Finding unity and community in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together

Our basic mission statement: “Follow Well. Love Well. Serve Well.”

Vince Medrano
  • Vince Medrano

Faith Community Church

  • Contact: 2285 Murray Ridge Rd, San Diego 858-565-4808 www.faithsandiego.org
  • Membership: 240
  • Pastors: Lorissa and Vince Medrano
  • Age: 36
  • Born: Norwalk, CA
  • Formation: Life Pacific University, San Dimas, CA
  • Years Ordained: 11

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

Pastor Vince Medrano: I probably spend from seven to ten hours a week on preparing the message. We are usually going through a section or book of scripture. In the past year we’ve done the Lord’s Prayer; we’re currently in the book of Colossians. I usually deliver an exegetical message.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PM: I started serving at the church in my first year of college, and as I continued to serve more and more, I found myself falling in love with what the local church was up to. Within that time, I felt the Lord was confirming my calling to do that vocationally. I was at Cal State Long Beach studying to be an elementary school teacher, and over the course of those first two years in college, a half a dozen people all spoke the same message: they told me they thought the Lord was calling me to the church, which resonated with what the Lord was already calling me to do.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PM: Our basic mission statement for the church is “Follow Well. Love Well. Serve Well.” That emerges out of the fact that Jesus in the gospels calls people or gives a command to the people in these three ways. First, he tells people to follow him, which is hopefully an ongoing process of discipleship and life rhythm. Second, the commands of God are summarized in Jesus’s command to love God with all your mind, heart and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Third, Jesus also tells his disciples that whoever is going to be greatest in the kingdom of God is going to be the servant of all. Those there commandments are always going to be a part of a Christian’s life.

SDR: What work of literature has had the most impact on your ministry?

PM: Recently, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together has been meaningful to me as a way to help me understand what it looks like for the community to find unity and community with one another.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?

PM: The emergence of my relationship with Jesus was out of my parents’ divorce. The super-short story is that my dad cheated on my mom, and when I found out I went back into his room and I found his Bible. When I picked it up, it was the first time I heard the Lord speak to me – audibly saying that everything was going to be OK. To hear that as a young teenager was instrumental in my faith and trust to follow him.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PM: It’s woven throughout scripture, but at the end of scripture we see a marrying of heaven and earth. We believe that Jesus will ultimately create a new earth where we will be with him for eternity. For those that make the decision to follow him will find heaven; but it’s unclear what that separation from Jesus ultimately looks like for those who decide not to follow him. We traditionally describe it as hell. There is certainly separation from Jesus, but is it eternal or is the fire of hell eternal? That’s what I wrestle with. There’s nuance in how Christians view hell.

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