The Rock Church



Church Review
Scriptural View: 3/5 (Fairly solid.)
Beliefs: 3/5 (Solid but light.)
Community: 4/5 (From the website small groups, pictures, events listed, forums, classifieds, etc.)

Website Review
Site Usabilility: 4/5
Site Design: 4/5
Site Content: 4/5

Summary: In addition to looking through the Rock’s website I’ve had the chance to attend the Rock on a couple of occassions. Overall, the Rock is a bible-believing, Christ-centered church who recognize that all people need Jesus in order to be reconciled to God. They are a great church for newbie christians and they seem to have a heart for the lost. This is a good church for a believer to attend.

My only ‘critiques’ would be that their messages/sermons are fairly light. From my visiting and even if you look on the website, there are many biblical truths that are either not communicated or avoided. Being located on a college campus each year new students and hopefully converts are blessed by coming to the Rock, but at some point in a person’s faith they may need to move beyond what the Rock can offer. Secondly, I’m not a big fan that so much attention is centered on Miles McPherson. There is the Miles McPherson Page, the Miles Ahead Ministry, they even have bought google ads and in the space to enter a description they put “Led by Pastor Miles McPherson” as their content. I believe a church should not focus so much on one man, except for Jesus Christ our Lord.

(I’d encourage you to read the comments by the Webmaster from The Rock Church.)

A good bible-believing church that preaches Christ but doesn’t always dig into the deeper issues of faith.


  1. Just stumbled across this website. I’m the webmaster for the Rock so naturally I’m interested in any opinions/critiques as I only hope to make the site more useful/relevant to seekers. So, I really appreciate the comments.

    One thing you mentioned is that our beliefs are not clearly communicated on the website. Unfortunately, I must agree. I know we have a few more detailed lists of these around, so now I am encouraged to add them to the website. I hope that in doing so there will be little question about our doctrine.

    Regarding your comment about too much attention on Miles. On this I am going to have to disagree. There is a page on the website that gives his bio/testimony, a link to Miles Ahead (our sister youth crusade company), and the picture on the front page with him preaching (which naturally when clicked brings up the current week’s message video). We definitely do not want to come across as being a church all about Miles. Miles would be the first to say so.

    However, Pastor Miles has such notoriety/appeal (cover of San Diego magazine, former San Diego Charger, etc) for both his humor and ability to communicate the Word in San Diego, that it would be foolish not to use that as a way to reach people. Kinda the same way Miles uses humor as a tool to preach the gospel.

    Regarding your last comment, the one in bold, now that is a tough thing to say, especially for someone who has only visited a couple times. And to say such a thing, about any church, can likely do more harm than good. Here I can only speak from persona experience. I have been saved my whole life and have attended about 6 churches in San Diego growing up. I’ve been at the Rock since day 1, and have always been challenged.

    While this website has the power to inform and encourage, it also has the power to discourage:

    Perhaps “things to improve” comments about the websites should be sent directly to the webmaster, kinda like a Matthew 18 thing.

    Perhaps, churches not recommended shouldn’t be listed at all, so as not to “discourage” those who do attend them and are growing in them (of course here I’m not referring to the cults)

    I think what you are trying to do is similar to what CS Lewis attempts to do in Mere Christianity, merely to bring people into the hall. In a similar fashion, I’d recommend doing what he did in having people double check him for accuracy.

    God bless you,
    Nick Turrietta

    From Mere Christianity:

    I hope no reader will suppose that ‘mere’ Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions -as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is, I think, preferable. It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light: and, of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and panelling. In plain language, the question should never be: ‘Do I like that kind of service?’ but ‘Are these doctrines true: Is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular door-keeper?’

    When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.

    • Nick,
      How is it that you have been saved, your whole life? That is not possible, nor a claim that can be “Biblically” made.

  2. Nick,

    Thank you for your feedback regarding The Rock. I’m glad to hear that you plan on ensuring what you believe is fleshed out in greater detail. This is probably the most important feature for churches to have. Further, your feedback regarding Miles is a good reply, so I will add a suggestion that people read your comment.

    As far as contacting every church on the ‘things to improve’, I am not suggesting there is sin (Matthew 18) but there are theological differences between what I see in scripture (the principles) and how the Rock lives these out (the methods). So in this hallway I am glad we both are communicating but part of our differences stem from interpretation of scripture that impacts ecclesiology, eschatology, etc. If you’d like to get specific I’m happy to email you to discuss. What I will do is create a guide to how the Rating is done.

    Lastly, it is important to include churches that are not recommended. For example, The Church of Today talks about God but they are actually a cult. I believe there is an obligation to inform church seekers to avoid these places that claim truths but are not Christians or don’t hold the Bible to be truth. I believe scripture calls us to make these types of discernments as Christians.

    I appreciate your comments and I believe they are valuable for people to read as they consider the Rock as the church they choose to attend.

  3. When will Miles stop leaning on his former status as an NFL player? Exactly how many games did he start as a Charger? How many pro bowls did he go to? I believe there is a pastor on staff there that has more notoriety NFL wise than he does…

  4. Interesting things happened after a friends daughter joined this Rock Group Organization. In a few weeks after she joined this Group she terminated her unborn child. “Her decision yes” Now a few weeks more she has decided to abandon her own very young daughter! She indicated it was more important to be with this leader of the Group etc. ??
    And has left her daughter to others of just weeks ago she would never have considered giving her child too.
    And even hired a Attorney to protect her daughter from them, now after joining this Group has let the Attorney go and her daughter go?
    Two of the leaders of the “Groups” whom just happen to be drug addicts ex or now. “Just the facts”
    “Don’t get your dander up folks” and own admission from the daughter to this fact.
    Anyway they just “so happened” to have asked this young female to marry them after a few weeks?
    And has indicated to her that they did not care what her family thought? She walks with God now? Interesting?
    And she unfortunately said yes and declared she liked his Spiritual side? “After new members” never! We would never do that!
    So it seems I guess if it looks like a cult, quacks like a cult, could it possible be one?
    Just a thought to ponder. Would never question the motives of this Bible based Rock Organization?

  5. I have been to the Rock church many times. I enjoy going. I have been a christian for 11 years and I noticed that this church does not greet each other with a kiss and a hug as the scriptures suggest. The lifting of holy hands are not encouraged, but I do notice that hands are lifted only when a certain song is played and the church does because of the lyrics say so. Where is the praying in tounges? I believe this church needs more spirit and to get involved; because I noticed this church is kind of like a bible class instead of Church service. SHouldn’t the church be led by the holy spirit? I also noticed that services are only about an hour or so. Then we are sometimes rushed out. Do not get me wrong this church is not bad and I know that there are not perfect churches but mere improvements according to the scriptures are necessary. Praise the Lord!

  6. Hello everyone! I’m glad to see all the comments and concerns about The Rock Church. Unfortunately, I’ve found out through many couseling sessions that everyone has an opinion. If something Godly is taking place, someone with envy and malice will find a way to make things un-Godly. As Christians, we are called to be edifying to one-another. Eph 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good for the use of edifying…” blah blah…right? (I’m sure you all know that scripture). So, as Christians, I think we should think before we speak (Jam 1:19) and proof-read before we type because sometimes, we don’t mean any harm, but unfortunately perception rules our community. Look at all the shallow commercials on how a woman should look or the alcohol commercials that say this is what a man should look like. Our perseptions are keen. In saying that, someone reading these comments could develop bad “mo-jo” about The Rock Church. I have not attended The Rock for over a year now because I transferred to WA, but I am returning soon and will continue to attend The Rock. Miles quite often says that “he” is not the one that should be followed, but J.C. Please, I mean no harm when I say this, but don’t get carried away by all the glamour and lights someone “may” think he is in. As long as we do what the scripture in I Cor 11:28 states, we won’t have to worry about anyone else but ourselves (as far as criticism and improvement is concerned). So, that’s really about it. Oh…one more thing. His Word teaches us in I Tim 2:15 to “Study to show ourselves approved…” blah blah, right? If one feels he/she is not getting fed at a particular church, that really falls on that individual. Let me give you a quick story. When I attended The Rock, at one point I felt the same way, so I left the church. Well, when I arrived at the other church, I realized it wasn’t the Pastor that was falling short, but me. So, I went back to The Rock, spent more time in His Word and developed an appreciation for Miles was teaching. A Pastor only has 45 minutes to spread the Gospel. How much can one really expect? I did prison ministry in San Diego and the Pastor there gave me 40 + pages on the first chapter of John. Can that really be covered in 45 minutes? So, I suggest digging into the Word on personal time because that’s where the real feeding is. Thanks for all your time and I really hope you take the time to read this all :). God Bless. Acts 1:8

  7. read the reviews all interesting some true some just a matter of personal conviction. ihave been going on and off for almost 3 years and i would agree to a certain degree that the sermons/messages/preaching however you want to call it can be somewhat superficial. my motive is not too be critical but to offer constructive criticism alot like when Apollos in the new testament started preaching outdoors and he was taken aside. i would like to see Miles dig a little deeper into the scripture during the preaching times. sometimes he skims thru many chapters at a time. that can be crazy for new belivers trying to stay up with him without a strong foundation. great variety of ministries to get involved in and the people are friendly. good foundational strong bible doctrine enforced and he is in my opnion one of the best evangelists sharing the good news i have encountered. another concern i had was a while back when it seemed that the leadership wanted to enforce small groups to go thru rick warrens book when they were starting up the nehemiah project. that left a bad taste in mouth. not because rick warren wrote a godly book but it seemed to substiitute for the word of God. thias is just a personal conviction but i could not justify that action. now that the rock has moved i think they will struggle with the students at sdsu to get invloved since they are not directly usiong the venue on campus anymore but im praying that God will use that church to his glory. I do belive and i might get alot of slack for this but i have done my fair part of research that Miles would be better suited as an envangelist rather than a senior pastor.. one of the characteristics of an elder in the gospel of John is to feed his flock i would encourage more leaders to step forward and preach this adds variety and freedom within the spirit tio move also feed the flock meat not just milk, yes the flock is young in age the years it has beenaround but we must move forward.

  8. Just a quick comment on the issue of focusing too much on Miles. Of course, we must follow Christ… but, don’t forget Paul… with great boldness and confidence and a load of responsibility on his shoulders, he said, “Follow ME as I follow Christ.”

    That’s a serious statement… and I think we’ve seen so many pastors lead sheep astray that we’ve gotten gun shy… but, we must remember. We are to be LEADERS. That means we will have followers. Followers will keep their eyes on spiritual heroes who allow the glory of God to radiate through them with passion, brokenness and wild power.

    We should all be looking to the world and saying, “Follow me as I follow Christ. I’m running hard, pursuing the prize… come with me… let’s go!”

  9. where are you located?

  10. What are some of you people saying! I have heard Miles speak since he was a youth pastor at HORIZON, he is very gifted and the Lord could have stopped his ministry a LONG time ago, but He didn’t. Miles has always had a big vision because the Lord put that vision there. This is not about a man and a church, this is about our Awesome God and his servant. I believe more of us need to be praying for Miles rather than wasting our time criticizing him. I live in Michigan now and I pray everyday to find a pastor who has as much passion for our Lord and savior Jesus Christ as Miles does. You people who go to The Rock church are very blessed! Thank the Lord for being able to see a real servant in action!

  11. I used to go to the Rock and I enjoyed hearing Miles McPherson but I think that church has become the Church of Miles if you ask me. Also, the main reason I quit going there is because so many young college and high school girls who attend this church dress in a fashion that is totally distracting for young males like me. I mean everywhere you look you see flashes of naked breasts, well exposed thighs, and every manner of “slutty” dress that does not lend to the atmosphere of worshiping the Lord. I don’t know about any other guys my age, (25), but I sure find it difficult to keep my mind on the sermon topic when the girl sitting next to me is wearing a mini-skirt up to the top of her thighs and the girl sitting in front of me is wearing a pair of hip huggers so low she is exposing her thong underwear. I mean come on, a guy can only take so much. Rather than continue to stumble myself I left the Rock for good.

    • Donald,

      I agree that the way the girls dress on Sundays here is absolutely unacceptable. I think the women pole dancing in a strip club wear more clothes than the females here. I was shocked. I also don’t agree with wearing jeans if you are serving or in the pulpit. I took my 12-year-old son and he was appalled by what he saw. He said this wasn’t the church for him. Out of the mouths of babes comes the plain truth! My son and I also couldn’t take the rappers who sang during the praise and worship each Sunday. Terribly distracting. I really loved the way Miles taught the scripture, but myself and my son were just too distracted from his message. I’m looking for a new church home.

      • Please ignore my previous comment!

        I just realized that talking negatively about a religious leader is blasphemous and judgmental. I asked God to forgive me for that sin, and I hope that if Pastor Miles read this, he too, can forgive me.

        Although my comment was not directly about the Pastor, it speaks negatively about his church. My comment serves no other purpose other than to deter someone else from going to The Rock and being blessed. Many, many people gave their souls to Christ each time I attended the Rock, and I have no right to discourage anyone from going and possibly being blessed and inspired to stay there forever. I wouldn’t want anyone to do this to me.

        To all reading this, I am so sorry for making this comment.

        Pastor Miles has taught me well about the consequences of being judgmental of people, yet I obviously have more to learn. I’m trying, and eventually I’ll get it right.

        I’ll say again that Pastor McPherson brings the word of God in such a practical, magnificent way, that it sticks with me and convicts me when I am wrong. I will miss that about his church service. I’ll continue to watch him online. Please visit The Rock in person and DECIDE FOR YOURSELF if this is where God wants you to be.

  12. Donald, now that’s a church I want to belong to!!!!

  13. While visiting San Diego in April, I went to “The Rock” and my dtr, who has not attended church in 15 years, came with me. Miles’ messages so spoke to her that she has brought her boyfriend and now her roommate, and has attended week after week since then. Miles definitely has the gift of sharing the Gospel. I have been a Christian for over 40 years and I now listen to his sermons via the internet (I live 350 miles away) on a weekly basis, growing closer to the Lord with each hearing. “The Rock” is blessing my family greatly.

  14. Most of the posts on this site are very outdated, so an update about the Rock is appropriate. Some of the changes to this church in the last year that can be heard on Miles’ web sermons or that can be found on the website are as follows:

    1) Miles now ordains women
    2) The Rock is now “seeker sensitive” (Saddleback/Rick Warren)

    Seeker sensitive means that they are sensitive to offending the listeners. However, in order to not be offensive but stay biblical they only leave out offensive parts of the bible. They don’t miss-communicate truth, they just leave some out. Unfortunately, this leads to man pleasing and gives people “what their ears are itching to hear”.

    3) The new believer’s classes include books about/by the “Emergent Church”.

    The Emergent Church is neither biblical nor Christ-centered. It involves such practices as; meditative prayer (another name for eastern meditation) or prayer labyrinths, they invite everyone (even non-believers) to the “Lord’s Supper” under the guise of “experiencing Christ” and thereby bringing them into condemnation. As a group, Emergent Churches hold fast to nothing and that includes the essentials of the faith. But worst of all, some of them teach in the pulpit from the Koran or Bahgvaghita along side the bible. Now Miles has not gone there but he has included books in his new believer classes from writers that do.

    The irony of all of this is that in the early 1990’s, Miles taught a class at Horizon Main Campus. In the class they showed the “Jim Jones” documentary. After the class, Miles put forth the question to the class, “Is there anyone here that thinks that they cannot be deceived?” Being a young convert, over confident in my own knowledge of the bible, I raised my hand (I was the only one who did of course). Miles answered by saying, “take heed lest ye fall. You never know… Even I could be deceiving you and you wouldn’t know”.

    The Rock, is at best, on a slippery slope.

  15. This reply isn’t to agree or disagree with anything said. In every church, there are some improvements to be made. For believers with a solid foundation — Attend the Rock. If you’re not happy, visit another church until you find the one you are looking for. For new believers — Study the Word, Seek the kingdom of God, work on laying your foundation. After that point if the Rock is not for you, visit another church.
    My best friends are military and will spend months looking for a church… AND will move if something is not doctrinally correct. I am not suggesting church hopping but if the Rock is not for you, it important for you to move on.

  16. I have visited the Rock on 3 sundays in the past six weeks.

    There is good at the church and some flaws from my limited perspective. Many people at the church have a desire to minister to others or help them in various ways.

    If it were me, I am not sure I would restrict people from remaining in the auditorium after church service as much as is done here, for whatever reasons they have. Also, if they wish, they could inculcate a greater awareness of visitors and warmth in greeting. Many people who are attending are more self-absorbed than may be helpful before and after church service, at least from my perspective.

  17. This so called rock church is more of a show than anything else. it is wrong to go to this church and continue to follow this misguided path. the church is very cult like. Being gay is a sin and it seems as this world spins into an endless hysteria of self-fulliiment and tantalizing possessions, we continue to condone same-sex marriage. Educate your self with the truth the only TRUTH THE HOLY BIBLE. Do not follow the miles show. It is obvious that it is money driven go there for yourself and take a look around. Hey miles continue to wear those high price under armor shirts.

  18. I have read each and every comment on The Rock Church and Pastor Miles and all I can say is, everybody has their opinion of things in life.
    I have been attending here for five almost six years and souls are being saved. I agree with some of the previous comments but also disagree with some.
    I do pray however that things would change in that attire is out of hand: Yes, being COME AS YOU ARE IS GOOD so as to not burden people with what they will wear but I think limits SHOULD BE SET. There are some very inappropriate clothing being worn and if someone is struggling with a sexual addiction or porn, they could easily backslide right there in church.
    Also, the Alter Call is a very Important and Serious part of the Service where we should all be praying for the unsaved to be saved and disturbing enough, people use this time to race to their cars to beat the traffic going home. Not to mention drinking Starbucks and Water during service. How inappropriate that is(you can’t wait an hour and a half to be without drink).
    Leaders, we need to pray for change to come to this Church because the atmosphere is a little “TOO LAID BACK”. God is using Pastor Miles to change lives and this church to Change San Diego but oh, how much greater the change would be if everyone was on ONE ACCORD!!!!

  19. This is a cult you hear 10 x more about Miles than you do about Jesus

  20. Everyone,
    The Rock Church won’t say what they believe. Their website is so vague it could apply to anything. I asked several Pastors if they believed in unconditional elect or limited atonement or any Part of the TULIP in Calvinism (A Heresy belief) and they would not respond that they don’t. That is sad. All other churches I asked Horizon, Skyline, Pathways, told me absolutely not. Then I learn that there is Calvinists on the Pastor team/Staff. Everyone should be careful that the church is just trying not to offend everyone and misinterprets scripture to do it. You may not learn what the Bible truly means here because Miles is not a leader who puts his foot down and says this is who we are (More Armenian or More Calvinists), it’s one or the other you cannot believe in everything.

  21. Two of my military sons attended Rock when they were stationed in the area. My husband and I were thrilled that their walk with God was personal enough that they chose to continue to seek a place to worship even without parents pressing them to go. When my husband and I visited with them, we felt like we’d found our home away from home. We’ve visited many times since 2006 when we first visited. We live in Virginia but we not only attend on line, we also tithe to SD Rock because our own Virginia church had unraveled. Also, we travel so much that it was difficult to be committed to a local body. By watching live feed on line, my military sons who are scattered around the world, their father and I can all “do” church together…it makes us feel close to each other when we’re so far apart. These are the things that impress us so much about SD Rock: the body of believers contribute thousands of hours of community service to the city and county of San Diego; there are ministries of nearly every ilk imaginable; the body of believers there are from all walks of life, all ethnicities, all socio-economic groups; each member of Rock is encouraged to serve; whenever Pastor Miles is away, the speakers who fill in are magnificent (in fact, I was surprised at the comments from those who seem to think SD Rock is the Miles Show–I always thought the opposite)…I love my long distance church family! I’ve a committed believer in Jesus for 30 years third past December. Because of military background, I’ve attended many churches–all of them imperfect! But, SD Rock is one of the best bodies of believers I’ve seen in a long time! May God continue to bless and grow (spiritually and physically) and protect this precious ministry and its pastoral team.


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