Preparing for Ordination

28 01 2009

A lot of people have been asking me, “What is ordination all about?” I thought I could make things a bit easier by posting something on my brain so I could direct people here if they wanted to find out more about ordination.

John MacArthur writes, “Ordination is the act whereby a church officially acknowledges the calling and qualifications of a man for ministry.” That’s basically ordination in a nutshell. At Lighthouse, ordination will involve a really difficult examination of my life, Bible knowledge, and practical understanding of Scripture to prove that I am fit for ministry. This is important because it gives the church more of a chance to prayerfully consider my position as pastor. Remember that the early church spent time in prayer and fasting before it chose its leaders (cf. Acts 14:23). This also gives me a chance to show the church that I am competent to teach and that my views of Scripture are in line with the church’s.

Lighthouse hasn’t necessarily finalized its ordination process, but I am sure it will contain at least an extensive oral examination in which I will be tested in three major areas: general Bible knowledge, systematic theology, and practical theology. In the first section, I will be expected to know the themes and outlines of every book of the Bible. I will also need to know key chapters, verses, people, and dates for each book. In the second section, I will be asked various questions from any facet of systematic theology. The examiners could ask me questions about God, man, salvation, end times, etc. and I would be expected to answer the questions with support from Scripture. I would also have to know about other major world religions and cults and be able to refute their beliefs from Scripture. In the third section, I would be asked any question related to the application of Scripture. These questions might be asked in the form of hypothetical counseling situations. I could be asked about my views of homosexuality, women’s roles, parenting, psychology, etc. and I would be expected to defend my answers from Scripture. The entire exam would most likely be from memory without notes or open Bible (though I might suggest that at least the practical theology section should be open Bible). Basically, I will need to memorize the Bible.

It’s a long process, but I don’t consider it a waste of time. Yes, the church is busy, but this is the kind of study that I think every genuine Christian would die to be a part of. I get to dig into the wealth of Scripture and immerse myself in it for the next several months. There is a bit of apprehension just because I know things will be busy with the church plant, 10 year anniversary, missions, and everything else that’s going on in the church. But I am confident that God will see me through. I appreciate all the prayers that the church family are lifting up on my behalf. In many ways, you will be like Aaron and Hur were to Moses in supporting his arms during Israel’s battle against Amalek (cf. Exod. 17). I am confident that God will grant success through your many prayers.

After serving at LBC for the past ten years, I think it’s about time for my ordination. I knew I didn’t want to get ordained right out of seminary because I wanted at least a few years of ministry experience first. I wanted to be at a place where the church could be confident of my ability as a teacher and could trust my leadership and character. I’m so thankful for a loving church that cares for me and my family. I’m looking forward to being even more cemented into the ministry at Lighthouse through my ordination. Feel free to ask if you have any questions!


Churching in Seattle

5 01 2009

mars-hill-ballardChristine and I decided to visit Mars Hill’s Ballard campus yesterday morning. We had some trouble finding the campus at first (my GPS is crazy), but got there on time since we left really early. Although we were hoping to hear Pastor Mark Driscoll, who was off on vacation (we missed him by a week!), we were not at all disappointed by Tim Smith’s message from Psalm 73. He spoke for over an hour so we felt completely at home, and the message was really, really good (I looked online this morning and they hadn’t posted the sermon). The whole service was pretty impressive with the funky music and the lights. We even got to sit in for their baptism service and took communion there, too. It is a huge church and we had to sit in the back because we didn’t want to disrupt the service with the baby. All in all, it was a really great Sunday. I’d love to go back and visit again. Maybe next time, we’ll get a chance to hear from Driscoll. =)

It was weird not being at Lighthouse. Whenever he goes away, John tells me he thinks about what is going on at LBC. It’s funny that I was doing that, too. I would think, “Oh, they’re probably singing right now,” or “They must have just finished the sermon and Peter’s introducing the hymn.” Although it’s great to get away and get some rest, I miss home. I can’t wait to be back with my church family. I’m sure 2009 will be a busy and tiring year (celebrating 10 years!), but hopefully it will be a good tired at the end of it. I’m so thankful for the church and am blessed that I get to serve together with the family at Lighthouse.

Calling All Troops

17 09 2008

“Life is war.” John Piper expressed this thought in his book, Let the Nations Be Glad. In the calm comfort of San Diego living, oftentimes it is easy to be lulled into a numb passivity where we forget that war rages all around us. A good friend reminded me this week that Satan hates godly leaders and godly churches. The more Lighthouse strives to be a church that upholds a high view of God and His Word, we can be sure that spiritual attacks will abound. But are we in a state of readiness? Are our days reinforced with prayer to withstand the onslaught of attacks? Do we remember Christ’s instructions, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)? Please pray for the church, for one another, for the leaders, and for our pastor. Pray that even though we undergo serious times of spiritual warfare, Christ would see us through. Now is a particular time where the church can rally together in prayer, encouragement, and support.

“Keeping Christ the Center”

19 02 2008

cross.jpgAlthough the College Life Retreat was physically tiring, spiritually I came back entirely refreshed and renewed. What a great time with Pastor Peter Kim speaking on the centrality of Christ in our lives! The messages are still fresh on my mind, which is a good indicator of the impact they made. I was particularly blessed by Saturday evening’s message entitled, “Christ the Humble Servant.”

One thought stood out that I had not considered before. Pastor Peter rightly stated that if Christ had come as some great ruler like a Caesar, it still would have been incredibly humbling for Him. Yet, He came not as a great ruler with tremendous earthly power. He came humbly – His birth was humble, His name was humble, His hometown was humble, His family was humble. To think that Christ endured all that for a world full of people who sin against Him is incredibly humbling. To think that Christ endured all that for me is even more humbling.

The fellowship was great this weekend. The games and activities were a blast. But I praise God for the messages from Hebrews and Philippians that really made this weekend! Let’s keep Christ the center!

College Study Hall

11 12 2007

Ah, the college life! Since it’s finals week for our beloved UCSD students, we have opened up the church building once again for our late night study hall. By God’s providence, I actually have something to study this time around and am not just in some other room watching Pirates of the Caribbean.

studying.jpgFinals week brings back some sweet memories. One time a group of us went out to a truck stop diner to pull an all-nighter. I think we ended up spending two or three days there consecutively just sitting in the booth, having fun, and getting some occasional studying done. The waitress was ever so kind allowing us to help ourselves to soda and coffee. When I had a final exam, the others would watch my stuff and when I returned I would watch their stuff during their exams. It was a good system. Unfortunately, that diner eventually closed down and became a McDonald’s. What about showers and hygiene you ask? Don’t ask. Let’s just say we had a lot of gum.

Anyway, collegians, know that the staff is praying for you this week that you would do your best in your studies to the glory of God. Remember that life is more than school and grades and jobs and salaries. Life is about living for the One who by grace died in your place for your sins and provided a means for you to have the hope of life. It is by grace that you are in school and have the opportunity to exalt God in your finals.

Good Fellowship

6 12 2007

I was able to enjoy some really great times of fellowship today with my small group guys and some others whom I meet up with regularly. Funny that I was originally going to cancel on everyone because I was pretty drained today. By God’s grace, I’m thankful that I didn’t cancel these meetings because I walked away from each refreshed, encouraged, and edified! Proverbs 16:24 is indeed true, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

For a long time I’ve held the opinion that if there was anything LBC could work on, it would be its genuine fellowship. Although I feel as though many of the relationships in the church are sweet and friendships close, still many of the conversations we have are shallow and focused on topics that are spiritually useless. (I’m sure all churches can improve on this.) However, I’ve seen this change within the last few months and it has been a huge encouragement. Of course, we are nowhere near perfect, but I have had and witnessed some really wonderful conversations with various members. These talks are focused on God and His Word and are coupled with prayer. As these kinds of conversations continue, I trust that the relationships within the church family will deepen further as we continue to encourage each other with those sweet, healing words.

On Your MARK, Get Set, Go!

31 10 2007

On Friday evening at College Life Searchlight, I plan to begin our series in the Book of Mark. It has been really amazing reading through the life of Christ a little more carefully, and studying the background to the Gospel has also been stimulating. It’s always interesting how when you read through a book more carefully you see things that you might have missed in the past. Although Mark is the shortest of the Gospels, it is still packed with great themes and amazing theology. I must admit, though, that there is some hesitation with venturing into one of the Gospels. I know that there is a weightiness in preaching any part of the Bible, but I feel like there is added pressure in preaching the life of Christ. Of course all Scripture is equally God-breathed, equally God’s inerrant, authoritative, sufficient Word. But I can’t help but want to do an extra careful job of preaching through the life of Christ.

Regardless, I think it’ll be a great series. I’m excited to walk through it with the collegians. May we all walk away from it in the end with a deeper love for our Lord Jesus Christ and a greater appreciation for the Christian testimony we have in the Gospel of Mark.