execute for God, i know that many take your lead and follow it. i just want to express my concern for the weaker christian, as many in our city are theologically deviant and authority hating. I wonder is this sentiment due to the lack of good examples to follow? should we not try to foster a heart that respects our government and authorities no matter how much we disagree?

    though its flawed because of sinful humans, in God’s economy we all have our roles. the bible says we submit to the government and the government submits to god.

    is it not the christian’s hope that the leader makes his apology to God not us? and is it not the christian’s role to ( regardless of the situation ) repect the government? NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH CONDONE SINS… but address sins in a respectful way? so christ is exalted.

    Dr. King set the bar with civil disobedience. he addressed atrocities in a holy yet extremely painful way. instead of borderline gossiping, slandering, and gossiping about the government.

    if its something to write about maybe its your responsibility to address the situation respectfully and leave it between you and the government. instead of posting hateful disapproving words that could potentially lead the weaker christian down a bad path.

    to be sure, i do not intend this to be a judgement of your heart and person, as im sure everybody knows it is a large and loving one. but it is an expression of concern regarding your followers and their misinterpretation of your words and sentiments.

    ~ D

  7. aaron says:

    I miss Sunday worship with George!! He has an amazing gift!

  8. […] que toca também a Q Café, um sonho de café missional na cidade, ele postou ainda hoje “thank God for George“, um agradecimento a um amigo seu que o acompanha desde quando começaram as primeiras […]

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

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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. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter

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