Photo by heddaselder.
It’s May. That means it’s transition season.
As a ministry leader, you’re gearing up for transitions of all kinds: one grade to the next, elementary to middle school, middle to high school, JV to varsity teams, school-year to summer ministry calendar, and perhaps the most anticipated: high school graduation.
Twenty years ago I walked across the platform in my high school gym and received my diploma. I thought I knew a lot about life—what I would study in college, where I would live, who I would marry.
I was wrong about all of those things. And probably a lot more I can’t remember.
Looking back now, what I see most is that I was overly naïve and underprepared. To some extent, no one could have helped me. But as we’ve learned over the past eight years of studying young people and listening to leaders from across North America, freshly minted grads like me could use some more clues for what’s coming.
Whether you’re thinking ahead to graduation or to other transitions or milestones coming soon, we thought we’d assemble a handful of free FYI resources you might find useful in the coming season. Then we came up with a few handfuls, so here’s twenty! Bookmark this one, and keep coming back this summer when you need more help.
- Transition Prayers: A sample liturgy that my church used for back-to-school season last fall, but could easily be adapted for an end of school worship service.
- Milestones of Faith: Creating rhythms through rites of passage across every grade of the school years. Here’s one from another church teaching 4th graders to risk. And if you’re dying for more help with crafting rituals and rites of passage, here you go.
- Anxiety in the In-Between Stages of Our Lives: Healthy Strategies for Coping with Transitions (ideas for students and parents from a licensed therapist)
- Sixth and Ninth-Grade Blessing Ceremonies: Ideas from a Texas church
- What You Need to Know About Faith in College: Three ministry leaders share honestly with students about what’s coming.
- How Do I See Myself After Graduation? A free downloadable curriculum sample to use with seniors or grads!
- Vision Plans: One church’s unique approach to blessing graduates
- Grad Gift Bibles with a Twist: Intrigued?
- The Jacket: A video and discussion guide about what can happen when we treat faith like a jacket, especially when young people leave home for the first time.
- Emergency Response Plans: Helping students prepare ahead of time for when things go downhill.
- How Can My Struggles Help My Faith Stick? Another free curriculum sample for grads!
- A brand-new Sticky Faith Story about Confirmation and getting adults to write down their wisdom for students. Plus this post about Confirmation, and this one with more ideas!
- What You Need to Know about Life After Youth Group: Believe it or not, your students have no idea what life will look like beyond your care. Here’s a good discussion starter for that hard conversation.
- Sticky Faith Deployed: Helping young people prepare for military service.
- Grad Summer Ideas: including weekly discussions, plus posts about a senior retreat and church visit field trips.
- How Can I Find a New Church? Free curriculum sample via Youth Specialties!
- How Can I Manage My Life After High School? Yet ANOTHER free curriculum sample to use with grads!!
- Out of the Nest: Tips for parents to successfully launch kids into college
- College Transition Packages (it’s not too soon to develop a great idea for August.)
- And finally, Don’t Send Them Off Without Leads!
Here are some not-free-but-hopefully-still-awesome resources if you have any cash left at the end of your ministry budget year!
Sticky Faith Teen Curriculum: 10 Lessons to Nurture Faith Beyond High School: Specially-designed to use with juniors, seniors, and grads.
Can I Ask That? 8 Hard Questions About God & Faith: A high school small group curriculum to help them face what’s coming while they’re still in community with you. We know a number of churches who are using this for their summer small group series. And oh yeah, we have a free sample of that one too.
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