5512 Pennsylvania Lane, Del Cerro
Contact: 5512 Pennsylvania Lane, La Mesa, 91942; 619-460-2210; dcbc.org
Pastor: Mark Milwee
Born: Crossville, Alabama
Formation: Golden Gate Baptist Seminary, Mill Valley
Ordained: 18 years
San Diego Reader: Can you think of a sermon that flopped?
Pastor Mark Milwee: I can think of a time early in my ministry when I was preaching out of a passage in Genesis. The text said, “Sin is crouching at your door” (Genesis: 4:7). Well, I repeatedly said this passage throughout the sermon. It wasn’t until afterward that my dear wife informed me that I was repeatedly saying “Sin is crotching at your door.” I’ve had several things like that happen, but despite that, I do enjoy preaching. I enjoy the opportunity to communicate God’s word to his people in a way that is relevant to the world today.
SDR: What is the most prevalent sin you observe or hear about from your congregation?
PM: One of the challenges right now that people have is financial struggles. Those struggles can take several directions. For some, it’s not having the money to make ends meet or it could be that people are having a tough time balancing between how much is enough money and how much is too much. Or they might be juggling their faith with the world’s idea of materialism: “I think that I need to have this, this, and this. I feel the need to own everything the TV says we need.” It’s a real struggle, especially with a lot of people out of work and the economy the way it is.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PM: Our mission is basically summed up in four words: connect, grow, serve and share. To elaborate on that, we’re helping people connect with God and with others; we’re trying to encourage them to grow in their relationship with Christ; we are encouraging them to find a place to serve our community; and then we also want to encourage people to share their faith with others.
SDR: What’s the most difficult part of this mission?
PM: Encouraging people… to go deeper and to understand that we grow in our faith as we serve others. We have a responsibility to share our faith in the workplace, for instance, or wherever we find ourselves in the world.
SDR: What is it that concerns you as a member of the clergy?
PM: I would say, over all, over the course of 20 years I’ve been pastor, one of the things I see is a breakdown in family relationships — the struggles the families are going through, the hurts that need to be healed. And I’m not just speaking about here at Del Cerro. Everywhere I’ve pastored, people are struggling with this — both here in California and also in the Bible Belt, where I’d also preached. The problem comes in different forms —it can be spiritual and it can be a matter of not honoring the marriage commitment by giving in to temptations and all those things that can lead a spouse astray.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PM: I believe that those who have trusted Christ as their savior will spend eternity with God in heaven; and if they haven’t trusted Christ, then they will spend eternity separated from God in hell.