Miles McPherson and the Rock Church Lead Volunteerism Charge

In these tough economic times, when many city budgets are in the red, The Rock Church in San Diego has saved its community $1.6 million through volunteer service hours, according to Mayor Jerry Sanders. Through his new book “Do Something: Make Your Life Count,” Pastor Miles McPherson challenges churches across the country to take on this charge.

While the church pledged 100,000 hours to San Diego’s mayor, saving the city $1.6 million, it actually will serve nearly 600,000 hours throughout the community, for a total benefit to San Diego County of several million dollars, based on an average county worker’s hourly pay. Numbers like that can have a huge budgetary impact for cities facing deficits, as many are these days.

These numbers compare favorably with other volunteer-oriented organizations on a national scale. Starbucks employees, for example, served 300,000 hours this year. Disney is challenging one million individuals to volunteer for a day, to receive a free day-pass to a Disney theme park. United Way regional offices generally see volunteer service in the range of several hundred thousand hours. With President Obama’s emphasis on volunteerism, “Do Something” offers individuals a chance to become a part of this much bigger picture.

“What I like to point out, though, is that we are one church in one neighborhood, having this kind of impact,” Pastor Miles McPherson said. “We as one congregation are doing more community service than some huge national organizations. Just think how that could be multiplied across the nation – and that is my challenge to other pastors and churches.”

McPherson issues that challenge in his new book, “Do Something: Make Your Life Count,” by telling personal stories of volunteerism. He wants readers to know that it’s OK to start small, and the best way to help others is based on your own personal experiences.

“Do Something” releases from Baker Books on Jan. 1, 2010. At 224 pages, it will retail for $19.99 in both mainstream and Christian bookstores. McPherson has written four previous books on parenting and teen topics, including “Parenting the Wild Child” and “Bad to the Bone: Fifteen Young Bible Heroes Who Lived Radical Lives for God.”

A companion Web site,, is tied to the book’s release, and provides suggestions for getting involved in community service – using both “how to” videos and written instructions. It includes a list of ministries started at The Rock by members profiled in “Do Something,” and will offer other churches the opportunity to submit their own ideas and stories.

Miles McPherson is founder and pastor of The Rock Church in San Diego. Following his NFL career – as a defensive back for the San Diego Chargers from 1982-85 – he founded Miles Ahead Ministries, through which more than 45,000 young people have made decisions for Christ. When he started The Rock Church in 2000, more than 3,300 people attended on its first day. The predominantly young, urban congregation has grown to an average of 12,000 with more than 100 ministries, at least 74 of them volunteer-led community ministries. McPherson has appeared on Larry King Live, Good Morning America, The O’Reilly Factor, and Fox & Friends. He and his wife have three children and live in San Diego.

 — 30 —

NOTE TO EDITORS: To receive an advance copy of “Do Something” or schedule an interview with Miles McPherson, please contact Melany Ethridge of A. Larry Ross Communications at 972.267.1111 or [email protected].

more information is available in our online newsroom: