live blogged by Chipper Flaniken

February 11th, 2010


The Henry Center for Theological Understanding welcomes Wayne Ogimachi as a part of the ongoing Timothy Series. Pastor Ogimachi will be speaking at the TEDS chapel services on February 9th and February 11th.

A graduate of UCLA and Fuller Theological Seminary, Wayne Ogimachi has experience in youth, campus, and pastoral ministry in southern California. He also served for 17 years as the Pastor of Christian Layman Church in Oakland, CA, during which time he also helped start the Asian American Christian Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2000, he moved to Seattle to plant Lighthouse Christian Church in Bellevue, Washington, where he currently serves as Lead Pastor.


Passage: Acts 20:17-38

How to finish well in ministry – lessons from Paul


“Pastors are dropping like flies”

Pastoral ministry is a minefield – there are plenty of ways to fall!  But some manage to finish well! Example: The Apostle Paul.

Billy Graham: “I never get tired of ministry, I get tired in ministry”

So how do we finish well?

Scripture reading from Acts 20:17-38

1. Paul teaches us to have the heart of a servant (vs. 17-19)

A servant life requires a servant heart (2 Cor 4:5)

The heart of a servant = humility.

Humility defined: What happens from you doesn’t come through you.

Heart of a servant…we preach Jesus Christ as Lord. We must decrease, and he must increase! But this doesn’t mean ignoring our strengths!

We need to have this kind of heart! We need to be willing to give every area of our life to God…and trust him with things big and small.

Servanthood for others as well! It’s not hard to be a humble servant of God when people are praising you for this. We find out what kind of servants we are when we are treated as servants

Pastor Ogimachi – Star tennis player Michael Chang was going to his church. The church was doing homeless ministry…and Michael Chang helped with this service.  No one knew who he was, and he didn’t care. This picture stuck with Pastor Ogimachi.

Paul is preaching this kind of servanthood in Acts 20 during his

2. Paul tells us to preach God’s truth confidently (vs. 20-21)

Jews and Greeks must turn to the Lord in repentance according to Paul

Do we have this type of boldness in our church ministries today? Do we actually proclaim the gospel, or are we overly concerned with preaching narratives and connecting with culture?

We have to trust God’s Word!

Scripture is like a caged lion…let the lion out of the cage and it will defend itself.

The task is to make the gospel clear!

Chuck Swindoll: “When I preach, I want to be clear, accurate, and practical.”

Note: Goal is not to be funny and entertaining. We need to confidently preach truth!

Romans 1:16 – I am not ashamed of the gospel! It is the power of God!

3. Paul tells us to keep in step with the Spirit (vs. 23-24)

Hardship in ministry doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want you to go. We are told to go, whether we know anything about how difficult things will be!

We have to remain available to God!

CS Lewis: “Relying on God has to start over every day…as if nothing has been done”

Pastor Ogimachi: When I was 18, I promised Jesus I would go anywhere as long as he would stay with me! And when I was 46, you learn how difficult a promise that is. I had so much to lose! I had a wife and two daughters, a mortgage to pay, college tuition to worry about. Do I really want to start over in my mid-40s (and plant a church)? But really, the issues at 46 are the same at 1ge 18. Do I love Jesus? Will I follow him?

He ultimately concluded that God was in fact leading him to plant a church. Never be afraid of God’s will!

As Deidrich Bonhoeffer says…we don’t know what God’s will is, but we know that it will be good!

  • In order to be available to the Holy Spirit, Paul teaches us that we have to accept uncertainty

We can’t always know where we are really going! Seminary students may think they know what the plan is, but they really are in the Lord’s hands.

4. Paul teaches us that we should expect hardship (vs. 23-24)

Hardships will happen in ministry! Our faith isn’t really tested until we are asked  to do the unreasonable and try the unthinkable.

Pastor Ogimachi: Our brothers and sisters in Christ deal with this type of pressure all the time!

MLK Jr. – at times we may feel like we don’t need God…but when the storms come, our emotional lives will be ripped to shreds without God.

Paul: to die is gain! (Phil 1:21)  I have been crucified with Christ! (Gal 2:20)

We don’t have to survive! When we believe this, then we are truly free. If we’ve already been crucified with Christ, nothing can keep us down!

5. Paul teaches us to be focused on the task! (vs. 31)

Die daily for the gospel! This is how you stay focused!

25 years from now, who will still be standing? I hope it’s you, and I hope it’s me!

Final Poem – “Going the Distance”

End live blog – thank for you joining us!