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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One Day’s Wages

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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #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.

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