Harbor Presbyterian Church

Russ Kapusinski: “The gospel isn’t just the ABCs for the Christian, but the A-to-Z for living the Christian life.”
  • Russ Kapusinski: “The gospel isn’t just the ABCs for the Christian, but the A-to-Z for living the Christian life.”

Contact: 1055 Hunte Parkway, Chula Vista,

619-851-6465; harborchulavista.com

Membership: 80

Pastor: Russ Kapusinski

Born: Akron, Ohio

Formation: North Park University, Chicago,

Illinois; Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida

Ordained: 12 years

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

Pastor Russ Kapusinski: I usually spend about 10 to 15 hours a week. When I prepare the sermon, I take some time studying the text and then reflect or meditate on it. I find that the best form of meditation is to read through a text and get out a notebook — I have reams and reams of notebooks where I’ve done this — and pray for an outline to emerge. Then I’ll consult commentaries. In a lot of what I do for preparation, I’ll try to determine what questions I really want people to ask to interact with the gospel. Finally, I’ll take prayer walks and think and pray and go over the text I’m going to preach on in my mind.

SDR: What is it that concerns you as a member of the clergy?

PR: One of the things I’m concerned about is how the gospel in our day is kind of moving off center stage for people. Even in American Evangelicalism, folks have this view that the gospel is something you need only until you enter into a relation with Jesus Christ. We like to say that the gospel isn’t just the ABCs for the Christian, but the A-to-Z for living the Christian life. There’s such a drive in pastoral ministry toward success — driven by nickels and noses — how much and how many. I think we have to maintain the course of wanting to see masses of un-churched people coming to Christ, but we also have to be careful in our day to found the church on the truth of God’s word and integrity of the gospel.

SDR: What is the most prevalent sin you observe or hear about from your congregation?

PR: I think it’s more the temptations of the world than anything. Everybody struggles with it in their hearts. I think it’s a combination of things. We’re all distracted with the good things of this world — and especially here in east Chula Vista, where we tend to be a little wealthier. We don’t have our hearts set on the best things. There’s a lot of materialism out here. And, talking about the gospel, the problem is generally that we all get back to an underlying idolatry for comfort and security. These idols are huge for us culturally, here in North America, but especially where we are on the edge of suburbs in a little wealthier community.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PR: Our ultimate destiny is the new heaven and new earth, but until the Final Judgment, the Bible teaches that we go to an intermediate state — which we stay in prior to the return of Christ at the Resurrection. Those who trusted in Jesus Christ go to be with the Lord and will be given a new body of [a] sort similar to the resurrected body of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures seem pretty clear, too, that there is a place of Judgment — what is typically called hell. The Bible teaches that there is a Judgment and…those who don’t embrace Jesus Christ as the only way to Salvation will still have to stand up to scrutiny on the final day.

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