Last year we thought we would throw a dinner for all of the senior small groups as we end our school year. It was such a hit! We thought it would be a great way to thank and celebrate the seniors and the group leaders, most of which have been together for four years, as a way to say we will miss you when they are out of our ministry hands.
It was such a hit we decided to do it again and the RSVP’s are coming in hot! We even had to move it into a bigger room this year. So exciting. This is a great night and I thought I would highlight some of the things we do to send off our senior groups well. I’m not saying this is the best way to send them off, it is just our way of doing it. I hope it can spark some ideas!
Free Dinner- We feed them. That is always a plus. We have our kitchen cater the event and it is always good to get students and their leaders around circle tables and just share a meal together.
Special Speaker- We bring in Kurt Johnston, our hd of all student ministries here at Saddleback, and he talks to them about life after high school and challenges them to keep going on in the faith. It is always good.
Prayer- We have a time of prayer for the students and the leaders for them to pray as group for the upcoming summer before they all go off to college.
Stories- Stories are so powerful. And funny. So we prompt some questions like, what was one of your favorite, funniest, best conversations, etc that you had in small group over the years.
Photos- We ask the leaders to start gathering pictures of their group over the last few years and put it in a slide show that we play during dinner and while people are just hanging out. It is so great to see all of the pictures of the leaders with their groups and how much they have grown.
Affir-MASON Jars- This was Jessica’s idea, but they were a hit. There is a mason jar in the middle of the table, and we had the students write affirmations about their leader and put them in the jar. Each student had one as well. So the whole group throughout the night were able to put encouraging notes to their leader and small group mates so they can read later. Very sweet idea.
Free Resource- We gave all the seniors the book “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman. Just to have and to read and encourage them in their faith walk when they are no longer in our ministry. This year I have a few books in mind. The top one so far is “Jesus is _______” by Judah Smith. But we will see.
This event is such a great way to celebrate our seniors and our senior group leaders. And it was a huge hit last year and it’s looking to be another huge hit this year.