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I was popular in school and played sports, but I felt so isolated

The Pentecostal Church is experiential much more than analytical

Marc Stevenson and family. "Those who have not given themselves to God will be lost."
Marc Stevenson and family. "Those who have not given themselves to God will be lost."
Place

Life Church

1448 Peach Avenue, El Cajon

Denomination: Pentecostal

Membership: 400

Pastor: Marc Stevenson

Age: 45

Born: Anaheim

Formation: Christian Life College, Stockton; Urshan Seminary, St. Louis, MO.

Years Ordained: 15

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

Pastor Marc Stevenson: Our founding pastor who I assumed the pastorate from — I asked him that same question. How long does it take to put a sermon together? He said, “Oh, about 30 years.” So, you take all your studies with you into preparing a sermon. But for specific preparation time, I usually prepare [for] at least a dozen hours per sermon.

SDR: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

PS: The salvation message of the gospels. Repentance, baptism, the work of the Holy Ghost, the plan of salvation, all of these are part of the same gospel message. The great commission is to preach the gospels.

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

PS: How do we transfer the truth and the love for the gospel to the next generation? One of the challenges of Christianity is that, if we allow it to, the faith can become something played out only in church. It becomes a religion of the church and not of the home. It needs to be both. The clear directive answer for these things is to teach Christianity as a faith of the home as well…. It’s easy for people to get busy and rely on a couple hours a week to attend a service — and that’s what Christianity is for many people. But the faith has to be cultivated in the home environment as well. When we make the faith our priority in the home, more of our kids will grow up with their faith as part of their home life and not just something they visit once a week.

SDR: Why Pentecostal?

PS: My grandfather Berl Stevenson was a Pentecostal pastor and the founder of Life Church, so the Pentecostal expression of the faith was what I was most exposed to. I’ve always felt the powerful presence of God in the Pentecostal Church and services. The Pentecostal Church is experiential in nature, much more than an analytical experience. There is an experience of worship and a connection that fits me.

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

PS: Before I began living for God, when I was a high school senior, I had a lot of friends, I was popular in school and played sports, but I felt so isolated and alone and out of place. It was in such a moment that I could sense that God was telling me there was a different path for me. It didn’t have anything to do with judgment and my friends were good friends, but I felt it was a time for a change.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PS: There are two paths, the Bible is clear in its teaching. The Lord said, “If you are going to be with me, there is a process of faith and belief.” You have to have given your life to the Lord to make heaven your home. In a raw sense, we believe in heaven and hell. We believe that for the righteous, those who have given [themselves] to a relationship with God, God has prepared a place with him; and we believe that those who have not given themselves to God will be lost.

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Marc Stevenson and family. "Those who have not given themselves to God will be lost."
Marc Stevenson and family. "Those who have not given themselves to God will be lost."
Place

Life Church

1448 Peach Avenue, El Cajon

Denomination: Pentecostal

Membership: 400

Pastor: Marc Stevenson

Age: 45

Born: Anaheim

Formation: Christian Life College, Stockton; Urshan Seminary, St. Louis, MO.

Years Ordained: 15

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

Pastor Marc Stevenson: Our founding pastor who I assumed the pastorate from — I asked him that same question. How long does it take to put a sermon together? He said, “Oh, about 30 years.” So, you take all your studies with you into preparing a sermon. But for specific preparation time, I usually prepare [for] at least a dozen hours per sermon.

SDR: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

PS: The salvation message of the gospels. Repentance, baptism, the work of the Holy Ghost, the plan of salvation, all of these are part of the same gospel message. The great commission is to preach the gospels.

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

PS: How do we transfer the truth and the love for the gospel to the next generation? One of the challenges of Christianity is that, if we allow it to, the faith can become something played out only in church. It becomes a religion of the church and not of the home. It needs to be both. The clear directive answer for these things is to teach Christianity as a faith of the home as well…. It’s easy for people to get busy and rely on a couple hours a week to attend a service — and that’s what Christianity is for many people. But the faith has to be cultivated in the home environment as well. When we make the faith our priority in the home, more of our kids will grow up with their faith as part of their home life and not just something they visit once a week.

SDR: Why Pentecostal?

PS: My grandfather Berl Stevenson was a Pentecostal pastor and the founder of Life Church, so the Pentecostal expression of the faith was what I was most exposed to. I’ve always felt the powerful presence of God in the Pentecostal Church and services. The Pentecostal Church is experiential in nature, much more than an analytical experience. There is an experience of worship and a connection that fits me.

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

PS: Before I began living for God, when I was a high school senior, I had a lot of friends, I was popular in school and played sports, but I felt so isolated and alone and out of place. It was in such a moment that I could sense that God was telling me there was a different path for me. It didn’t have anything to do with judgment and my friends were good friends, but I felt it was a time for a change.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PS: There are two paths, the Bible is clear in its teaching. The Lord said, “If you are going to be with me, there is a process of faith and belief.” You have to have given your life to the Lord to make heaven your home. In a raw sense, we believe in heaven and hell. We believe that for the righteous, those who have given [themselves] to a relationship with God, God has prepared a place with him; and we believe that those who have not given themselves to God will be lost.

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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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