live blogged by Chipper Flaniken

February 9th, 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.


Scripture passage from John 21:15-23 (read by TEDS student)

Pastor Ogimachi

Introductory comments:

Born in Chicago…moved to southern California when two years old. Pastored for 17 years in the Bay area. Then moved to Seattle to plant a church that he is still with (Lighthouse Christian Church). Attended Fuller Seminary…tough experience for him spiritually. Lots of new learning for a lifetime of ministry, gained a broader perspective of church history, gained a better understanding of theological controversies, rubbed shoulders with bright faculty and professors.

Spent seven years at Fuller doing his MDiv.

Did lots of different ministries during that time. Including prison ministry. Began to fall in love with the church as the vehicle for God’s kingdom.

Went to seminary with no intention of becoming a pastor. Thought he was going to do campus ministry (didn’t have a positive view of the institutional church during college years at UCLA – was involved in a vibrant parachurch organization).

Hard times during seminary: financial crises, relational issues, feelings of inadequacy, academic struggles. During those years, would often doubt God’s call on his life. Wondered if God could use someone like him effectively in ministry.

On the the passage:

Peter in a crisis of faith in John 21 – Peter had claimed he would die for Jesus rather than forsake him. Then he had a “humpty-dumpty” moment where things fell apart.

We have all had these types of moments. Like during Pastor Ogimachi’s experience in youth ministry.

But remember, Jesus wanted to help Peter pick up the pieces. Wanted to be sure Peter would meet him in Galilee. And they had breakfast together…which signified relational warmth in that culture.

But there was still an “elephant in the room” between Jesus and Peter. This is a common experience among many of us!

And for Peter…the elephant was his denial of Jesus! This is the same Peter that Jesus wanted to use to help build the church (Matt 16:18).

Jesus never tries to shame or blame Peter. Instead Jesus decides not to dwell on the past…but he didn’t minimize the sin either.

So Jesus asks, “do you love me?” (John 21:15)

This question just hangs in the air…and everything in Peter’s life hangs in the balance. This is a “defining moment” – the day that changes your life forever.

How do we know if we love Jesus?

1. If we love Jesus, we will long for personal communion with him and to be with him.

2. We will love the things he loves (Micah 6:8).

3. We will hate the things that he hates (Proverbs 8:13). There are things that Jesus hates!

4. We will long for Jesus to return. Has this longing been put on the back burner? What about in your life? If we love Jesus, we will long for his returning. Paul does! (2 Tim 4:8)

5. We will keep his commandments. This is a tangible outworking of love!

Regardless of past failures, those who love Jesus can be recommissioned like Peter was. We can rejoin the mission and take up the cause! We can serve the King and his kingdom!

Main point about loving Jesus: Jesus will only entrust his sheep to those who love him and his people. To those who deeply and absolutely love him! These are the only safe shepherds!

One of the things about seminary is that it can make you discerning, but it can also make you cynical. Are you becoming critical thinkers, or just becoming critical?

Anecdote: The church will be changed and renewed by people that love the church and are deeply committed to it! Pastor Ogimachi heard this in seminary and it profoundly impacted his life. Would he then stand on the periphery and criticize, or throw his hat in the ring and try to be a part of the solution?

So our prayer should be that God would protect us from cynical attitudes.

Wouldn’t you give your children to someone that you trust? That also love your children? Jesus is the same way. He will only entrust people into the care of people that love Jesus Christ and his sheep.

Quote: “There are two kinds of people…those who takes risks for God, and those who criticize and malign the first group.”

Back to the passage:

Jesus tells Peter that loving the kingdom will not be easy! Love brought Peter a task AND a sacrifice! We don’t love Jesus unless we are prepared to take up his cross.

Do you love Jesus? Our seminary years should increase our hearts for the Lord! Beware of coming out of seminary with a cold heart!

Will you follow Jesus to the end of your life? Will you get discouraged when the road gets hard, or will you be distracted by what God is doing in the lives of others?

Peter had this “distraction problem”. He looked at the apostle Jesus loved and asked Jesus about him. Do you get distracted by how God is using other people in ministry!

Again, sacrifice is going to happen in ministry!

Pastor Ogimachi: My hardest year in ministry was in 1996. Staff conflict. Several months of terrible discouragement. Lots of humbling moments and discouragement. Things I thought were going well were not going as well. Then the Lord told him, “if this is really going to be a good church, someone is going to have to lay down their life!”

When you see a healthy church – or even a healthy marriage or relationship – you can assume that it came at a major cost to someone. Even the healthiest churches and marriages have high costs!

If we don’t love God, we will be a danger to a church. But the more we love Jesus, the more ministry he will entrust to us.

Jesus trusts leaders that fall in love with him!

End live blog…thank you for joining us! Pastor Ogimachi will speak again during the TEDS chapel on Thursday, February 11th.