Bus Ministry

The Foothills Bus Ministry and Transportation Ministry mission is to support and serve all Foothills Christian Church Youth Ministries, as well as outreach to the youth of our East County communities.

The Bus Team visits unchurched and at risk kids in difficult neighborhoods of East County. Our team invites them and families to ride a Sunday bus to church on 5 different bus routes between to El Cajon, Santee and Lakeside.

How It Began

The Foothills Bus Ministry started in 1996 with 1 bus, 1 driver and 2 volunteers. We picked up 2 children; Riley and Cinnamon on that first Sunday trip to an apartment complex off of Woodglen Vista in Santee. Much of what we do is using the concept began and continued by Bill Wilson’s Metro Ministries in New York.





Bus Ministry Today

A lot has changed since that day. The ministry has grown to a team of over 40 volunteers that serve El Cajon, Santee and Lakeside. Our team is made up of a Pastor Director, Youth Interns, Drivers, Route Captains, Ride-along Monitors, Teaching Team, Mechanic Team and a Kitchen Team that prepares breakfasts each Sunday when the kids arrive at church. We minister to 100+ kids and families weekly. Over the last 28 years, we have ministered to many thousands of East County unchurched youth. The stories of those kids and their families are both heart wrenching and uplifting! It is why many of our team have been serving on the bus ministry for 20+ years. We all feel it’s a privilege to serve Foothills, the community and The Lord! It is truly a rewarding ministry to be a part of.

What We Do

The Bus Ministry has grown to become Foothills Transportation Ministry. From 1 bus, we now minister using a total of 23 buses, cargo and youth vans. We serve all youth ministries at Foothills including events like summer camps, winter camps, Junior High and High School off campus big groups, beach trips, Youth Venture trips, leadership retreats, Future Quest, VBS and so many more. We also support a number local churches and ministries by providing drivers and buses for camps and ministry trips.


You can see why we consistently pray for both volunteers and more drivers to join the team as the need continues to grow.

On Saturdays we visit the kids and families that are already riding the buses. Parents of bus kids sign permission slips to ride to church and any off campus event we hold. We always encourage parents of bus kids to ride along on the bus. Most of our kid’s families are unchurched. While it is a kid’s only bus ministry, we do have an exception for parents who ride with their kids


Why is Visiting So Important?

During visitation is where we start to build relationships with both the kids and the parents. The basics of visits is to “connect”. Showing up weekly not only reminds the kids we are coming on Sunday, but communicates that we love and care about them. We also bring fliers and treats to give to the current kids, but attempt to spread the word of our bus ministry to friends and families in complexes where our bus families live. Kids telling their friends how great it is to come to Foothills is how our numbers grow. Because of the transient nature of many of our bus families, we are always promoting kids to “Bring a Real Friend”. We celebrate kids that brought a friend the previous month each first Sunday the month by having a raffle for those kids and an ice cream sundae for all the bus kids. We call it “Bring a Friend Sundae Sunday” It’s a tradition we have been doing for 20+ years.


Before leaving we always pray for the buses, teams, kids and families. Leaving the church during first service, we have 5 buses out to pick up kids in 2 areas of El Cajon, Santee and Lakeside. The teams of drivers, captains and monitors pick up designated stops on their routes to deliver kids at church by 10:30am. Upon arriving, all bus kids gather in A1 for a hot breakfast or brunch prepared and served by our bus kitchen team. In many cases, this is the only breakfast/lunch some of these kids will have that day. Feel free to stop by A1 about 10:45am to see a room filled with happy kids, happy servants and the aroma of a great restaurant. Just ask Pastor Dave!

After breakfast, parents go to service and High School students go the Mission 9-10 or to service. Our Junior High students go to worship in the sanctuary and are release to the Junior High Bus Class. Elementary aged Bus Kids stay in A1 for the classroom time.

When service ends all Bus Kids gather in A1. We have a treat for each of them on their way home. Buses are loaded and the drivers and teams take kids home via the same routes as pickups. Many kids are dropped off at Youth Ventures on way home. Because many Bus Kids are Youth Venture kids and Youth Venture kids are Bus Kids, we partner closely with Youth Venture teams to support the centers. Our desire, age appropriate, is to have bus kids attending Youth Venture locations and youth groups at church.


At the core of our ministry is outreach. Every week we visit families that ride on our bus. We want church to be fruitful, fulfilling, and fun! If you don’t see one of our busses driving by, you may see us at your own apartment complex, park, or street hosting a Barbeque, Pizza Party, or activity. We want to serve the community and also invite people to Church!

Join Our Team

Want to join our team? Fill out a form below to be contacted by one of our staff. We hope to see you on one of our busses! We are in need of

Ride-along Bus Monitors (Pick-up and Return Routes)

Drivers (Class A or B with Passenger Endorsement)

Kitchen team (Before Service)

Teaching Team (During 2nd service, Elementary or Junior High)


Join Our Team


Don Bastrom
Bus Ministry Pastor | Bookstore

office: (619) 442-7728