627 Genter Street, La Jolla
Membership: 100 (Attendance: 190)
Denomination: American Baptist
Pastor: Adam Stadtmiller
Born: San Diego
Formation: Point Loma Nazarene College, Point Loma; Azusa Pacific University, Azusa
Years Ordained: 20
San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
Adam Stadtmiller: Jesus’ whole purpose is to restore us to the love of the father. The world seems terminally ill in many ways right now and is missing the love of a father and importance of a father — we need intimacy with God as a father.
SDR: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PS: Human brokenness, especially the brokenness of hearts. Broken hearts lead to broken minds. I’ve seen the rise of fear, hopelessness, depression; these mental things arising in our culture come from the broken hearts. I think it’s a breakdown of family, of relationships in general, the divorce rate, and all those different things that cause a brokenness of heart.
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PS: In college, I went to a camp and the youth were asked if anyone wanted to dedicate their lives to full-time service and I knew in that moment that I wanted to do that for the rest of my life — I wanted to help people, share God’s love. I had been rescued pretty dramatically from the throes of addiction and I wanted to redeem that story. I love seeing people redeem their stories. Anybody can have a story, but it take’s God’s redemption to have a testimony.
SDR: What’s the mission of your church?
PS: It’s based a lot on who we’ve been. We want to reach into God’s anointing on this church over the past 100 years. Oftentimes you know yourself by your history. Our mission then is to reach out from a little church on the corner in La Jolla to the four corners of the Earth with God’s love and the message of salvation in the gospel.
SDR: You recently wrote a book — what is it about?
PS: Praying for Your Elephant (David C. Cook, 2014) is about approaching Jesus with bold and audacious prayer. It’s based on the fact that the Lord says more than a dozen times in the New Testament that we can ask anything in Christ’s name and it will be done unto you. It’s causing people to realize that their biggest prayers may be too small. So the book shows how people can go after game-changing prayer in their lives. It isn’t prayer to get what you want — but prayer that is the language of heaven and leads us to the love of the father. In writing the story of your life through the prayers you pray, you come to know God in a deeper way.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PS: I believe in a literal heaven and a literal hell and I believe there is only one way to go to the father. I believe what Jesus said — I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the father except through me. That is an absolute truth and I know that absolute truths aren’t very sexy today — but it’s still a truth I’m going to live and die for. Hell is a place not created for man. Jesus was sent to the cross so we would not have to suffer in hell. Hell is a choice. Jesus came to give us a different choice.