Graduation season is fast approaching. It’s an exciting time of celebration!
But it should be about more than just fun and a seemingly never-ending string of graduation parties. In fact, it’s a ready-made opportunity to share some godly heartfelt encouragement, insight and wisdom. There are a few simple steps you can take to send them off well!
First, take the time to meaningfully honor your graduates during one of your youth group meetings. You’ll not only encourage them to keep a God-focus as they move into this next season of life, you’ll also get the opportunity to prompt the rest of your students to think about some BIG, important questions. Questions like their purpose in life, what God’s calling them to and what they really want out of life.
Aim for Individual Impact
But in addition to dedicating a youth group meeting to this important milestone, I also encourage you to get with your seniors one-on-one, if possible, or at least in smaller groups of two to three. What do you want to accomplish during these individual, customized senior send-offs? Honor and impact.
Here’s a short list of possible ways you can honor and impact them.
- Affirm them personally by noting 2-3 specific things about each of your seniors that you admire.
- Cast a vision for how you see God might use these personal traits to honor Him and advance His kingdom through them in the coming years.
- Ask them about their personal goals and dreams. Look for ways to encourage them to invite God in to shape their aspirations (Matthew 7:24-25).
- Ask them about their greatest fears as they enter this new season of life. Encourage them to trust God for their future (Philippians 4:6-7).
- Caution them to use their upcoming freedoms and opportunities wisely, for God’s glory. It’s easy to get sucked into the post-high school lifestyle of self-absorption they’ll see all around them. Many of their peers will be trying to fill the God-shaped hole in their soul with things like success, popularity, drinking, sex, tech toys or whatever. But true happiness doesn’t come from those pursuits (Psalm 37:4-6).
- Communicate the importance of finding a group of Christians to gather with on a regular basis, whether it’s a college campus ministry or a young adult church-based group.
- Urge them to see this new season of life as a whole new “mission” field, and to share their faith consistently as they build new relationships.
Graduation seasons offers a natural segue to ask your seniors some probing spiritual questions. They’re leaving you…send them off well!