Youth Ministry

by Pastor JR Cuevas

The youth ministry of Lighthouse Bible Church – also known as “Lumos” – exists to exalt God in the lives of youth adults in the San Diego community. This is specifically carried out through the church’s imparting of both the gospel as well as the lives of older godly men and women into the lives of the young adults in the church. Thus, all that takes place in Lumos flows either in the direction of equipping and building up the youth who have trusted in Christ as their Lord and Savior or in the direction of evangelizing to the youth who do not exhibit saving faith in Christ. With this in mind, the ultimate vision of Lumos is to magnify the person and work of Jesus Christ in the lives of the youth, so as to help prepare them to be future ministers of the gospel for the generations to come.

Lumos currently has a little over ten youth ranging from 6th grade to 12th grade who have consistently been a part of the group, and nine adult staff from the single-adults affinity group who help run the ministry and invest in the lives of the youth. Every Friday night, Lumos meets at 7:00 pm at church till 9:30 pm, during which the weekly Bible study takes place. The messages typically last anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour, and in which I have been preaching through the gospel of Luke since the beginning of 2008 when I started serving in this ministry. After the message, small groups – divided up by gender and age group – take place. On Sunday morning during Sunday school hour, Lumos runs a Sunday school class, in which I have been going through the various topics of Systematic Theology as well as monthly split-sessions of men’s and women’s discipleship. On Wednesdays, some of Lumos staff help run a Bible study at Torrey Pines High School during their lunch break, in which the Lumos’ most prominent form of outreach to the youth in the existing community outside of LBC. On Wednesday nights, some of the Lumos staff help run a study hall at the church for the youth, in which the youth are encouraged to diligently study for their classes to the glory of God.

As a ministry, the staff and I have certain convictions that are considered essential in ministering to the youth. First, we hold to the conviction of keeping everything gospel-centered and Scripture-based. This implies that Lumos does not minister to the kids in such a way as to fuel pride or enhance the worldly definition of self-esteem. Rather, all the messages that are taught are geared towards helping the youth have a greater realization of their sin before a holy God as well as helping them have a greater realization of what it means to place one’s faith in in the person and work of Christ alone. Second, we hold to the conviction that the youth are to be treated as adults, and not as children. Though we seek to be understanding and compassionate towards them, the youth are challenged each week to pursue the same standards of holiness in personal character as all Christians are held accountable to. Thus, the messages are not only long, but passionate and intense, in which I do not hold back in challenging the youth to make very practical changes in their lives. Thus, Lumos does not “baby” the youth who attend. Rather, they are challenged to live as good soldiers of Jesus Christ (which was our ministry theme for 2009).

Having set these standards, the youth who have consistently attended Lumos have shown much growth over the past year – from the middle-school students to the high school seniors. They have shown much growth in personal character and in applying the principles of Scripture in their own lives. Some who were not believers when they first attended have since then professed faith in Christ and have displayed their faith in their daily living. One of the recent manifestations of their growth has been an increase in ministry involvement in church. The staff has always challenged the youth not to “cluster” into small youth groups on Sunday mornings and distance themselves from the adults, but rather to take the initiative in serving in some of the adult ministries. Over the past year, we have seen some of the youth faithfully serve in the refreshments ministry, the cleaning ministry, set-up and clean-up ministry, welcoming ministry, and even in ministries geared towards international college students. It has been tremendously encouraging for me to witness them grow in their love for Christ, love for people, and love for their church. In all honesty, I consider myself to be one of the most blessed youth ministers – not because of how could I job I do, but because of how encouraging these “chulengos” (my term of endearment towards them to remind them that though they’re young, they’re capable) have been so faithful to the ministry. A number of the youth have faithfully participated in the ministry on their own initiatve (their parents do not attend LBC), and have shown the ability to be faithful to their church even at such a young age.

That said, the ministry is constantly in need of prayer support from the rest of the church body. Pray that our youth would grow in their fear of the Lord, that they may love Him more and grow in their intimacy with Him. Pray that they would mature in their faith, and that the Spirit would continually guide them to Christ-likeness as they age. Pray for the staff, that we would continue to faithfully invest in the lives of the youth. Finally, pray that in all that we do, Christ would receive the glory, honor, and praise.

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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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