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Maybe we get to work alongside the Creator later on

Q&A with Hope United Methodist's pastor Brian Kent

Brian Kent: “I think there are some great surprises in store.”
Brian Kent: “I think there are some great surprises in store.”
Place

Hope United Methodist Church

16550 Bernardo Heights Parkway, San Diego

Hope United Methodist Church

Contact: 16550 Bernardo Heights Pkwy., Rancho Bernardo; 858-485-5840; hopeumc.com

Membership: 870

Pastor: Brian Kent

Age: 60

Born: Greeley, CO

Formation: Point Loma Nazarene University, Point Loma; Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley

Years Ordained: 32

San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

Pastor Brian Kent: The grace of God. Scripture says that the kindness of God leads to repentance. I find when we start with grace we can reach just about all of the different parts of scripture. It also gives people the power to be able to see themselves honestly if they know that grace is there to meet them.

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

PK: I have two main concerns. My whole calling in ministry is to help people to trust the Bible as an accurate record of what God has done through Christ. My immediate concern is that when we try to face different cultural issues, whichever is the most divisive at the moment, some people think that we therefore need to divide. I do not think we do — but we need to stay together to continue struggling with the issues.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PK: I felt called first to be a Bible translator, and then in the final half a year of seminary, I felt God was nudging in another direction and I tried it. I found out that God was trustworthy in the midst of this task, and as I gained security I realized that this is what I was called to do. After walking back to my dorm from my introduction to ministry class at Point Loma, it was not an audible voice, but a clear voice that said, “Brian, do you love me?” I said, “Yes.” The voice said, “Do you love me enough to trust me?” I said, “Well, not really, but okay….” About the last four or five months of seminary, I felt the nudging and realized that’s the direction God had been leading all along.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PK: To anchor ourselves in the center, in Christ. There are so many people involved in such a broad range of outreach service and missions. So, it’s that inward journey together to Jesus and then outward together to serve in very practical ways. Some of the outreach things we do together are feeding programs, clothing programs, and supplying local shelters. There are also annual service projects to do throughout the year. One thing is the Sierra Service Project, where about 35 people go to northeast Arizona to help people in improving their homes.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PK: I believe that heaven is real. I was responding to a question about hell the other day. I think that Jesus talks a lot about warning of eternal punishment. Most of our ideas of hell come from Dante’s Inferno and other popular literature, but I believe those who say yes to God in Christ, even a little bit of yes, are welcomed into heaven to be with God and in living fellowship with those who have gone before us. My imagination also says it’s not a place of rest only; I’m looking forward to find out what kind of creative work we get to do alongside the Creator. I think there are some great surprises in store.

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Brian Kent: “I think there are some great surprises in store.”
Brian Kent: “I think there are some great surprises in store.”
Place

Hope United Methodist Church

16550 Bernardo Heights Parkway, San Diego

Hope United Methodist Church

Contact: 16550 Bernardo Heights Pkwy., Rancho Bernardo; 858-485-5840; hopeumc.com

Membership: 870

Pastor: Brian Kent

Age: 60

Born: Greeley, CO

Formation: Point Loma Nazarene University, Point Loma; Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley

Years Ordained: 32

San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

Pastor Brian Kent: The grace of God. Scripture says that the kindness of God leads to repentance. I find when we start with grace we can reach just about all of the different parts of scripture. It also gives people the power to be able to see themselves honestly if they know that grace is there to meet them.

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

PK: I have two main concerns. My whole calling in ministry is to help people to trust the Bible as an accurate record of what God has done through Christ. My immediate concern is that when we try to face different cultural issues, whichever is the most divisive at the moment, some people think that we therefore need to divide. I do not think we do — but we need to stay together to continue struggling with the issues.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PK: I felt called first to be a Bible translator, and then in the final half a year of seminary, I felt God was nudging in another direction and I tried it. I found out that God was trustworthy in the midst of this task, and as I gained security I realized that this is what I was called to do. After walking back to my dorm from my introduction to ministry class at Point Loma, it was not an audible voice, but a clear voice that said, “Brian, do you love me?” I said, “Yes.” The voice said, “Do you love me enough to trust me?” I said, “Well, not really, but okay….” About the last four or five months of seminary, I felt the nudging and realized that’s the direction God had been leading all along.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PK: To anchor ourselves in the center, in Christ. There are so many people involved in such a broad range of outreach service and missions. So, it’s that inward journey together to Jesus and then outward together to serve in very practical ways. Some of the outreach things we do together are feeding programs, clothing programs, and supplying local shelters. There are also annual service projects to do throughout the year. One thing is the Sierra Service Project, where about 35 people go to northeast Arizona to help people in improving their homes.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PK: I believe that heaven is real. I was responding to a question about hell the other day. I think that Jesus talks a lot about warning of eternal punishment. Most of our ideas of hell come from Dante’s Inferno and other popular literature, but I believe those who say yes to God in Christ, even a little bit of yes, are welcomed into heaven to be with God and in living fellowship with those who have gone before us. My imagination also says it’s not a place of rest only; I’m looking forward to find out what kind of creative work we get to do alongside the Creator. I think there are some great surprises in store.

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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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