For the class of 2020, this will be a transition unlike others in recent history. No prom. The graduation ceremony won’t be until the fall. These students won’t have the chance to say goodbye as a group.
The move towards post-secondary life will be just as different for them, although for those taking a gap year or working, the shift may not be as drastic. (Students taking a gap year may find our Gap Year Template helpful.)
Life will continue to be different than usual for those going to college or university. Frosh week/days won’t be the same as group activities will either be cancelled or modified. Some students may not step foot on campus for weeks or months.
Here are some ways you as the church can come alongside the class of 2020.
- Support them individually. Youthministry.com has a great blog post on 5 ways to support a grad called “What Seniors REALLY Need From You Right Now.” Growing Leaders has an article called “Helping School Grads Make a Plan for Next Year” that helps students discern how to approach this fall (whether to go/not go, frame of mind if they are going, etc.).
- Pray with them. Grads and their parents have some difficult decisions to make in the coming months. Establish a group of people who commit to regularly praying for these grads and their parents. Transition 101 will be launching a prayer video that you can join in on June 28 at 4:00 pm—or you can use afterwards in your own service/events.
- Celebrate this chapter in students’ lives well. You may or may not be able to gather the graduates all together, but think of a special way your church can celebrate this end-of-school chapter in a meaningful way. Some churches have done “parades” with grads. Others are doing a drive-in grad ceremony. Canadian Youth Network has a template for an epic virtual grad party. Perhaps you can compile a collection of videos who want to express a blessing to this class of 2020.
- If they are heading to campus (physically or online) in the fall, help bridge them to their next faith community. Renegotiating Faith reminds us that a grad is 4x more likely to enter and remain in a new faith community if the sending church helps make that bridge. Whether you choose to connect them through transition101.ca/connect or through your own networks/channels, this is a vital support you can offer.
As a side note, campus ministries are also trying to figure out what will happen in a few months. Please pray for them both for how they welcome these new frosh and the best ways to continue to share Jesus among students on campus.
The class of 2020 will experience a graduation that’s vastly different. But we can help make it a memorable one because of what God continues to do.