Eugene Cho

building bridges > burning bridges

Do yourself a favor and watch this. It’s 7:15 minutes long but well worth your time.

Such a substantive leadership lesson in itself by Bill Hybels as he explains why Howard Schultz withdrew his commitment as a speaker at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit (held on August 11-12). And furthermore, how he and Willow Creek are responding…

I was particularly convicted and stirred by these  leadership ideas:

Build rather than Burn Bridges

I’m not a huge Howard Schultz fan. Honestly, I’m sure he’s a swell guy but the whole Seattle Sonics fiasco has left me a little very bitter. I would have used the Read the rest of this entry »

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starbucks “de-brands” itself as your local cafe

photo from Seattle PI

By now, many folks know that Starbucks has chosen to experiment by “de-branding” themselves by opening up three “neighborhood” coffee & tea shops called 15th Avenue Coffee & Tea. Along with coffee and tea, these stores will also sell wine and beer. I have yet to visit one of these shops but intend to at some point to see what the fuss is about.

The question is: “Will it work?”

I was told my Starbucks employees that they’re goal is to entice people that don’t normally go to Starbucks. And while some may go, they should be smart enough to know that that folks that are reasons why folks don’t go to Starbucks.  De-Branding yourself isn’t going to change that, will it?

Will it? Good idea?

Here’s my take: Read the rest of this entry »

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what if starbucks marketed like a church?

This video entitled What if Starbucks Marketed Like a Church? A Parable is making the rounds around blogosphere.  It was created to “help churches to truly understand the disconnection between how we do things and the people we’re trying to reach.”

Take a look. Thoughts?

My thoughts:  

  • Well made video.  Helps visualize some great points since it’s so easy for a church to grow disconnected in our insular world.  
  • As I’ve shared on a post entitled Soul of Starbucks, it’s a great company to work for but brutal to compete against. 
  • And interesting that this video was released about a week before Starbucks released news that their profits decreased 97% during their 4Q.  They’ve laid off over 1000 people this year and closed or in the process of closing 600 stores this year.   
  • And at least here in Seattle [headquarters of Starbucks], it doesn’t help that their CEO, Howard Schultz, currently ain’t the most popular people for selling off our NBA professional basketball team to someone who eventually moved it over to Oklahoma.
  • But something about this video freaks me out.  I know it’s a parable but do we really want to see Starbucks or a corporate giant as a good juxtaposition?

So, while there are lessons to be learned in this video, maybe there are other lessons to consider.  No? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, emerging church, religion,

starbucks barista donates organ to customer

“Umm, I’ll take a tall double shot non-fat hazelnut latte with a kidney, please.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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the soul of starbucks?

Yesterday, Starbucks was again in the local and national news because about 7100 of the national Starbucks stores were closed around 5.30pm so that their 135,000 employees could undergo about 3 hours of training for:

Part back-to-basics tutorial, part pep rally, the teach-in aimed to reacquaint baristas with the art of pulling the perfect shot of espresso and steaming milk to add a subtle hint of sweetness to a latte and give the velvety foam on top just the right thickness. [full article]

This is one of the many recent changes that have taken place at Starbucks since the return of Howard “I Sold out the Seattle Supersonics” Schultz.  There are too many to name but I’d love to hear what your thoughts are about these changes.  Read the rest of this entry »

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stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

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First day of our daughter's college years at this great school. We love you. We're so proud of you.We believe in you. Go Huskies. Go Dawgs. And also, beat Stanford this Friday. 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.

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