"Joining God's Mission... Sharing His Love"
From John Berends, Pastor of SDCRC
I’m pleased to be part of your ‘introduction’ to the San Diego Christian Reformed Church. You may be new here,
in which case we have something in common. My wife Carol and I moved to San Diego in June of 2011, and I
began working here at SDCRC on an interim basis in January of 2012. We have found this church community to
be very warm and welcoming.
I like where SDCRC is headed. I was not part of its recent church-wide adoption of Mission and Values
statements, but I like them a lot and can easily do what God has called me to do within their framework.
My main responsibility is what I call the “Sunday Morning Experience”, which begins as you enter our
campus and concludes only when you decide it’s over. Just last week I stayed and talked with members and guests
for an hour or more after the worship service concluded. When I’m in town, I’ll be there to greet you when you
arrive, hang out with you after the worship service over a cup of ‘hot-or-cold’ and a tasty treat or two, and be one
of the last people to leave. And yes, I’m also available throughout the week.
But for a solid hour or more I’m busy with the worship service, especially what’s called the ‘Message’
or ‘Sermon’. I still happen to think that this is a really important part of the Sunday Morning Experience. Most
churches have components of their programs, even mission/vision/values documents that are similar.
Preaching, however, can differ greatly – in source material, content and communication style. It has a strong
influence over people’s spiritual formation, and thus their capacity for living and serving well as Christ-followers.
I’m very sensitive to that reality; I want to help develop a community of healthy believers and watch it grow. I’ve
been doing this a long time, and find that I still have the passion to preach.
So you’ll hear me mention ‘Grace’, ‘Freedom’, ‘Forgiveness’ and use terms such as ‘Enabling’ and ‘Empowering’.
I believe that we move ahead best by grace; that freedom in Christ leads to real joy, and joy to surprising levels
of faithfulness; and that a ‘want-to’ attitude trumps a ‘have-to’ attitude every time (and is the only one that God
delights in!). One of my very favorite Bible passages is Titus 2:11-14… look it up some time.
Well, now that you know where to find me on Sunday mornings, I’m hoping to meet you as well. Go ahead and
check out our “New Here?” section for more information on what to expect and how to get here.
Until then, may God bless you and enable you to be a blessing to those around you.
Pastor, San Diego Christian Reformed Church