The class of 2020 has lost so much. Graduations are canceled, and celebrations are postponed. Summer plans for college orientations, internships, and fun are on hold. For many of us, we can’t physically gather with our seniors to recognize them and celebrate with them right now, but that doesn’t need to hold us back. Our seniors deserve to be honored in big ways! We polled some veteran youth workers to see what they are doing and compiled a list of the best ideas we’ve found for honoring and celebrating your senior class in the midst of these crazy times. If you’ve got additional ideas, please share them in the comments below.
Possibly include baby picture & senior picture
Include High School they graduated from
Pictures from their time in youth ministry at youth and Church events
What has the Church meant to you? (opportunity for them to express their appreciation!)
Who or what has most helped shape your faith formation? How? (who = significant adults or peers; what = programs, Bible studies, events, trips that the youth participated in)
How have you grown in your faith from your Middle school years to High school to now?
How has the Church prepared you for a continued life of discipleship after graduation?
Share a highlight or meaningful memory from your time in the youth ministry or at the Church.
How have you grown in your faith since you first entered the youth ministry?
What words of wisdom do you have to offer those younger than you? What legacy do you want to pass on to the classes below you?
Some of the same ideas posted below for social media could be utilized here too
“Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis
“Let Your Life Speak” by Parker Palmer
”Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God” by Francis Chan
“The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“The Book of Everyday Prayer: Liturgies for Personal Devotion” by Jeremy Steele
“Oh The Place You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss
We are hearing from numerous youth ministers that during this season their plate is just too full. Caring for others is a ministry staple, but often it comes at the expense of caring for oneself. Self care for the Youth MInister is so important. If you don’t take time for yourself and your own relationship with God, not only will you suffer, but eventually your students will too.
We’ve created a Pandemic Youth Week curriculum bundle that combines elements of both a summer camp and a youth week. Many youth are missing out on both of these due to cancelled camps and trips among other cancelled important events your youth would usually attend. We’ve written this curriculum such that it can be used in person while socially distancing, online, or some combination of both.
Despite all the challenges the pandemic has presented to youth ministries, it has also created an opportunity to allow youth more involvement in worship. Although youth sunday will look very different this year, it is a great opportunity to empower our youth to be leaders. Youth’s comfort and familiarity with technology make them a great resource for churches who are seeking to move their worship services online for the first time.