Eugene Cho

a vision many years ago about a quest…

Over 10 years ago, God woke me up in my sleep. Literally.

The dream shook me up so much that I couldn’t go back to sleep. Over the next several months, I tried to resist the meaning of the dream but I knew that while I didn’t have full clarity, the Holy Spirit was stirring my wife and I to “get ready.”

The vision and dream I had was surreal because it was unlike anything I had personally seen or experienced. Minhee and I were then at a homogenous Korean-American church in the suburbs of Seattle but we were stirred to leave our comfort zone to plant a church in urban Seattle and invite people from diverse backgrounds to worship Jesus together, grow together, serve together, and be on mission together.

The calling for us was to be faithful in proclaiming and living out the gospel of Christ but in pursuit of a diverse church, it wasn’t merely to be post-racial, politically correct, or multiethnic, but in reality, to be about a faith community taking a step closer towards the vision and reality of the Kingdom of God.

The end goal isn’t the banner of a post-racialized world or even to have a multiethnic community. This post isn’t to boast or to indirectly point the finger at homogenous churches, white churches, suburban churches but rather to ask the question:

Are we taking steps towards the vision and reality of the Kingdom of God?

I specifically remember a glimpse of this vision where I was preaching in front of hundreds of people – but everyone looked different and yet, bound together in community by grace, love, and faith in Christ. We were to be on a “quest” together: loving mercy, seeking justice, and walking humbly. The video that we showed [RSS readers: click here] and our anniversary service this past Sunday reminded me of that dream again.

  • Quest is so far from a perfect church. You can just ask my critics and they’ll be quick to tell you.
  • Quest is not a well known church.
  • Quest is not a mega church.
  • Quest is not on any lists of influential, fastest growing, trend setting, or any other lists that are compiled out there.

Having said that, there’s nothing unique or special about Quest. What we are is very simple: a church.

And more specifically, 

We aspire to be the church.

…a community of people living out faith in Christ with hope, beauty, and courage.

More simply, while “our” story is unique, we do not exist on an island to ourselves but rather, we are woven together with others – past, present, and future – to a greater Story.

And because we are comprised of fallen and broken people led by a fallen and broken pastor, we are an imperfect church and we are often reminded of our brokenness but nevertheless, I have witnessed – again and again (and again) – God’s grace and sufficiency. This past Sunday, I shared some of the amazing “chapters” of our church and each chapter points to God’s faithfulness embodied in a community of people on a mission.

I am no churchplanting guru but over the years, I’ve come to realize that the work of God – while it can be done “strategically” or “organically” ….

never happens out of chaos.

There must be purpose, intention, and as I often like to say, “a trajectory.” Over the next couple weeks, I’m looking forward to sharing a few posts about the significant intentions of planting our church.

I’ve also come to realize that no one voice or one church expresses the totality of God. Such a declaration would be blasphemous. Quest is simple one response…one expression…to God’s larger narrative of resurrection, redemption, and reconciliation.

I do not know if I’ll be around when Quest celebrates 20 years. But this past Sunday, as I do today, and as I will this upcoming Sunday, I praise God for giving my wife and I the great privilege and joy of planting this church and being a part of this community (see video above).

All glory to God.

Here are some pics from our 10 Year Anniversary celebration [courtesy of Leo Chen Photography]:

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14 Responses

  1. Cristina says:

    Congratulations Quest!

  2. Congrats on 10 year’s. I hope our little church can head in a similar trajectory here in downtown LA. Keep following the Spirit.

  3. kara says:

    Tears in my eyes and a stirring in my heart…. To see my face in a picture celebrating Quest’s 10 years. Thanks for showing me faces of people that I loved, for teaching me about community and the Body of Christ. I still miss you guys and consider you part of my church family. Anytime you are in the south give me a shout! and please pass along a hello to Minhee, Jin, George,
    Joanie and anyone I didn’t see on my computer screen. Many thanks for following The Call,
    Kara

  4. Al Doyle says:

    Congratulations on your first ten years from what (God willing) will be a future Questor from Bainbridge Island!

  5. Wayne Park says:

    As a displaced Quester in some measure, I celebrate with you guys this tremendous milestone. It has been exciting to be part of, inspired by, and influenced through the ministry of Quest and Eugene & Minhee Cho. Here’s to another ten of fruitful ministry, and continued friendship!

  6. Bianca says:

    Congrats on ten years! You’re an inspiration and I’m excited to see where the next ten years leafs you.

  7. accord1 says:

    One thing I love about our God is that he is a “Why not?” kind of God because He promises that if we delight in him also then he will give us the desires of our hearts. Congratulations for you stepping out into the realm of the “Why not?” You have stepped right into the will of God!

    http://accord1.wordpress.com/

  8. Jason says:

    Congratulations on ten years. May God continue to grow and bless Quest.

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One Day’s Wages

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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 Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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