Showing Up for Monumental Moments
As you lead students using the Know | Show | Grow method, one of the most important things you will do for them is show up during their monumental moments. Caring enough to show up is one of the most important aspects of gaining a voice of influence in their life and in their parents lives. During some monumental moments, students will need your guidance. During other moments, they will simply want your presence. Following are some key moments that you should be a part of with your students.
You may be a big “birthday” person, or you may not. We can tell you this: most students are. Show love by making their birthday special!
- Send them a “happy birthday” text or phone call.
- Throw them a birthday party with their Community Group, Covenant Group, family members, and/or some of their friends!
- Write them a nice birthday note.
- Give them a birthday card or gift. (No need to go overboard on price—just make it thoughtful.)
When a student experiences a death or tragic loss, be there for them. They need to know that you love them during their highs and also during their low moments. This is when they need you the most.
- Attend calling hours
- Attend funeral service/celebration of life
- Give them an encouraging card or note
- Send them flowers
- Gather other students together to support them in some way
- Communicate with their parents and let them know you’re there for support
- Give them a hug
Elementary, 8th Grade & High School Graduation
Something unique about Zanesville is the emphasis schools put on ceremonies and graduations: preschool graduations, elementary school/6th grade graduation events, 8th grade promotion, and obviously high school graduations. To some, this may seem overboard, but to students, it is a big deal! If it’s a big deal to them, it will be a huge win for them to see you there supporting them.
Elementary & 8th Grade Graduation Ideas:
- Give them a card congratulating them and telling them how excited you are to be with them during this next big stage in life.
- Show up to the event. Whether it’s a 6th grade “clapout,” an 8th grade promotion ceremony, or something else entirely, they will feel and appreciate your presence.
- Throw a little “graduation party” to show them how proud of them you are!
High School Graduation Ideas:
- Attend their graduation open-house or party.
- Offer to help their parents organize their graduation party.
- Give them a graduation card & gift.
- Make or give them something personal that will remind them of your journey together for however long you’ve been leading them.
- Throw a mini party to celebrate them and show how proud you are of them! This is not a replacement for the graduation party their parents are throwing. It’s just a way to show them that you care!
Going Away to College
Statistically, 80% of students leave the church after graduation. The good news? Christian non-parent mentors have the ability to greatly increase students’ chances of staying committed to Christ after graduation! Your job as a leader/mentor is not finished when students graduate from high school. Now is the time they need you the most!
Helping a student find a church/campus ministry:
- Find out where your student will be going to school.
- Research churches & campus ministries
- Campus ministries can usually be found on the school’s official website under extracurricular activities, clubs & organizations, campus calendars, et cetera. This can be a bit tricky because all school websites are different, but it is almost always there if you dig deep enough! If you are struggling, you can even call the school and ask.
- Churches can be found using that handy dandy thing called google! Google “churches near (insert school name here).” Go to church websites, call churches, and put a lot of thought into which church you choose to recommend to your student. The chances are that finding a church similar to North Terrace will likely be the best way for your student to feel comfortable and at home in a new church environment.
- Connect them to a church & campus ministry
- Campus ministry
- Contact the campus ministry leader via phone or email to let him or her know about the student.
- Ask the student for permission to give the campus ministry leader their contact info. Give the student info about the program and contact info for the leader.
- Call the church and talk to them about your student. Ask what kinds of things the church does to connect with college students. See where your student can get connected to serving.
- When you find what you think is the right church, ask your student for permission to give the church their contact information.
- Give the student information about the church.
- Remember: there is always a chance that the church you recommend won’t be the right fit. Don’t be discouraged—just try again! Encourage them to give the church a chance, but if it is clearly the wrong fit, simply help them look for another one.
- Campus ministry
- Regularly communicate with your student while they are gone. Continue to encourage them to stay involved in their church/campus ministry. And don’t just talk about church stuff… Talk about life, how they’re doing, and encourage them during tough times.
- Take time to visit your student at college if you ever get the opportunity!
Staying in Town After High School
You will likely have a student at some point who graduates high school and chooses to stay in Zanesville. This is the exciting time when you have the opportunity to help that student stay connected at North Terrace as a now-adult member. It can be very difficult for students to have a strong desire to stay connected when they no longer have student activities to go to. This is why we strongly value integrating students with the whole church—so they can have a smooth transition into Christian adulthood when they are no longer high school students.
What to do to help this transition:
- Make sure your student is attending Sunday Service for a significant amount of time before graduating so they are used to attending service.
- Help your student get connected to the North Terrace Young Adult Community
- Help your student find a place to serve regularly on Sunday Mornings.
Extra-Curricular Events/Award Programs
The chances are, your students play sports, do band, or are involved in some other kind of extra-curricular activity. This is a great opportunity for you to show up!
Below are examples of things your students would love to see you show up for:
- Academic Award Banquets
- Athletic Award Banquets
- Athletic Events
- Dance Recitals/Competitions
- Band Competitions
- Tons of other possibilities. When you know your students, you’ll know where to show up.
As you follow the Know | Show | Grow method of leading your student, you will know what other moments to show up for. This list is not meant to put you in a box—it’s meant to give you ideas!