Gary Musser: “My concern for the church in America is that it is a mile wide and about two inches deep.”
14058 Jamul Drive, Jamul, CA
- Membership: 500
- Pastor: Gary Musser
- Age: 60
- Born: Riverside
- Formation: California Baptist College (University), Riverside; Biola University-Talbot Seminary, La Mirada; Bethel Seminary, San Diego
- Years Ordained: 35 years
San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermons?
Pastor Gary Musser: I typically spend anywhere from 14 to 20 hours, somewhere in there. Sometimes less. Jamul Community Church is committed to expository preaching. We’ll do topical preaching occasionally throughout the year, but for the most part we teach book by book through the Bible. One of our core values is that we’re teaching God’s Word instead of hitting topics. What forms and transforms us is God’s Word.
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PG: My concern for the church in America is that it is a mile wide and about two inches deep. It’s shallow. People profess a faith in Christ, yet many who do hardly know anything about who this Jesus is that they profess to follow. They don’t even know some of the basic beliefs of Christianity. The only way you can know your faith is by studying God’s word, which needs to be lifted up and held high, and that’s not always the case.
SDR: What is the most prevalent sin you observe or hear about from your congregants?
PG: Materialism is a tough one. We’re just inundated with it. The message we get day in and day out is that it’s all about buying things. Isn’t that how our country works? You create a need and you fill the need, and so we’re all about what we think we need in terms of material things, while we ignore the most important need —our relationship with God. SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PG: I felt the calling when I was in college. I had this growing burden for my generation and younger. I saw God do a work in my life and transform me. I grew up in church and I grew up going to church. But there’s going to church and there’s knowing Christ. You can do one without the other. So, later I had an experience recognizing God’s presence, power, and His love for me. I saw other lives that were changed and was drawn to that.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PG: We have three words that we use — know, love, and serve. That’s what we believe is our mission. Once you know who God is, you will love Him, and once you love Him, you will desire to serve Him. We also have a call to know each other.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PG: Those who put their faith in Christ, He gives a promise to. In John 11:25, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.” This is His promise of eternal life in Heaven.
SDR: Is there a Hell?
PG: If you don’t do that, you will ultimately meet your maker, and what happens to you is between you and him. Scripture is really clear about there being a Hell. So if Jesus talks about it, I talk about it.