In our main Facebook YouthMin group, one question always pops up repeatedly around this time of year. The question is “What do you get your graduates as you recognize them?” There is always a lot of conversation, and a great deal of options, and we decided to share some things we’ve done in the past. Maybe one of these options will be a good fit for you and your ministry as you seek to honor your graduates this year.
- A Bible with their named engraved on it. (a good study Bible is ideal for a college freshman)
- Radical by David Platt
- You Can Be Everything God Wants You To Be by Max Lucado
- 99 Thoughts for College-Age People by Chuck Bomar
- Thriving at College by Alex Chediak
- Apologetics Study Bible
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
- Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung
- The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler
- Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
- Your church logo on T-shirts or hoodies (downside is you must know sizes)
- Church mugs/travel mug with church logo
- Backpacks or Drawstring Bags with your logo (either church of Youth Ministry)
- Gift cards to Starbucks, Christian Book Stores, etc.
- For ladies: A Sterling Silver Cross Bracelet
- If you have the budget and only a few grads, make a care package with essential dorm supplies (laundry basket/detergent, air fresheners, etc.)
IDEAS FOR RECOGNITION
- Honor all graduates during your worship service. We call them to the front, have them share their name, school, and future plans. Then, we give them a small gift. Included is always a flyer about our upcoming College Ministry activities – the hope is they will plug into that ministry seamlessly.
- Do a Baccalaureate service for your students – meal, speaker, worship, challenge.
- One church near us does a slide show for their students during the worship service to honor them.
- Do a mini-retreat for your seniors with some recent college students. Have them share life experiences and words of wisdom as they enter college.
Regardless of what you get your sr.’s to love on them during THIS season, just make sure they know you still love them the same in the next season. The best gift you can give them is a continued interest in their lives and pastoral care as they begin this next chapter in their lives.