Like getting to the center of a jelly-filled donut

“When I said, ‘Yes,’ it became a journey of understanding and discovery”

Tim Fillmore
  • Tim Fillmore

Parkway Hills Church

Contact: 1227 Eastlake Parkway, Chula Vista 619-656-3697 www.phnaz.com

Membership: 150

Pastor: Tim Fillmore  

Age: 57

Born: Placerville

Formation: Nazarene Bible College, Colorado Springs, CO; Point Loma Nazarene University

Years Ordained: 19

San Diego Reader: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?

Pastor Tim Fillmore: There’s a real lack of spiritual development and discipleship inside the church. If Christians were growing and were properly being made disciples, the church would have a greater impact on those who weren’t inside the church, and therefore the church would become more available and (I use this word cautiously) attractive. It’s not about the church being attractive in the sense that we have a nice façade, a nice waterfall, a great band and light show; it’s who God is in us through Christ that makes it attractive. My concern is, you could call it, spiritual illiteracy.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PF: God calls you and you can say no. I tried for a while. I was in business at the time I heard the call, and I sunk down four absolutes to God: “I won’t leave the business I own – the house that I built – the town I live in – and the church I am serving in. Otherwise, you can use me anyway you want.” It was a kind of challenge to God; I shook my fist in his face, and he figuratively said, “I’ll take you on in that challenge.” And one at a time, I sold my business, left my house, left my church, and found myself leaving the town I’d grown up in. At that point, I was 0 for 4 and said, “OK, God you win. What do you want me to do?” …When I said, “Yes,” it became a journey of understanding and discovery, and following God’s will. When you walk in the nucleus of God’s will, there you find God’s blessing and discern his will. That becomes a gigantic “A-ha!” moment. It’s like getting to the center of a jelly-filled donut.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PF: The mission of our church is to passionately reach, teach, restore and celebrate life in God’s family. We do have outreach to families here. We’re across the street from a high school, and next door to an elementary school, with apartment complexes around us. Within the distance a decent hit of a nine-iron can cover, there’s 3,000, students, another 800 students, 400 families, and another 400 families. The mission field can go all the way to Haiti, Puerto Rico, or you name it, but it’s also right next door. We want to be both local and global in our outreach by meeting the needs: whether literal needs, such as food or shelter, or emotional and spiritual needs, or sometimes a combination of all those things.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PF: I have a traditional evangelical view of heaven and hell. The Bible teaches both. Literal descriptions of both are in the Bible. I’m going to be preaching against hell and for heaven, for me and for those who have accepted God through Jesus Christ. Heaven is that place which Jesus talks about in the gospels. But ikf you’ve not accepted God through Jesus then heaven is not reserved for you. In fact, Jesus talks about it as a matter of being either for him or against him – and if you’re for him, heaven is your everlasting life; and if you’re against God, then hell is your dwelling place.

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