- Sunday: 9:00am-10:15am & 10:45am-12:00
High school graduation is a very important moment in a high school senior’s life. It is a culmination of their educational career! So many emotions are present during graduation, from the graduates, the families, and even the teachers that pour their heart into these students.
I remember my high school graduation fairly well. I was ready to walk across the stage, grab my diploma, and begin the next journey. The next journey will look different for everyone. For some, their next journey is a two or four-year college where they study a field that they are passionate about. For some, it is the military, which is honorable and courageous. While others, pursue their chosen career paths.
Any one of these paths are great. However, as Christians, this next step could be detrimental to your faith. Statistics show that a good many young adults step away from their faith a year or two after graduation. The exact numbers are always changing, but I have seen from as high as 85% to as low (not really low) as 50%. No matter the exact percentage, this should be alarming for everyone! From the parents, grandparents, students, and the average churchgoer.
In my time in ministry, I have seen high schoolers who are passionate about their faith turn away from the Church. It’s extremely saddening, but I am hoping to offer three tips that will help adjust this statistic.
Tip #1: Find your home
Whether you stay in the area in which you graduate, travel to a different city or state, or even move across the globe, the greatest thing you can do is be a part of a faith community. If you are heading to college, this could be an on-campus community like CRU or a Baptist college ministry. Of course, being a part of a church with similar beliefs would be best. The same goes for career and military, continue being a part of a church body! Worship, fellowship, and biblical teaching is very important for you as a believer.
Tip #2: Find godly relationships
This season in your life is a big one. Friends you had in high school are suddenly gone and the people you could usually rely on and talk through problems with are now unable to help you. During this time, it is really important to find godly relationships to help keep you accountable and to be there for you. These people could be found in any of those places I listed previously and many other places. Find those people who will tell you how it is when you need it most. Find those people that will point you toward Christ, and not away.
Tip #3: Realize that you are not perfect
I know this tip is a downer, but it is so true! You may have intentions to be a perfect Christian on this next journey, but I can almost guarantee that something will happen in your life that will cause you to stumble. Maybe you do get caught up in the wrong crowd, or maybe something tragic happens in your life. The truth is, things happen. In fact, some things are out of your control. However, I believe, if you follow the first two tips, the mistakes you could possibly make will significantly decrease. With that being said, mistakes still do happen but don’t let that get you down and cause you to neglect your faith. Rather, use that time to turn to God, ask for forgiveness, and recognize your need for Him, and continue seeking godly relationships, and getting plugged into a faith community.
Surely, there are many other tips that could be given, but when it comes to our faith, I think these three are important. Over the past few years, I have known students who could have used them. My hope is to prepare graduating seniors for the next journey and help them get plugged into a faith community where they will find godly relationships, and where they turn to God when (or if!) they make a mistake.
If you're graduating from somewhere this year (high-school, college, etc) we'd love to recognize you in our services May 26th. This is an opportunity for your church family to pray for you and support you.