Youth Ministry

Celebrating Your Seniors

Tim Smith talks about a unique way that he is honoring and celebrating the seniors in his ministry.

Ryan Latham

April 20, 2023

Tim Smith, talks about an idea he had for his high school senior students as they prepared to graduate. He wanted to do something more personal and relational, given the pandemic and budget constraints. Instead of expensive leather jackets, he thought of bomber jackets with patches that they could iron or sew on themselves. They would have the youth group's logo and the year of graduation. He also had bags and swag boxes made, which contained a book by Craig Rochelle called "Winning the War in Your Mind," a plaque with their name and favorite scripture, and a little something from the youth group. The service was turned into a banquet with tables, a photo booth, and pizza. Families and close friends were invited to honor the students. The cost was less than $1,000, and the team made sure to make it memorable for the students. The juniors and sophomores are already asking about the jackets, which keeps them coming to youth group and maintaining the momentum.Main TopicsTim's idea for honoring high school seniors: bomber jackets, bags, book, plaque, banquet.Criteria for receiving the honor: consistency, commitment, involvement in the youth group.Future plans for the senior ceremony: involving the young adults ministry, making it more formal, adding more gifts.

Fundraising ideas: reaching out to local college ministries, asking for support from the church congregation.

Questions / Answers

What did Tim do with his high school seniors? Tim created a personalized and relational way of honoring his high school seniors as they graduated.

How did Tim come up with the idea of bomber jackets? Tim was inspired by a similar idea from a network he was part of and wanted to make it more affordable and personal.

What other gifts did Tim give to his seniors? Tim also gave them bags with the youth group's logo and a book called Winning the War in Your Mind by Craig Rochelle.

How did Tim determine who would receive the honor? Tim had a criteria of consistency, commitment, and involvement in the youth group.

What are Tim's future plans for the senior ceremony? Tim plans to involve the young adults ministry, make it more formal, and add more gifts.

How can youth groups fundraise for similar projects? Tim suggests reaching out to local college ministries and asking for support from the church congregation.

Key points and Insights

Tim's idea for honoring high school seniors is a great way to show appreciation and build relationships with them.

The criteria for receiving the honor encourages consistency and commitment in the youth group.

Involving the young adults ministry in the senior ceremony can help with the transition to adulthood and keep them connected to the church.

Fundraising ideas can help make these projects more affordable and involve the community in supporting the youth group.


"We're trying to think of what can we do that's a little bit more personal, a little bit more relational on our end. “

"The secret sauce behind it is getting them plugged in so they can build relationship and sustain their walk with the Lord. “

"The jackets, I think we're locked in on those. The bags were locked in on them. They loved the awards. “

"You have not because you ask not. “


⛪️ Youth Ministry📖 Book🏆 Plaque🎓 High School Seniors👩💼 Leadership🍽️ Banquet🎓 Graduation🧥 Bomber Jackets😎 Swag🙏 Young Adults Ministry💰 Fundraising

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