Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

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

Church for those who got burnt out or burned

Riverview Community Church meets in an old bar

Pastor Todd Tolson
Pastor Todd Tolson

Riverview Community Church

Place

Riverview Community Church

8861 North Magnolia Avenue, Santee

  • Membership: 600
  • Pastor: Todd Tolson
  • Age: 40
  • Born: Waukegan, IL
  • Formation: Christian Heritage College, Santee (previously San Diego Christian, El Cajon)
  • Years Ordained: 16

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

Sponsored
Sponsored

Pastor Todd Tolson: I probably spend 10 to 12 hours a week preparing. Right now we’re in a series called “Jesus and the Griswolds,” loosely based on one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time. We’re going through the family tree of Jesus in Matthew 1, and doing a character profile on each of the major characters in the family tree. The vast majority of people in Santee are either unchurched or de-churched, meaning they used to be super involved at one time but got burnt out or got burned, and haven’t attended church for decades.

SDR: What is Riverview doing to attract the “unchurched”?

PT: One of the things unique about Riverview is that we meet in an old bar. The bar is a landmark to the people in East County. We meet in what used to be Mulvaney’s Wagon Wheel, where I learned how to line-dance in high school. We have an old marquee sign out front which came with the building where we will put up a three-by-ten banner of whatever the teaching series is at the time. We’ll also put on the banner our service times and our motto — “We’re a church for people who don’t like church.” We get 25,000 cars a day that drive by the marquee and many people every weekend will come to Riverview for the first time because they saw the sign.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PT: We want to help other people know Jesus personally, to grow in biblical community, and to go and live generously. “Know, grow and go.” We try to keep it simple.

SDR: Where’s the strangest place you’ve found God?

PT: I was 19 and I was in a truck with a mentor of mine. We were driving across the Coronado bridge. He relayed to me that there had been a jumper on the bridge earlier that day. It was a strange experience, not being able to help. I had the symptoms of a panic attack — I had tunnel vision and I couldn’t breathe. It was the first time I had ever felt a holy fury over someone else’s life and their eternity. It’s one thing to lose your life. Everyone is going to die at some point — but losing out on eternity with God is another thing. I thought, Doesn’t that guy know — if he jumps…? Well, sign on the dotted line. You don’t come back from that. My mentor calmed me down by letting me know the guy didn’t actually jump. But it was a pivotal moment: I had a God experience in the middle of the Coronado bridge.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PT: Jesus described a geographic location of hell 14 different ways in the gospels, and he described heaven twice. That either means heaven is going to be so great that he wanted to keep it a surprise, or hell is so bad that he would describe it in excruciating detail in multiple ways to keep us from going there. Hell is eternal separation from God, but I think it’s more than that. It’s an actual location where people who do not surrender the leadership of their life over to Jesus go when they die.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Oceanside – finally hip

Fewer young Marines, gangs not the same, property expensive
Pastor Todd Tolson
Pastor Todd Tolson

Riverview Community Church

Place

Riverview Community Church

8861 North Magnolia Avenue, Santee

  • Membership: 600
  • Pastor: Todd Tolson
  • Age: 40
  • Born: Waukegan, IL
  • Formation: Christian Heritage College, Santee (previously San Diego Christian, El Cajon)
  • Years Ordained: 16

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

Sponsored
Sponsored

Pastor Todd Tolson: I probably spend 10 to 12 hours a week preparing. Right now we’re in a series called “Jesus and the Griswolds,” loosely based on one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time. We’re going through the family tree of Jesus in Matthew 1, and doing a character profile on each of the major characters in the family tree. The vast majority of people in Santee are either unchurched or de-churched, meaning they used to be super involved at one time but got burnt out or got burned, and haven’t attended church for decades.

SDR: What is Riverview doing to attract the “unchurched”?

PT: One of the things unique about Riverview is that we meet in an old bar. The bar is a landmark to the people in East County. We meet in what used to be Mulvaney’s Wagon Wheel, where I learned how to line-dance in high school. We have an old marquee sign out front which came with the building where we will put up a three-by-ten banner of whatever the teaching series is at the time. We’ll also put on the banner our service times and our motto — “We’re a church for people who don’t like church.” We get 25,000 cars a day that drive by the marquee and many people every weekend will come to Riverview for the first time because they saw the sign.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PT: We want to help other people know Jesus personally, to grow in biblical community, and to go and live generously. “Know, grow and go.” We try to keep it simple.

SDR: Where’s the strangest place you’ve found God?

PT: I was 19 and I was in a truck with a mentor of mine. We were driving across the Coronado bridge. He relayed to me that there had been a jumper on the bridge earlier that day. It was a strange experience, not being able to help. I had the symptoms of a panic attack — I had tunnel vision and I couldn’t breathe. It was the first time I had ever felt a holy fury over someone else’s life and their eternity. It’s one thing to lose your life. Everyone is going to die at some point — but losing out on eternity with God is another thing. I thought, Doesn’t that guy know — if he jumps…? Well, sign on the dotted line. You don’t come back from that. My mentor calmed me down by letting me know the guy didn’t actually jump. But it was a pivotal moment: I had a God experience in the middle of the Coronado bridge.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PT: Jesus described a geographic location of hell 14 different ways in the gospels, and he described heaven twice. That either means heaven is going to be so great that he wanted to keep it a surprise, or hell is so bad that he would describe it in excruciating detail in multiple ways to keep us from going there. Hell is eternal separation from God, but I think it’s more than that. It’s an actual location where people who do not surrender the leadership of their life over to Jesus go when they die.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Executive Consultant Kevin Modany Details 4 Management Consulting Industry Challenges (and Strategies for Resolving Them)

Next Article

What is it about the 35 bus?

It carries the OB vibe with it
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.