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How To Plan A Powerful Graduation Sunday For Your Church

This article (expanded), as well as 

  • graduation forms
  • graduation gift ideas
  • graduation service sample and
  • graduation song suggestions (over 40)

Are a part of Launching Well: Graduating Your Senior Class In Style resource. If you are not subscribed to the Youth Ministry Round Up newsletter, subscribe now and receive all these graduation resources.

Most of your pastors don’t want you to take the whole service to celebrate the graduating seniors, so allow me to offer some ideas for planning a powerful but pithy Graduation Sunday. 

Before we get to the actual service part, make sure your plans are in place. 

Pre-Graduation Sunday 

Post, announce, e-mail your graduation Sunday plans at least a month in advance encouraging parents to  follow your instructions like, 

Will your child be here for graduation Sunday?

How many people will be at the graduation luncheon? 

Have you filled out and handed in the graduation info sheet (included with the free Launch Well) with the 

  • honors your child received, 
  • awards they have won and 
  • future plans (student can fill this out)
  • a graduation picture to put on the screen

Send out a reminder once a week until graduation Sunday. 

Make sure your pastor has all the names (you have) of students who are graduating.

Check with your pastor/church secretary for names you may have missed.

Make sure you have purchased enough gifts/cards etc. and then buy extra because you know that one kid is going to show up unannounced. 

Graduation Service Elements 

Make sure you and your pastor discuss the order of service and the potential plans you have. Have a sample copy of the service ready to go over with your pastor and discuss any potential additions or changes that need to be made.

Here’s a sample service I have used in the past, with some additional notes. 

Last worship song

Play Slide Show (how to put one together included in Launch Well)

(Make sure the media team has graduation photos and your slide show and they are properly working before service. Also, make sure the music you are using is approved just in case

(Have students on front row or come up on stage right after or during the slide show to save time) 

Comments about this graduating class.

Read names, where they are graduating from, honor they have received, clubs and teams they’ve belonged to (don’t forget their place in your youth ministry, leader, tech, etc.)  and their future plans (I have a sheet in the back students can fill out) 

Give graduates their gifts

(Unless you just want to show them and give them their gifts at the luncheon, if you are having one.)

Quick Gift Ideas

Pastor prays for graduates and families. 

Reminder: Graduates and their immediate families, please join us in the fellowship hall following the service for lunch. 

(Unless you are going to a restaurant, or not having lunch, etc.I  also underlined immediate families so the rest of the church doesn’t eat up all your food)

I hope this outline serves as a skeleton to add your own graduation magic to make the day everything you want it to be and everything the Lord would have it to be.

Subscribe to my newsletter to get the Launch Well pdf to round out your church’s graduation experience.

Related Posts

Six Questions To Get Your Seniors Spiritually Ready For The World

In the previous posts I shared how the different ways students could graduate. Now, the gate has been narrowed. Most states offer some sort of exit exam. What is the point of an exit exam?

“to make sure no students graduate or move on to other courses without proving they have mastered what they have studied.”

This begs the question “Have our students mastered what they have studied?” Never mind mastering what have studies, but what have they studied? How do we know if a student is ready to leave our youth ministry?

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