It is nearing the end of an era for many university students as they finish up for exams and prepare to say goodbye to the last 3 or more years! For many final years, their graduation ceremony would have been the finishing touch to celebrate the last few years of hard work with their friends and loved ones. However, due to the pandemic, this won’t be the case for many. With COVID, lockdowns, and restrictions, this isn’t the year many final years would have hoped for, and understandably, cancelled ceremonies only further add to the disappointment.
This is a unique season for final years as they prepare to close one chapter and start a new one. It’s a season that brings several questions such as: What job should I apply for? Do I want to study more? How will I find going back home? Where should I move to? What should I do this Summer? Will I see my friends again? What is ‘adulting’ really like?
Leaving university can either be exciting, scary, or confusing. And due to the pandemic, leaving may bring disappointment to many. And this is where the church can step in!
Not only can we be a church that celebrates students as they finish exams this year. We can also help them reflect and prepare well for the next stage of their lives. As the church, we have an opportunity to step in and step up to give final-year students in and out of the local church the best send-off!
What if the love of the local church was one of the best memories for final years? What if we prepared them with the confidence and tools to enter working life well? And most importantly, what if students discovered that God loves them and has a plan for them for the first time?
Let’s not miss out on this incredible missional opportunity we have to reach and celebrate graduating students! And let’s think creatively, pray earnestly, be generous and celebrate students well!
Below is a list of ideas and resources:
- Host a fancy meal for final year students as a treat for all of their hard work this year!
- If you have a church building, why not put on a mini graduation ceremony for students. You could order mortarboard hats, pop champagne, and spend time praying for students. Check out this blog of a church that hosted a graduate evening for its students.
- Who doesn’t love a gift? Why not make up fun graduation-themed party bags to give out to final years on campus. You could include the Graduate alphabet in it.
- Social media is a great tool in getting the gospel out far and wide. You could dedicate your church accounts to preparing and celebrating graduating students by sharing mini vids of ex-students giving their top tips and advice for graduation!
- Put on a course for leaving students that helps prepare students for working life. Routed is an excellent resource for helping students transition into the working world with a biblical vision.
What other ideas do you have? Pop them below to inspire others!