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El Cajon Wesleyan Church

Steve Forsythe
Steve Forsythe
Place

El Cajon Wesleyan Church

1500 East Lexington Avenue, El Cajon




Membership: 300 (and 130 Chaldean)

Pastor: Steve Forsythe

Age: 51

Born: Cape May, NJ

Formation: New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, NJ; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena

Years Ordained: 26

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

Pastor Steve Forsythe: About 10 to 20 hours. Way before the sermons are written, I make sure to take time to pray and focus on some of the needs within the church, the things people are struggling with and dealing with. The second thing I do is a study of a book of the Bible. Right now, for instance, I am studying the seven churches in Revelations 2-3. The idea behind it is that Jesus gives a review of those seven churches, which represent churches collectively and also individual Christians. So, as Christians are sitting in the pew, they’re asking two basic questions — which of the seven churches best reflects what we are as a church? Secondly, which church would we say best reflects ourselves? Then, we determine how to respond to Jesus.

SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?

PS: I would say the bigger picture right now is that we are trying to find a way to connect with a culture right now that is turned off by institutional church. They love Jesus, but they don’t really get a warm fuzzy feeling about the church. We have a cultural mindset which shies away from institutional church. So that means people don’t mind helping others, following Christ, but they don’t want to get involved with the institution.

SDR: Which of the Ten Commandments does your congregation have the hardest time keeping?

PS: Collectively and generally speaking, a constant struggle for all of us is having no other gods, because it’s a contest between prioritizing the things of God and the other things in our lives. Oftentimes, the other things win.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PS: Get God. Share life. Give back. We want to make sure that you find a way to get God, and you do that through faith in Christ; we know that you can’t walk the journey alone, so you’re going to have to share it with others; and we know we have to bring Christ into the community and the world.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PS: I believe I go to heaven. Now, whether there’s a way to get to heaven if you’re not Christian, there’s a couple of things to say. It should be a black and white thing, that Christ is the only way…. But some scholar will ask about that guy living out there on an island who never heard of Christ — does God send him to hell just because he never heard? What I do believe is that for those who have heard Christ and rejected him, they will not go to heaven. For those who have not heard of Christ and have not had an opportunity to receive him, I believe God will judge the contents of their hearts, and that’s not my call. I do very much believe in a heaven and a hell. But hell, which we usually define by fire and brimstone, is in its simplest form a place where the loving presence of God is absent.

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Steve Forsythe
Steve Forsythe
Place

El Cajon Wesleyan Church

1500 East Lexington Avenue, El Cajon




Membership: 300 (and 130 Chaldean)

Pastor: Steve Forsythe

Age: 51

Born: Cape May, NJ

Formation: New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, NJ; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena

Years Ordained: 26

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

Pastor Steve Forsythe: About 10 to 20 hours. Way before the sermons are written, I make sure to take time to pray and focus on some of the needs within the church, the things people are struggling with and dealing with. The second thing I do is a study of a book of the Bible. Right now, for instance, I am studying the seven churches in Revelations 2-3. The idea behind it is that Jesus gives a review of those seven churches, which represent churches collectively and also individual Christians. So, as Christians are sitting in the pew, they’re asking two basic questions — which of the seven churches best reflects what we are as a church? Secondly, which church would we say best reflects ourselves? Then, we determine how to respond to Jesus.

SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?

PS: I would say the bigger picture right now is that we are trying to find a way to connect with a culture right now that is turned off by institutional church. They love Jesus, but they don’t really get a warm fuzzy feeling about the church. We have a cultural mindset which shies away from institutional church. So that means people don’t mind helping others, following Christ, but they don’t want to get involved with the institution.

SDR: Which of the Ten Commandments does your congregation have the hardest time keeping?

PS: Collectively and generally speaking, a constant struggle for all of us is having no other gods, because it’s a contest between prioritizing the things of God and the other things in our lives. Oftentimes, the other things win.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PS: Get God. Share life. Give back. We want to make sure that you find a way to get God, and you do that through faith in Christ; we know that you can’t walk the journey alone, so you’re going to have to share it with others; and we know we have to bring Christ into the community and the world.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PS: I believe I go to heaven. Now, whether there’s a way to get to heaven if you’re not Christian, there’s a couple of things to say. It should be a black and white thing, that Christ is the only way…. But some scholar will ask about that guy living out there on an island who never heard of Christ — does God send him to hell just because he never heard? What I do believe is that for those who have heard Christ and rejected him, they will not go to heaven. For those who have not heard of Christ and have not had an opportunity to receive him, I believe God will judge the contents of their hearts, and that’s not my call. I do very much believe in a heaven and a hell. But hell, which we usually define by fire and brimstone, is in its simplest form a place where the loving presence of God is absent.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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