But youth leaders across the country are stepping up and showing specifically high school seniors how much they’re loved and how Christ will never forget them or cancel His plans for them in His Kingdom. Check out these 10 ways the Church can love high school seniors amid COVID-19.
1. Adopt a Senior. This is a campaign in which the whole community can participate. On a social media platform, ask for a picture of every senior with a little bio. List them as either Adopted or Unadopted to keep it organized. It’s OK for seniors to be adopted by multiple families. Families who adopt a senior will receive that senior’s address to send them cards, notes, gifts – any sort of encouragement or token of celebration of their last year in high school.
2. Dinner! Order a dinner for a senior and their family. Pay for it, and have it delivered to them. You can do this anonymously for fun, but it might be smart to make sure they don’t have dinner plans that evening.
3. Birthday Drive-By. To brighten a birthday that has been darkened by the COVID-19, organize a parade to come by their house. Decorate vehicles, bring some noise makers and make sure to record it!
4. Prom Drive-By. Prom might be postponed in some communities, but in the meantime, you can invite your seniors to dress to impress as you and your youth ministry team drive by to see them. Take lots and lots of pictures.
5. Yard Decorating. Signs, sidewalk chalk – tie balloons around trees and birdbaths – surprise your seniors with a decorated yard to celebrate them. Go the extra mile and help take it all down when it’s time.
6. Let’s Listen. Traditionally at graduation, the valedictorian gives a speech on behalf the class. But there’s nothing traditional about this year, so invite ALL your seniors to give a speech to the youth group. Let them deliver their speeches over a Zoom call or Insta Live. Record it and keep the tissues close.
7. Virtual Baccalaureate. This is a faith-filled service just for the seniors. The event includes prayer, well wishes to the graduates and a sermon – usually delivered by a faculty member or respected leader from the community. Teachers, staff and family usually attend.
8. Senior Night for Athletes. High school student athletes who participate in spring sports are missing their Senior Night. Tell each senior to invite their team – include coaches and families – to a call to engage in the ceremony online. Each team gets their own call.
9. Sponsor a Senior Class Ring. Sometimes graduating seniors don’t order a class ring because they can’t afford it. A great way to show these students that they are seen and loved by the Church is to challenge the community to sponsor some rings.
10. Get the Mascot Costume. Pull some strings and find out who has the high school mascot costume. Get creative with some videos, do some TikTok dances – but let the school mascot (a symbol of the school and student life) have some fun and entertain the seniors.
CIY would love to hear about ways you’re honoring your high school seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.