For Christian students, graduation is an important time of transition. According to the 2002 Southern Baptist Convention's Council on Family Life, 88 percent of teens raised in evangelical homes stop attending church at the age of 18, when they graduate high school. For many Christian teens, graduation is the moment when they either leave their faith or claim it as their own. A Christian-themed graduation party is an opportunity for high-school seniors to affirm their faith and be encouraged about the future.
A Christian graduation party has many of the things you would have at a secular party, including good food, fun games, and time for seniors to spend together and reminisce about their high-school years. However, also include a way for seniors to think about their faith, to remember how they've grown spiritually in high school, and to consider how they will keep their faith strong through college.
One way to do this is to allow time for parents, youth leaders or other adults to say a few words about the graduate. Talk about ways they've seen the graduate demonstrate his faith, or character traits they appreciate about the graduate. Make these messages even more powerful by recording them or having them written down so the graduate is able to see them again and think about them later on.
Another meaningful way to encourage graduates to reflect on their spiritual lives is by having them write letters to themselves about spiritual lessons they've learned in high school or what their prayers are regarding college.
A final important aspect to include in a Christian graduation party is prayer for the graduates. Have a parent say a brief prayer for the graduates or ask a pastor to lead a prayer. Organize a prayer walk, in which everyone walks together to different stations that each have suggestions for prayer on a specific topic. For example, one station directs you to pray for the graduates to make wise decisions in their college years, while another directs you to pray for them to grow spiritually and seek out opportunities to grow their faith while they are in college.
There are many wonderful gifts to give a Christian graduate at her graduation party. A student Bible helps her continue studying the Bible on her own as she's searching for a new church while in college. A book that reinforces her intellectual understanding of faith, such as the student edition of "The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity" by Lee Strobel, is another popular choice. A plaque with a Bible verse is a good dorm-room decoration that encourages her whenever she sees it. And a prayer journal gives her a place to record her thoughts and prayers over the next few years.
Lisa Baker has been a professional writer since 2001. She has published articles on parenting, environmental issues and religious topics in a variety of print and online venues, including "HomeLife Magazine" and "Pink & Green." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Sweet Briar College.