On a Friday evening, just before graduation, we honored our graduating seniors. This was the first time something like this has been done at this church. In the past, all the seniors would be called up front on Sunday morning and receive a gift. (not just high school graduates, but 8th grade, preschool and college). It was nice, but as the church has grown its become more and more difficult to accomplish. Plus, when you have someone come to you moments before service and say their son/daughter is graduating – what can you do?
So, last year when I arrived we started talking about doing something different for the seniors. I wanted to do something to have them stand out and make this accomplishment something we celebrate with them. So, we put together a banquet for the seniors and a few invited guests.
We wanted this to be better than average, so we set out to make it “feel” special (and not just thrown together). We made it as formal as we could. People noticed. We received a number of compliments on how nice the evening was and how much people appreciated the extra effort.
The evening consisted of:
dinner (semi-catered) – had great people prepare it
2 special songs
we handed out a gift to each senior
a 13 minute video (from pictures submitted by parents)
a message I shared
some great dessert
As the youth minister, I know the only reason it went so well was the great job other people did. I did little to make it a great night. A few ladies did an amazing job turning our fellowship hall into a dining hall. A couple students stepped up and helped serve the food and clean up and tear down and anything else needed.
As I reflect back on this banquet, I am reminded of the importance of having great adults involved with the ministry. Youth coaches can make or break a ministry. And we (youth ministers) all know none of us can do it alone. Even if your ministry is 5 students, you can’t do it alone.
I think I’ll go write a few notes and make a few phone calls just to say thanks and let them know I appreciate their hard work.