10695 Treena Street #101, San Diego
Pastor: Steve Brown
Born: Dayton, Ohio
Formation: Phoenix Seminary, AZ
Years Ordained: 8
San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Steve Brown: The most important thing to me is that others understand the Gospel message that we’re saved by faith alone and Christ alone through grace. Once they understand that, then I’m rabidly committed to discipleship.
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PB: Biblical illiteracy is my main concern. We do not teach the congregation or average Christian to read and interpret Scripture with the author’s intended meaning so we end up with a whole lot of pastors’ meanings instead of going after what the author intended. That’s why we have to have good hermeneutics — and that word is important. It’s self-policing, so we don’t develop our theology or create religion man-style, but allow the Bible to create our theology where it uses the totality of Scripture.
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PB: It wasn’t my choice — but it was a gift and a calling. I had a passion and burden to help others to come to know Jesus and grow in their relationship with him.
SDR: What’s the mission of your church?
PB: The mission of our church is short and sweet — we say that the great commission and a great commitment govern everything we do. We express living out the love of Jesus for all people so we can be a living witness to non-believers and that we can be a hospital for those who have experienced legalism and find they have been in a very judgmental environment.
SDR: You mention that after three months of dialogue and “courting the Holy Spirit,” you recently took up Torrey Pines Christian Church’s invitation to share their campus. What change has your church’s mission undergone since the move?
“We don’t develop our theology or create religion man-style,” says pastor Steve Brown (with his wife Linda).
PB: As we have always focused on reaching the lost and unchurched, that led us to seek out other pastors who are like-minded and willing to drop those invisible walls and say that “these are my people.” In reality, none of the people in a local church belong to us but to Jesus. When we can understand that and trust the Holy Spirit, it creates a lot of freedom for churches to work together.… It’s fun to be outside the box, work together with other churches and not try to do everything yourself. We came to a point where both churches were able to trust that this was a “God thing.” We hope this is a testimony to the Christian community but also to the non-Christian community who often sees the Christian churches as islands unto themselves.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PB: One of two places — heaven or hell. The amazing thing about God is that we don’t deserve heaven and he has given us the free gift of eternal life and given each of us the ability to choose where we want to spend eternal life. In other words, God doesn’t make that choice for us, but we get to choose whether we want to receive that gift of eternal life through the forgiveness that Jesus offers by his substitutionary death on the cross. If we choose to reject God’s plan of salvation for us, then we will get exactly what we want — which is separation from God for eternity.