Tim Poldrugo with his wife Carol: “I hear people say, ‘I can worship God anywhere — in the car or at the beach, wherever.’ But that’s not what the Bible says.”
107 South Clementine Street, Oceanside
Pastor: Tim Poldrugo
Born: Gary, Indiana (raised in Los Angeles)
Formation: Hope International University (Pacific Christian College), Fullerton, CA
Years Ordained: 26
San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?
Pastor Tim Poldrugo: Usually 28 to 30 hours a week, and that’s with stopping and starting. I do most of my sermonizing after my wife goes to bed at night. At 9 o’clock I come over to my office; that way I’m not interrupted by phone calls or anything.
SDR: What is your favorite topic to sermonize about?
PT: I enjoy talking about the love of God….When I found the Lord and became a Christian, I realized that we serve a loving God; He’s a just God, but a loving God first and foremost. So rather than beat people to death with the possibility of Hell, I’d rather preach to people about how much God loves them and the opportunity to spend eternity with Him.
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PT: In this day and age, there is probably a falling away from the church; people feel they don’t need it anymore…. I always tell people that whatever’s first place in your life — that’s your god. When I see people missing church an awful lot and ask them why — they say, “Well, we’re going to Disneyland this week” or “I need to take the family here or take the family there.” I also hear people say, “I can worship God anywhere — in the car or at the beach, wherever.” But that’s not what the Bible says — “Forsake not the assembling together of the believers, as many are in the fashion of doing” (Hebrews 10:25).
SDR: What is the most prevalent sin you observe or hear about from your congregants?
PT: Until the merger [between Del Oro Community Church and Oceanside earlier this year], I pastored a very senior congregation. In fact, I used to tell people that our youth group is in their 70s. We have two retirement homes here on the same property as the church. With the elderly, they often revert back to their childhood. So the biggest thing is probably gossiping, backbiting, and bickering. That’s probably what I see the most — you’re not going to hear about much adultery and things like that.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PT: Oceanside’s mission will change now that we have younger people [after the merger], but primarily the mission of Oceanside is to reach out to people who are lost.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PT: That’s a question I ask people all the time. “Do you know where you’re going to go when you die?” I firmly believe that if you are saved, if you accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you will go to Heaven and spend eternity with the Lord. If you have not accepted Him, then you will go to Hell. It’s that cut and dry. I don’t mince words whether I’m preaching or talking to people. The Bible says there’s only one way. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). I believe that and I preach that.