Senior night celebrations are special in many ways. If you think it does not have an impact on the graduating seniors…think again. Here are just a few good results of a well planned senior night celebration.
- Appreciation & Care. Show the seniors you love them, care about them, and are not going to forget about them when they leave the youth ministry. Shower them with thoughtful gifts like cards signed by the entire student ministry. Books that will have an impact on this stage of their life (examples: Just Do Something or Dear Graduate). And it doesn’t hurt to throw a gift certificate in there like iTunes or Chipotle.
- Easing the Transition. These seniors have been with you for 6-7 years, so this is not an easy transition for them. So make it easier on them. Invite the young adult ministry to the senior night celebration. Put them in an adult or young adult small group before they exit youth ministry to ease into the transition. Set apart certain times where they visit adult programs and classes before graduation. We are losing way too many seniors after graduation from the church. We need to do a better job in transitioning them into the life of the church. (By the way, this should happen from when they are in children’s ministry, but I’m talking about specifically seniors right now)
- Celebrate Good Times, Come on! Make it a celebration. Next week, I will give some ideas of some senior nights we have done in the past. And let me tell you, these are some of my favorite nights in youth ministry. Memorable, fun, impactful and purposeful nights that students, parents, and families have enjoyed.
- Honoring One Another. Senior Celebrations also allow the other students to honor the graduates. Each year I have the seniors give at least one lesson they have learned over the years to pass along to the younger students. Many have encouraged the younger students to attend certain events, or take advantage of certain things, and others have given powerful lessons they have learned along the way.
- Great Ending. What makes a movie, book, or story memorable…well, it’s a good ending, of course. Same for your graduates. Allow the seniors to have a lasting memory of how things ended, leaving with a sweet taste and an eagerness to continue serving and being a part of the local church.