13885 El Camino Real, Del Mar
San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?
PL: I think, on average, more than 20 hours. I usually follow a book of the Bible, choose a passage and study the words inside there. It’s first a sermon of exegesis. I study the passage clearly and come up with some basic principles, and then I try to find examples to make it relevant to the congregation.
SDR: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?
PL: Because my basic background is in marriage and family, it is easy for me to preach on that, but as a pastor, like Paul says in Colossians 1:25, “I have become a servant of the church by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness.” So, I cannot preach on marriage and family all the time…
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PL: I was preparing myself to be a professor in the area of marriage and family. So, I went to the Pittsburgh seminary to equip myself to serve God in my professional field and therefore to be more effective in my field. When I finished up my doctorate at Purdue, I realized all the answers to the problems of marriage and family are found right in the Bible. So, I thought it was reasonable for me to make the difficult teachings on marriage and family clear and relevant to Christians today.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PL: We see ourselves as a community church. Our church has a fivefold mission — “worship, evangelization, equipping, fellowship, and care.” We worship God together in Christ and experience his presence. As Christians, we obey the great commission to hear the Gospels and, in evangelizing, to bring people to Christ. We are also committed to equipping our brothers and sisters and nurture their spiritual lives for the work of ministry. Then, in fellowship, we strive to love each other and build each other up so that our lives can be worthy of his calling. In care, we want to reach out to the community and have a positive impact on the community around us.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PL: We Christians believe that death is a temporary state, and Jesus said He is going to prepare a place for us. People usually call that place Heaven. He is going to come to take us back with Him and live with Him. So, I assume we’ll be there with Him and serve Him forever and ever. There is only one way, through Jesus Christ. Otherwise, it is up to Him to make a judgment. It is not my business what that judgment is — I want to make sure people get to Heaven while they’re still alive. He is a just and loving God and He can do justly what he wants. So, there is a description of Hell in the Bible, but there’s not much explanation of it.
Pastor: Lin Kuo-Liang
Formation: Tunghai University, Taiwan; Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut; Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Years Ordained: 22