Eugene Cho

a letter to my children’s pastor

quest children's ministry

Dear Katey,

You’ve been our children’s director and pastor for several years now. You’ve done an amazing job.  I still remember the days of Quest when our (Minhee and I) – then 2 children – were the only kids at Quest. Through you and Christina, our amazing associate director, and other folks like Becky, Karis, Gordon, Stacy and on and on, God has immensely blessed our church community. When we “hired” you as our children’s pastor many years ago, you were just graduating from college and there were some concerns expressed by the interview committee but I remember sharing with them these words:

Katey may be lacking in experience but this is very clear: She loves Jesus.

And it was also very clear that you loved children and of course, sharing Jesus with children.

Thank you for the ways you’ve invested into the church, the parents, and of course, the children.  Since you began your ministry at Quest, you’ve married a wonderful and gracious man (and a great photographer for us!) and you and Corey now have two children of your own.  Just several weeks ago, you gave me and the church community the joy of dedicating your newest child to the Lord.

It is amazing to see how many children – babies, toddlers, and kids – roam around the church knowing that this church is also their home church as well.  As in the past few Sundays, we have an upcoming Sundays where numerous parents will dedicate and baptize their children to the Lord.  And of course, Minhee and I are excited to have our oldest daughter – by her own choice – be baptized.  It will be a special day for us and we thank you, Christina, and staff for the ways you teach and demonstrate God’s love and grace to our children and all the kids at Quest.

I have preached on numerous occassions of the error in parents abdicating the total responsibility of the spiritual growth of their children to their church’s kids’ ministry.  I am still convicted of this but also know how important it is for parents to believe, trust, and partner with their local church.

I know that it’s easy for any church to overlook the children as well…”not as important as the grown ups.”  It’s even tempting to overlook the children’s ministry staff and volunteers.  Thanks for reminding all of us that God loves the entire church – especially the children.

So, on behalf of our church, many thanks to you, Christina, and the many volunteers of the Kids’ Ministry.  I know that you’re still in need of volunteers so I pray that many will contact you if they are interested.

In Christ, Pastor Eugene

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13 Responses

  1. henryjz says:

    Awesome letter! As a children’s pastor, I know that your CM leaders and volunteers are hugely blessed by that letter and probably wiping tears from their eyes. Thank you for posting that so publicly. I hope other church leaders see it and are inspired to build into and encourage their CM leaders and volunteers.

  2. […] Eugene Cho posted a thank you letter he wrote to his children’s pastor on his blog. I couldn’t quick on […]

  3. What a cool way to say thanks.
    So often, those leading Children’s Ministries feel like they’re on an island… this is such a great way to show your team that you value the work their doing with the shortest members of your congregation.

    Well done!

  4. katey says:

    [wiping e-tears]thank you for your gracious words. it’s true- i love jesus, i love kids! thank you for allowing me to serve quest for so many years. and none of the ministry|shepherding|discipleship would be what it is without the volunteer leaders who are the backbone of our ministry…thank you for your support of our calling.

  5. jabberfrog says:

    wow. thanks for sharing your thoughts. Go Katey!!

  6. Jennifer Yu says:

    Great post! And so true! Katey, I can’t believe you & Corey have 2 kids! So do we! Someday we we get a chance to visit Seattle again, we shall have to get all of our kids together to play! Many hugs from Texas!

  7. quest parent says:

    Thank you so much Katey and Christina for all that you do for Quest and our children!

  8. Eugene, thank you so much for giving Katey these props. I was a church children’s pastor for three years–actually, I attended a Christian college with henryjz, who commented above, and we met each other again through children’s ministry. It’s a wonderful ministry, but very difficult, and it says something about you as a pastor that Katey has been able to serve joyfully for this long.

    For those of you who have not worked with children in the church, do it! For those who do, keep doing it! Love and props to all of you. Elena in Ohio

  9. Darlene says:

    Eugene,
    Thanks so much for being the kind of pastor who would take time to write such encouraging words to the Children’s Pastor that serves at Quest. As a Children/Family ministries Pastor I must say that it caught me by surprise because, in my experience, not many lead pastors do such a thing. So thanks for supporting Katey in this way.

    Also, you may or may not remember me, but I met you on Monday in DC – you joined the group of us from Chicago at Ben’s Chilli Bowl. It was great to meet you.

  10. Sam says:

    Wow what an amazing way to build the value of kids church. I am blessed to work for a a Pastor who understands that value. It is clear you do as well. Katey keep doing amazing things for the kingdom.

  11. […] a helpful perspective as we begin our journey as a church plant. The original post can be found here. + Andrew […]

  12. […] a helpful perspective as we begin our journey as a church plant. The original post can be found here. + Andrew […]

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 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.

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