“I don’t feel burned out, but I am realizing my limitations.”
In 2001 Eugene Cho and his wife, Minhee, founded Quest Church, an urban, multicultural, and multigenerational community in Seattle. He began his first year as a pastor without a salary, working as a janitor at Barnes & Noble. It was a hard beginning, but it proved formational for him and his congregation. In addition to fulltime ministry, Cho launched a nonprofit organization, One Day’s Wages, in 2009 to help alleviate extreme global poverty.
On June 3, 2018, after 18 years of ministry at Quest Church, Cho announced to his congregation that he would be resigning from his position as lead pastor. Kyle Rohane, editor of CT Pastors, sat down with Cho to talk about his reasons for stepping aside, the discernment process that led to this point, and his hopes and fears for Quest Church in the coming years.
Now that your resignation is public, I imagine you are experiencing a number of emotions. Can you describe what’s going through your head and heart right now?
I’m doing … okay. While my wife, Minhee, and I are at peace with the decision—it’s something we’ve been praying through for some time—there’s certainly real grieving as well. We planted Quest Church about 18 years ago, so the closest analogy I can think of is when we dropped off our eldest kid at college. Leading up to that moment, we began to ask questions like, Is she ready? Did we do enough? When that day arrived we hugged her and kissed her, gave her a few words of advice and Scripture verses. Then we turned around, got into the car, and just started bawling.
Right now we’re feeling a similar mix of emotions: gratitude for God’s faithfulness over the past 18 years, but some real grieving as well.