When I got here I made sure to reach out to each senior. They were some of the first students’ phone numbers I saved in my phone and the first students I had lunch with. I made an effort to show them that I care about them.
I built a relationship with them and showed them I cared about their future. I tried to engage them with questions about their future and their dreams about college. I would encourage them with the little I knew about the area schools and gave them the best advice I could give them from my time leaving high school.
I got them a good book, which I struggled with the most. Knowing the context I was in, I knew that their parents would be giving them good Bibles. I also didn’t want to give them good books they already read. I wanted to give them something that would prepare them well for college. I choose 99 Thoughts for College-Age people by Chuck Bomar. I tend to steer clear from “stereotypical” youth ministry books and publishing houses, not because I have anything against them, but because I just don’t tend to look at books that come out of there. It wasn’t until I was in a local Christian bookstore and thumbing through this book, that I had to reconsider my angst. This book is wonderful. It is short, thoughtful, and legit. Points on dating, spending money wisely, and how to look at campus ministries are just some of the many great suggestions and insightful tips that the author gives. His tips are exactly what I would tell the students.
I met with my senior pastor to find a way to for the church to recognize the seniors well. We blocked out about 20 minutes of the service just for them to be known and recognized by the church.
Lastly, I made a video with them in it to be played in service and posted on Youtube for them to look back on and share. I decided to make it upward-focused. From the music to the questions, I wanted the video to focus more about God and his work in the lives of the students, rather than just have a slideshow with baby pictures and a Vitamin C song.
How did you recognize your seniors at your church? What gifts did you give them? If you made a video, share them in the comments.