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This post was originally posted at YouthSpecialties.com.

This past Sunday night we celebrated the lives and acheivements of our graduating high school seniors. We began with a time of songs and worship. Then we brought our seniors up to some really lame beatbox fanfare music mouthed by our pastoral team (including yours truly — wishing we would have had that moment on video).

We proceeded to pray/speak over the lives of each of our students publicly. As happens every year, I was reduced to tears by about halfway through, if not earlier. It’s always a bittersweet day. One of pride in our students: seeing what God is doing in and through them always gets me pumped up! But also, it’s when the reality sinks in that we won’t be seeing some of these guys/girls around as much anymore. Nevertheless, it is our privilege to celebrate their giftings and callings. To send them out as disciples and offer our public blessing is quite an honor.

We hand out gifts from the student ministry and checks from the church (in the amount of their graduating year, i.e. $20.09). Afterwards, we celebrate with cake and punch. It sounds simple, but is very profound in the lives of our students.

I’m hoping that you are taking some time out this month to honor and celebrate your grads. Have any great ways you are doing this that you can share? We’d love to hear from you!


Shawn Michael

Husband, father, musician, pastor, Internet junkie, and Foursquare District NextGen Rep for the Gateway District