Holy spirit

South Bay Seventh-day Adventist: Leading with paddleboards and the Holy Spirit

Mesach Soli

South Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church

  • Contact: 2161 Avenida Del Mexico, 619-423-2243 www.southbaychurch.com
  • Membership: 150-180
  • District: Imperial Beach
  • Pastor: Mesach Soli
  • Age: 44
  • Not: Hawthorne
  • Training: La Sierra University, Riverside; Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan
  • Ordered years: 5 months

San Diego Reader: How much time do you spend preparing your sermon?

Pastor Mesach Soli: I find it much easier to do series of sermons, but I always try to keep a spiritual pulse on what the congregation is going through or what we are facing that is relevant to some of the social issues that surround our community. Normally I start my sermon process on Monday, as I preach every Saturday. On Sunday, I let my mind take a break and begin to set up a framework in my mind throughout the week for a total of 18-20 hours to put into a nearly hour-long sermon.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PS: Our mission is to live to bless others…. We can bless others through our message, ministries and mentorship. It’s something we need to pass on to the next generation, so we focus on mentorship in discipleship. How do we live to bless others? It can be something as simple as a smile or people donating to people and families in need. We have a community outreach and tours service and since last June we have a paddleboard ministry called Living Water, where after receiving a grant for about 15 paddleboards we offer free paddleboard lessons to community members , to the people in our work, and their families. Pretty much, if you breathe into your lungs, you have the ability to bless someone else.

SDR: Which book has had the greatest influence on your ministry?

PS: Currently, the book I am reading is called The Spiritual Life of a Leader: A God-Centered Leadership Style by Boyd Bailey, who talks about the ministry of our overflow. A spiritual leader by default, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is going to have an impact. It is not about focusing on the work of ministry but on the work of the Holy Spirit in you through ministry.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PS: My belief is that when we die, we rest in the Lord until the second coming of Jesus. Our understanding of the Kingdom of God is to be in the presence of our creator, our creator. Hell is the absence of God, the eternal absence of God. People will ask, “Why would God send people to hell?” That doesn’t sound like a loving God or a loving being that I would like to believe in. I always share with them that we were already on the way, but God came and gave us a way out, an option for us to follow. In a way, he gave us a life jacket – or a raft – that saved us from going in that direction. When we deny it, it is something we are denying ourselves. We go after our death in a state of rest. John 14 says, “I am going to prepare a place for you, and if I am going to prepare a place for you, it is because I am coming. I will receive you in me, so that where I am there, you are also. It paints a picture of what I believe after death – Jesus is coming soon, coming back for us, and we get to be with him… The greatest reward is that we get to be with our savior.