Eugene Cho

redefining success

There’s so much more I can say but I tried to make my point in six minutes.

Couple weeks ago, I self-filmed this video for an online conference called The Nines. Unfortunately, my video didn’t actually make the cut that day but got archived as an “exclusive web content.”

Aren’t you special? Here’s access to the exclusive web content:

In this video, I was attempting to explain what I have been wrestling for a very long time:

How do I define success as a pastor?

It’s very honest.

If there’s anything I’d like for you to take away from this video, it’s this:

“Be faithful.”

Perhaps it’s appropriate that I’m sharing this video during the week when lists of the 100 most influential churches (and pastors?) are being distributed through some publications.

These lists have their places. We can be mature enough to acknowledge that. But besides 100 pastors (and 100 churches), the rest of us didn’t make this list. But don’t worry. Don’t fret about making this list:

By God’s grace, just be the most influential and loving pastor of your own church.

Let me know what you think…

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10 Responses

  1. Ben from TIC says:

    Yeah, along the same lines as being faithful I’d add being present. I serve youth ministry, and being faithful and present is 90% of what I do. If you’re there and can listen, they’ll listen to you and listen to the Word of God you share. Faithfulness, one of the fruits of the Spirit.

  2. Dave says:

    Eugene,

    Thanks for this. It was very timely and convicting.

  3. I’m the most influential and loving mommy of my own family…gotta start somewhere!

  4. Jesse Sudirgo says:

    Good word bro.

  5. yaakova says:

    Absolutely wonderful and inspiring video!

  6. anonymous says:

    amen brotha! Yes, we must define success through God’s eyes and not through the eyes of man. Our greatest calling is to grow in love and obedience to Jesus. This is the first and greatest and commandment. If we understand this to be true, success is available for every believer no matter what our ministries look like. As we seek His heart for others, we find that the second commandment comes from a natural overflow of our obedience to the first and greatest commandment. We know that ministry is born out of His heart and desire, not ours.

    There are only a handful in the earth who will have huge ministries in terms of size and impact and it’s only through His grace that they exist anyway. In the end when we stand before the Judgement seat of Christ, we’ll be evaluated and rewarded primarily for our heart’s response in this life and not on what we accomplished for the Kingdom.

    Bless you brotha… may God continue to reveal His heart for you, your family, your church, and to all those that need the Messiah!

  7. David says:

    This was a really great reminder Eugene. Thanks for that. I hope you get some rest and quality time with your fam and return to Quest refreshed.

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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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