Eugene Cho is the founding and lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle. He’s also the founder of One Day’s Wages, a non-profit organization focused on global poverty. Born in South Korea, he immigrated to the U.S. at age six and grew up in San Francisco. He and his wife, Minhee, have been married 14+ years and have three children. He studied psychology and theater at UC Davis and received his theological degree from Princeton Seminary. Eugene is the author of Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World than Actually Changing the World?
When you were starting Quest church, there was another church that decided to “die to itself” and merge with yours. Can you tell that story?
What advice would you give a pastor trying to transition his or her church in some way and is facing resistance?
What role does planning play for you in the overarching mission of your church?
How are you encouraging your congregation to engage in neighboring?
“One of the mantras in our church is ‘You can’t love your neighbors if you don’t even know your neighbors.’”
“Everyone is resistant to change. Everyone. I used to think it was just those who are older, and I realize it’s just everyone.”
“It’s really tempting, when we have what we think is a captivating vision, to cling so tightly onto that vision that we begin worshipping or idolizing that vision rather than the giver of that vision. I’ve made that mistake numerous times.”
“The center of everything we do is the gospel of Christ—that we be Spirit-led and not necessarily vision-driven, agenda driven.”
“Oftentimes, when we [pastors] share [a new idea] with our leadership team…we have to understand their initial response oftentimes might be construed as resistance because they’re asking questions because they haven’t had the privilege or luxury of thinking about it, praying about it, marinating it, as we have for months or even for years.”
“I often tell my church: ‘We’re not the only church in Seattle. Praise God!’ We’re one church seeking to be faithful. So even though we might…be tempted to do everything, that’s really a false allusion in our culture.”
“The person who tries to do everything will do nothing well.”
“Part of what we learned during that time is that we needed to relinquish the obsession that sometimes we in the western church have where our only metric of win is getting people inside our doors on a Sunday morning.”
“It’s important for Christians to embrace the ministry of reconciliation. However, I’ve come to learn that a lot of people love the idea of reconciliation until they realize it involves truth-telling, confessing, dismantling, asking for forgiveness. It’s really challenging and hard.”
“We don’t just want to be a building. We care about the common good of our neighborhood and we want them to know that.”
“Local churches will come and go…But the Kingdom of God will endure forever.”
“The greatest church planter….is the Apostle Paul. And if you ask the question how many of his churches, his branding, his logo, his buildings are still around, the answer is zero. But just imagine the influence, the legacy, of the Holy Spirit’s work through that particular person.”