Enjoying the Journey
Over the last few weeks I have been privileged to spend time with a number of high school seniors. One of them is living in my own home! Just yesterday I was on the campus of the school I graduated from twenty-four years ago. My heart was filled with both memories from my past and thoughts of the future of the seniors who now walk those halls.
Parents, pastors, teachers, coaches and youth workers have a big job every day, but the spring months are especially crucial. Remember your senior year!
- The senior year is one of the most exciting times in life. Big days and decisions lie ahead.
- The senior year is one of the most anxious times in life. The average senior is sick of being asked, “So…what are you going to do?”
- The senior year is one of the most dangerous times in life. Many young people become casualties just before commencement.
How can we help?
- Encourage them to finish well. My pastor taught me that, “People remember how you start and how you finish.” The testimony they leave behind is important! Satan would love to “sift” them near the end.
- Talk with them about their future plans. Demonstrate genuine interest in their lives. (Note: This interest should have shown before now! The greatest way to have strong graduates is to work at developing them the whole time you have them.)
- Speak to them about the will of God. The key thing is not college or career – it is what Christ wants. Keep the issue on a spiritual level and it will help them to sort through the complicated choices before them.
- Teach diligence. Work ethic is often lacking in graduates. It is time to step up and work.
- Counsel them about college. Encourage students to seek God’s perfect will about where they attend. Prepare them to study and get everything they can while they are there. Warn them that not everyone even in a Christian college wants to serve God! Seek to strengthen students who are planning to go to a secular college. Warn them about secular ideology and worldly temptations that will face them. We should work to instill certain things in all of our young people as they prepare to be away from our oversight.
- Connect them to a good church wherever they go. This should be a life-long relationship and responsibility, serving as a constant, stabilizing part of their life. You never graduate from the church.
- Help them develop a consistent devotional life. This is the most important key to life-long victory.
- Create accountability. MANY A YOUNG PERSON SEEKING FREEDOM HAS GONE INTO BONDAGE! The world promotes a dangerous view of “freedom” after high school. Christian young people are accountable to their family, accountable to their home church and pastor, and ultimately accountable to Christ! Authority is in all of life and wise people will seek counsel at every stage.
- Emphasize choosing the right friends at the very beginning of this new season of life. Bad influences are everywhere and good choices are necessary. Young people don’t have to rush into a relationship. God will bring the person of His choosing in His time. Purity is the key principle.
- Pray with them and for them. There is a work in their life that only God can do. Spiritual maturity is not a matter of age, but of stage. It is one thing to grow up and quite another to grow up God’s way. Pray that they will take the next step.
Spend some personal time with a senior this spring. It may make a difference in the rest of their life!
Click the link below for a list of talking points that may help your conversation: