Meet another member of South Florida's many-sided faith community. This week we're talking with Pastor Kevin Ogle of Miramar Lutheran Church.
Q: How long have you been at Miramar Lutheran Church?
A: Five years, including time as a distance education major, because they couldn't hire a fulltime pastor. A lot of our congregations are aging or dwindling. The Distance Education Program with Concordia Seminary installs a vicar, who works fulltime in another job and a parttime job with a church. During seminary training, hopefully, you go fulltime at church.
Q: Did your work in telecommunications help in your ministry?
A: Actually, it did. I was in management. So learned to work with people better and learn the business side to a church. Another good thing is that I'm not a 22-year-old kid out of seminary. I've got business experience, and I can understand how you can screw up in life.
Q: After establishing a secular career, why did you want to become a minister?
A: When I became a Christian, I saw the difference between the two worlds. When I was in corporate management, I saw that while I was in the battle, I didn't own any part of the battle. I was just a guy to get some projects done.
If I have to choose the battle, I'd rather be in the battle for Christ, not just to benefit people at the top. I have received something large by salvation. If God has given me that, who am I not to give him the rest of my life?
Q: Do you have an overall philosophy of ministry?
A: Some say this church should close, because it's from a different culture and time. But geez, I don't remember Paul saying just take the gospel to the Greeks or Romans; he said it should go to all the world. That means right here in little Miramar.
Q: How do you like to relax?
A: Fishing out in the Everglades. I have my own boat. I like to go out there with a couple of buddies. Other buddies have been trying to get me to fish in the ocean.
Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows?
A: I'll tell you the truth, I get my news from ESPN. (laughs) We don't find much of value on TV.
Q: How about favorite film(s)?
A: We love comedies. And it wasn't a comedy, but we liked "We Bought a Zoo."
Q: Favorite music? Favorite performer(s)?
A: Chicago. I just listened to about 20 songs riding on Tri-Rail from Riviera Beach. I saw Paul McCartney in Sunrise. I'd love to see the Eagles. But mainly today, I like Christian music.
Q: What person in history would you like most to meet?
A: Martin Luther. What happened to him that he took a radical stand that would have cost him his life if they'd caught him?
Q: If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
A: I heard a seminary professor ask: "If the Fall is true, and redemption was going to be the outcome anyway, why didn't we just go from the Fall to the Second Avent?" We don't have an answer for that.
Q: What would you do if you had a year off?
A: We'd love to take the Alaska cruise and see the Grand Canyon.
Q: Any advice you'd give for others considering the vocation?
A: I can't believe more people don't want to be a pastor. I get to be in God's Word on a regular basis. Everything I do is about the church, about Christ.
Q: What one thing would you change about yourself?
A: Wow. Probably a lot of things. I need to do a better job of believing what I preach. Luther said that at every given moment, I have the opportunity to bless or curse you. We're supposed to daily try to live a better life.
Q: What do you wish people understood about you?
A: Some people may perceive that I'm too serious about what I do. I don't see how you can be a pastor and not take it seriously. But I hope they can see that I care about them.
Q: Is there one thing you can't stand?
A: I can't stand the hypocrisy of our government. More children have died from abortion than all the people who have died in all the wars we've been in. I don't believe that only Christians should be running this country. But there are three parties out there, and I'm not invited to any of them.
Q: Have you ever doubted your faith?
A: When I lost my job, I had to learn that my job didn't define who I was.
Q: How was that doubt resolved?
A: It was going back to what God says. Man is God's crown jewel. And all of this was designed for us to have communion with him.
James D. Davis
More about Rev. Ogle
Other job experience: Former telecommunications worker for several companies.
Education: Pastoral degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
Personal: 50. Born in Louisville, Ky.
Family: Married to Pamela, director of Hope Women's Center, Fort Lauderdale. Three children.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times