Celebrate the New School Year!
By Jessica Bordeleau
Whether it’s a return to the classroom or a whole new way of doing things, this year’s back-to-school experience will be unique. Spring 2020 was a time of unexpected changes and major transitions. Shifting to online education was a significant hurdle for many, but the social changes were life changing. Peer groups are at the center of the teenage world. Being separated from friends at school, extracurricular activities, and church youth group has left many teens feeling lost and lonely. At an age when independence and autonomy have a growing significance, being stuck at home can feel suffocating. The involvement of caring adults offers vitally needed support. Your encouragement as the new school year begins can make a big difference in the life of a teenager!
You can help teens face the transition to a new normal with faith instead of fear. God’s love is the anchor and solid foundation that never changes. Reinforcing that truth offers stability in a time of uncertainty. Back to school might look different, but your support can help them stay connected to their faith in Christ and give them the confidence to face the future. What may seem like small gestures on your part can make a big impact. Here are some ideas!
- Text an encouraging Bible verse during the first week of school.
- Send an encouraging Facebook message and ask what their favorite class is at school. This invites a response and can start a conversation.
- Start a Facebook group for the incoming freshman of your youth group. Help the newbies form connections with others in the same situation.
No technology needed!
- Send a celebration card. It may seem old-fashioned, but receiving an envelope in the mail is still a pleasant surprise. Don’t underestimate the power of snail mail!
- Pray for the youth of your church and tell them you are doing it! Simply knowing that someone is bringing their needs to the Lord helps them see that they are not alone.
- The week before school starts send a simple care package with a few pencils, pens, granola bars and a note pad. If you want to go the extra mile send cookies too!
Sharing Bible verses is a powerful way to encourage your youth as they begin a new journey. Choose verses that speak of God’s love and care. Here are just a few:
- Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
- Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
- He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
In these small ways you can help students celebrate the adventure of a new school year instead of fear it. Showing that you care inspires feelings of security and connection. In an uncertain time you can point them to the unchanging love of Christ.
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