Canyon Springs Church
- Contact: 9700 Avenue of Nations, San Diego 858-746-9775 www.canyonsprings.org
- Membership: 500
- Pastor: Jack Hawkins
- Neighborhood: Scripps Ranch
- Age: 57
- Born: Newport Beach
- Formation: Biola University, Talbot School of Theology-Biola University, La Mirada
- Years Ordained: 30
- San Diego Reader: What’s the mission of your church?
Pastor Jack Hawkins: It’s four words: “It’s about the One.” I’ll unpack it a little bit. I don’t believe you’ll find peace or purpose until you’re in a relationship with the One, who is Jesus Christ. Once you’re in that relationship, you need to be connected with other Ones to grow. But then it’s not done— it’s about the next Ones. Once you’re in this relationship with the One, he wants you to come and grow and reach the next One, who might be your neighbor, other soccer moms or a person in Haiti. One way we as a church have tried to make a difference in people’s lives is through a weekly podcast we started several weeks back called “10 Steps Further.” People always are asking questions about their faith such as “How do I pray?” or “How do I read the Bible?” We did these ten podcasts to help people in their faith. One-hundred-and-fifty podcasts and three years later, we’re still doing it. We’re in 50 countries with a few thousand listeners a month.
SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?
PH: I’m at home, it’s a Sunday afternoon, and I just gave two messages at church. My daughter comes in to tell me there’s someone out in front of the house who wants to talk to me. It was a mom and her teenage son, and they’re in their car. I know them, and I greet them. “My son and I were sitting in our house,” the mom says. “He said to me, ‘I want to give my life to Jesus.’ So I said, ‘Let’s see what Pastor Jack’s doing.’” They never got out of the car, but for the next five minutes I was able to talk to this young man about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and he made the decision to follow Christ with his life, right there in the car. So I jokingly tell my congregation that we provide drive-thru. It was one of those moments where I realized, “Wow, I couldn’t have orchestrated this.”
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PH: I believe that when we die, God has prepared a place for us – heaven. The best image I can give you of heaven is the earth put right – the earth without smog, without natural disasters. Our bodies are also put right. We were never intended to age, and yet I’m 57 and I get less beautiful every year. That’s what I believe heaven will look like – everything put right. And my view of hell is this: there are people throughout the world who are racing away from God. They don’t want anything to do with him. They’ve heard about him but want nothing to do with him. Hell will be giving them what they have always wanted – a world without God. The Bible describes that place as fire, and my understanding is that the best description of hell is fire because a fire that can never burn out is never satisfied. We have all these burnings inside ourselves; we want relationships, connection, peace. The way to find those is in this relationship with God, but hell is that place where you have all these desires but they’re never fully satisfied.