Contact: 6122 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego; 619-286-3251; allpeopleschurch.org
Membership: 250 individuals
Pastor: Robert Herber
Born: Austin, Texas
Formation: Baylor University, Waco, Texas; Antioch Training School, Waco, Texas
Years Ordained: 4 years
San Diego Reader: Can you think of a time when you gave a sermon that flopped?
Pastor Robert Herber: One Sunday, we were talking about how the early church members met one another’s needs, and so I asked everyone to fill out “what your biggest needs are. Then we’ll going to put them on a spreadsheet and up on the big screen for everyone to read. Then we’re going to ask everyone to pray about taking these needs as their own.” When I started reading the needs, I was completely overwhelmed. People needed cars and to pay off large debts. I thought, This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. Every need wasn’t met, but there were some cars given and some debts paid off. So in the end it worked out, but in the midst of it I felt horrible and went home thinking I never should have done that.
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PH: I get concerned when our churches are providing programs for the wealthy and educated out in our nice suburbs and when, as Christians, we’re not focused on meeting the refugees, the prostitutes, and the drug addicts; that we’re not being witnesses in the scariest places.
SDR: What is the most prevalent sin you observe or hear about from your congregation?
PH: The biggest challenge for people is figuring out how to walk with Jesus when not at church but going through daily life in a world that can be discouraging and challenging. How can I have joy and peace in that daily life?
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PH: I was in college when I met this girl who didn’t have anything going for her. By all rights, she shouldn’t have been joyful about anything. She drove a beat-up, rusty minivan, she didn’t have nice clothes, her family was a mess, but she had this joy and peace. I was the opposite. I had this nice sports car and nice clothes and a wealthy family, and I found myself envious of her. I asked her why she was so happy, and she said she had a friendship with Jesus. It was different language about religion from what I was used to hearing. She talked about the Holy Spirit and how she abided with Him throughout the day. I started trying to do that and began falling in love with God. One day, I was in a traditional church listening to Handel’s “Messiah” and all of a sudden with my eyes open I see myself at about age 30 on a stage. I saw myself preaching. That’s when I doubled over and started to cry. The experience built faith in my heart, and I knew I was meant to be a pastor.
SDR: Where does one go when you die?
PH: One goes to Heaven or one goes to Hell. That’s very clear from Scripture. We want as many people as we possibly can to go to Heaven. If people will put their faith in Jesus and what He did for them on the cross, they can have life to the full on Earth and be assured of eternal life in Heaven.