To the Class of 2007

by Pastor Patrick Cho

Honestly, it is with mixed feelings that the college ministry celebrates another graduating class. Of course we are proud of the students who have worked hard for the past four years to come to this crowning moment of their education. We are happy for the families that get to see their sons and daughters walk across the university stage to receive their wellearned diplomas. But it is bittersweet to have this group of graduates move out of College Life and into the singles ministry. Of course, one of the great joys of being part of a church family is that they are not all necessarily gone — it just means they will be meeting at a different location on Friday nights. But with the memories that we have been able to share through their college careers, it will be sad to see them move on. No one will forget the time Bach Nguyen brought a live crab to our college Christmas gift exchange because the theme was to bring something edible. Or who could forget Jennifer Lee’s, “many yackle” pronunciation of “maniacal”? These memories and many more will live on through the years in College Life.

A few weeks ago, we had the collegians over at Jin and Grace Lee’s house for our annual senior breakfast. It was a sweet time of fellowship as the staff prepared a delicious meal. Seeing as this was probably going to be my last opportunity to address the seniors as a group before they graduated, I thought about what I wanted to encourage them with in order to prepare them best spiritually for life after college. The theme for the year at LBC being “Building the Body,” I turned to Ephesians 4. There Paul speaks about how the body would be built up as pastors and teachers equip the saints for the work of ministry, and that the end result would be that the body would grow into the fullness of Christ (vs. 11-13). But I directed their attention to the following context where Paul instructs the church as to how this building up would be accomplished. Instead of being tossed here and there by waves and every wind of doctrine, the growth in Christ was to be accomplished by speaking the truth in love. What better word could I give the seniors to prepare them for graduation besides this?

I encouraged the graduates to maintain a high, uncompromising commitment to the truth of God’s Word. This is vital in the “real world” because there are so many external forces (many that are more intense than those in college) that tempt us to compromise. Some of these forces are blatant, while others are much more subtle. In the work environment, there are new sorts of tests that come into a person’s life. Most, if not all, of the seniors have never had a full-time salary, and as single adults, a great test will come with how they choose to use what God has entrusted to them. For others, there will be the arduous task of job hunting where they will be told to embellish their resumes and lie in their interviews. These individuals will soon be making life-affecting choices such as where they will settle down and whom they will marry. These significant decisions, if not governed by the clear principles in God’s Word, can be made, even subtly, by selfish ambition and sinful motives. It is imperative that as gra uates, they adhere to an uncompromising commitment to God’s truth and seek to grow in respect to that as they practically live out its principles.

I would encourage the church to get to know these graduates. They are a remarkable group, and the amount they have grown these past four years has been tremendous. I count it an extreme privilege and blessing to have shepherded these individuals and watched them progress in faith. Many of them have endured some already trying times, and I am sure they will face many more equally difficult trials. They will need our support and prayers through this significant time of transition. Praise God for the love and support of the church family here at Lighthouse where college group is not an isolated bubble! It is exciting to think these seniors will be joining Single Life and will be sitting under the tutelage of that amazing staff. Even as a few of these collegians move away after graduation, it is comforting to know from the pattern of their lives that they will eventually settle in churches where they can grow, serve, and continue to show their devotion to the truth of God’s Word.

To the graduates: the college staff loves you and is sad to see you leave College Life, but we are encouraged because you have shown a strong desire for God’s Word and have demonstrated from your lives constant growth. May the Lord cause you to walk together in faith so that you mature as individuals even more into the fullness of Christ our head.

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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