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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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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