31552 Old River Road, Bonsall
Pastor: Jeff Apsley
Born: Batesville, Indiana
Formation: Baptist Bible College, San Dimas (Now Springfield, MO); Moody Bible Institute, Chicago; Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada
Years Ordained: 37
San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?
Pastor Jeff Apsley: I primarily preach verse by verse through the scriptures. I’ve been at the church 16 years now in May. A year ago, in August, I finished the last sermon in Revelations, so it took 15 years to preach all the way through the Bible. Now we’ve started over with Genesis and Exodus, and the gospel of Matthew. I typically have four or five sermons I’m working on at the same time – and each takes five to 10 hours of preparation per one hour of preaching.
SDR: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
PA: The majesty of God seems to be the foundation of belief. If we understand the majesty of God, then we’re beginning to understand who he is. When we understand who he is, we understand a little more about who we are in relation to him. At that point everything falls into place. He’s majestic and I owe him worship.
SDR: Why did you become a minster?
PA: I love what I do. I fought God for a long time, but I felt drawn to ministry. There was a general sense that I needed to step up. I wanted to be behind the scenes —run sound, as it were, and be behind stage — but God kept driving me up front. There was one time specifically when I heard the call. I was staying at a pastor’s house in Ohio. He got up every morning and I watched him pray and weep for his people. He had a huge heart. I watched him when no one else saw him, before breakfast. He wasn’t in the limelight but he had a pastor’s heart. That spoke to me.
SDR: What is your church’s mission?
PA: The mission of our church is to grow Christians, to create a safe environment where Christians can come and be fed, to be trained to mature in Christ and to reach out into the community to others. The main mission of the church is to grow Christians, and evangelism is a by-product of that growth. For outreach, we have Operation Christmas Child, sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse. We’re a fairly small congregation, but we pack a couple hundred shoe boxes, which are processed by Samaritan’s Purse and sent all over the world to be presented to a child who doesn’t have anything for Christmas. Last year, our boxes went to the Philippines and Columbia.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PA: The body dies and we take care of that by either cremation or burial, but the soul keeps living on. The Bible tells us there will be, in the future, a resurrection, where everyone is brought to be judged by God for the things they’ve done. I believe that spiritual death is the definition of hell – a separation from God. To be alive and spend time with God for eternity is heaven. Just as being reunited with our bodies brings life, so being with God brings life. I do believe there is an afterlife and that God loves us very much and wants us to be there with him.