TIP 3: Celebrate the people going through different graduations.
This is the season when many children and youth celebrate milestones (although differently, like last year). This includes:
- Grade school to high school
- High school to post-secondary (whether school, apprenticeship or work)
- Post-secondary studies to new careers (or for further studies)
- (others you may know about)
As you identify these individuals, consider:
- Reaching out to each graduate individually, whether it’s a card, a phone call or a digital message, offer a personal congratulations on this milestone.
- Praying with and for these young people. This can happen during your public recognition but it can also include a group of “prayer warriors” who will intercede on behalf of each one in the coming months.
- Who is walking alongside them during this transition? Mentoring (at any age) is a vital part of faith formation. Understanding God’s leading takes extra time during these momentous shifts in life and can result in higher levels of anxiety.
- What is the transition from one ministry context to the next? If these young people will be part of a different ministry group than they have been, how is the new group preparing to receive them well? If there isn’t a ministry group (e.g. if they’re doing out-of-town post-secondary studies) help connect them to new faith communities. If you know of someone going to an Ontario university, t101.ca is one way to connect them personally to a local campus ministry.
While the senior pastor is not necessarily the one responsible for implementing all these considerations, it is the church’s responsibility with the senior pastor to ensure it is done. This is a crucial time to come alongside these youth and young adults at a pivotal part of their lives.