College Life Searchlight

by Moon Choi

College Life Searchlight began in January 2001 as an on-campus, student run organization. Pastor Patrick Cho headed, and still heads, the ministry. He started off the ministry with a study of the book of Philippians, a study which he titled “the Joy of Our Salvation.” A typical night at Searchlight is meeting on-campus at 7 o’clock with the night starting off with praise, followed by a sermon usually delivered by Pastor Patrick. Occasionally, the pastoral interns preach and challenge the collegians through their messages. Pastor Patrick also plans to have guest speakers come in to preach this year.

The goal of Searchlight is to fulfill the MVP of Lighthouse by reaching out to the campus and to foster a growth in faith in young believers. Searchlight does outreach is to hold campus evangelism, which is currently held twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 2 o’clock. There are also various events throughout the year, like the yearly luau and car rally. There are still many ministry opportunities available, which are not limited to only collegians but also to singles and married (especially ladies!).

The church leadership thought it a good idea to make Lighthouse’s presence known on campus as an on-campus ministry that is intimately tied to a local church. As Searchlight is a direct ministry of Lighthouse, the importance of the local church is emphasized and all who attend Searchlight can be assured that the doctrine being preached on Friday nights will be aligned with Lighthouse’s doctrinal statement. Searchlight also has Lighthouse as an awesome resource, something that parachurch ministries usually do not have available to them. Though College Life Searchlight is only on the UCSD campus right now, Pastor Patrick hopes to expand to other campuses soon.

This year, Searchlight will begin its study of Mark as PastorPatrick hopes to exposit the narrative in order to go through the life of Jesus. Pastor Patrick calls this task “incredibly weight” but is still excited to go through it. And what’s the reason for going through Mark, specifically? “Since I chose to preach through one of the gospels, it made sense to start with the shortest one in case I realized halfway through that I am way in over my head!” He also plans to go through Mark because, previously, he had exposited the rich theology that was found in Paul’s epistles but since an epistle and a narrative are exposited differently, Pastor Patrick wants to exposit Mark, as it is a narrative, so that it may also serve as an example to the collegians.

Though it was sad to let flocks go, College Life Searchlight brings very exciting opportunities to serve, to learn, and to become better acquainted with the collegians. The collegians, too, are thrilled. Garrett Glende, a third year, said that he was excited about “getting to know collegians better” and having “more intimate fellowship with [fellow collegians] outside of Sundays.” Anthony Kwon, a second year, said that something that he really appreciates about Searchlight is the small groups, with “an actual older person leading it,” rather than an older peer.

When asked about what he would like to challenge the collegians with, Pastor Patrick said, “I know it sounds unfair, but I often challenge collegians to not act like collegians…Unfortunately, many of these collegians use the fact that they are in college as their excuse…Many collegians, as a result, will stay up really late at night, waste hours and hours of time, irresponsibly procrastinate in their studies, and make stupid decisions that manifest their immaturity…Scripture does not segregate collegians and normal adults. Collegians should be expected to act as responsible adults and so this is how I challenge them.”


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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