New Hope Church
Contact: 10330 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego 858-538-0888 www.newhopechurch.com
Lead Pastor: Eric Pfeiffer
Operations Director: Kandi Pfeiffer
Born: Los Alamitos
Formation: Westmont College, Santa Barbara; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena
Years Ordained: 16
San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Eric Pfeiffer: Christian leadership. The heart of God is to help people live effectively and by way of his design. The way he designed humans to operate is from a position of self-awareness and security that promotes an increasing ability of being aware of other people and being able to serve or lead the people around us, in our marriages, our friendships, our children, our coworkers, or in the neighborhood.
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PP: I became a Christian at 24 years old here in La Jolla…. A couple years later, I attended my first church, encouraged by others to do it, and quickly entered into a love-hate relationship with that church. You have to love the church, because it’s the family of God; on the other hand, there was a lot of crazy dysfunction and brokenness. It was at that point I heard the Lord say, “Well, whether you like it or not, this is my family, and I’m asking you to spend the majority of your time helping my family get healthy and operate in a way that compels people to see how good God really is.”
SDR: What’s the mission of your church?
PP: The mission of our church is to empower people to live the life that God has created them for. Our core focus is on making disciples and we believe that when Jesus made disciples he was training them in how to operate out of what I said earlier, a significant degree of emotional maturity. We’re not interested in being a church that does church really well; we want to be a church that trains and equips people to operate very well in every domain of their life.
SDR: Where’s strangest place you found God?
PP: We know God is holy and righteous and the Bible teaches about how he cannot tolerate sin, but the place I find God, and find him graciously and compassionately present to me, is in the midst of my folly. It always catches me off guard a little bit. “What are you doing here, God? You should be with the good people. Why are you here in the midst of my junk?”
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PP: I do believe in what the Bible teaches about the afterlife, which broadly means I believe that God is in the process of saving us as human beings to live in eternity with him, and I think that most of us will be surprised to find out that we’re not going to get our big mansion, our four Ferraris, our private golf course and big pool. But I do imagine that heaven will be terribly much like earth today. We will continue learning how, and growing into this beautiful relationship and partnership that God created us for in the Garden of Eden…. The people who have no interest in God and being around God – if that’s what they want, to get away from God, maybe that’s what they’re going to get. Those who are really seeking and running hard after God will be with God. So heaven is being with God, and hell is being away from God; that’s as much detail as I can provide.