A lot of people who assume they’re going to heaven are not

Pastor Jared Osselaer knows religious stuff.

Jared Osselaer
  • Jared Osselaer

Generation Church

1106 Whaley Street, Oceanside

Generation Church

  • Contact: 1106 Whaley St., Oceanside; 760-439-8411; gotogeneration.com
  • Membership: 110
  • Pastor: Jared Osselaer
  • Age: 41
  • Born: Tacoma, WA
  • Formation: U.S. Navy (bodyguard for Navy chaplains), Golden Gate University-Gateway Seminary (attending)
  • Years Ordained: 4

San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

Pastor Jared Osselaer: Trying to explain how Jesus is grace and the focus of the gospel message. For the hope we have in Jesus is such an incredibly important message and matters to all of us. Each sermon has to be about him.

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

PO: Churches — all churches including my own — have done a pretty poor job of trying to legislate morality and tell people what they should do without acting on it ourselves. Christians need to be better listeners; we need to listen before we speak. We also need to show Jesus’s love instead of talking about why people should act like Jesus.

SDR: How did the Navy prepare you for ministry?

PO: I grew up in an uber religious home and left for the Navy when I was 17 or 18. I wasn’t sure that was what I wanted to do, but I ended up with this great opportunity to serve as a bodyguard for the chaplain. I thought, Well, I know religious stuff. I can be around that. I get to carry a gun and protect the chaplain and get paid for it. That’s cool.… I spent eight years with all kinds of chaplains. I served with rabbis, all kinds of secular and order priests, and the vast amount of ministers in Protestant denominations. So I got a chance to ask these guys a lot of questions about why they believe what they believe, and I began to formulate why I believe what I believe. I also spent time in different staff positions at different churches and each made me study, read, and research. So I had an unusual way to my formation through all those experiences.

SDR: How did you become a minister?

PO: When I was a young boy, I thought the Lord was asking me to serve him for the rest of my life…. Then, when I was a chaplain’s assistant in the Navy, my first chaplain was a pretty poor example of leadership. I saw how many guys were questioning and the chaplain I worked for didn’t care to give them answers. These were people who were literally asking. So it made me begin to ask how I would ask these questions. That’s when that childhood calling came back — I’m supposed to help people understand God in a way that makes sense. The more I did that, the more I felt I was the person I was supposed to be.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PO: To lead communities into healthy relationships with Jesus and with each other. In other words, our mission reflects the two great commandments of loving God and loving our neighbors.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PO: For those who have loved and followed Jesus, we go to heaven. I believe in a literal heaven and a literal hell. I think we’ll be just as surprised by who is not in heaven as we will be by who is in heaven. A lot of people who assume they’re going to heaven are not, and a lot of people who assume they’re not, will be in heaven. It comes down to whether you know and have a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.

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