16150 4S Ranch Parkway, Rancho Bernardo
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Pastor: Jeff Langley
Born: San Diego
Formation: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Forth Worth, Texas; Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, San Francisco
Years Ordained: 10
San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?
Pastor Jeff Langley: Probably between 18 and 22 hours, roughly. I definitely stick as close as I can to scripture…but I try to take a passage of scripture each Sunday and try to help people understand why that matters now – why what happened 2000 years ago does make a difference in our lives in San Diego in 2012.
SDR: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?
PL: My whole mission in preaching is to help people learn to love God, love each other and take that love and share it with someone else. To do that, I believe it’s all about preaching Jesus.
SDR: Why Southern Baptist?
PL: The key thing that drew me to Southern Baptist was that they have a really high view of scripture. I believe the Bible is infallible and 100 percent true and written just the way God intended it to be written. The Southern Baptists hold that highly. They also have a commitment to mission and a commitment to caring for their missionaries abroad.
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
JL: My main concern in San Diego is ambivalence. I see so many people who say, “Oh, I like Jesus!” or “I believe in Jesus!” …but when I look at scripture and see what God intended for the Church, he intended the Church to go through life together and people have this idea of independent Christianity where they don’t have to associate with anyone else, and that’s contrary to what scripture says about what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
SDR: Why “Cloudbreak”?
PL: I’m a surfer and have been for most of my life. As many surfers know, “Cloudbreak” is the name of a famous wave off the island of Fiji. We called the church Cloudbreak because…we wanted something to capture the imagination. So, there’s a big world out there and a lot of things to see. God has a lot in store for us, and if you see a picture of that wave, it’s quite a sight. The “Cloudbreak” breaks out about a mile out to sea, and when you see it from the land, you can’t see the wave, but when it breaks, it breaks so big it looks like there’s a cloud on the horizon.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PL: God created us to be beings that live forever. We die in bodily form but we are created to go on. The question people always ask me is, “Does God send people to hell?” My answer is, “No, people send themselves to wherever they decide to go.” So, I believe there’s a heaven and there’s a hell, but God calls us to himself — he ultimately gives us the ability to choose for Him or against Him. And if we choose against Him, He’ll honor that. He’s not looking for people to follow Him like clones but to freely choose Him because we love Him.