Knowing the rhythms of life for the families you serve and stepping into those rhythms to celebrate milestones is a key factor in connecting with your families. One of the biggest milestones each year is back-to-school season! So here are 5 ways to celebrate this important time in your children’s ministry:
- Host a special event – Whether it’s a family event like a Back to School Prayer Bash or a kids-only event that gives the parents a break (like our brand new science-themed Parents’ Night Out), hosting a fun kick-of event for the Back to School Season is a great way to help families celebrate! You could even bring back some of the creative alternatives from last year during COVID-season, like the Drive Through Back-to-School Event that my church hosted!
- Equip families to celebrate at home – A lot of prep goes into the back-to-school season for families. School supply shopping, new backpacks, first-day-of-school outfits, and more! Help families slow down the craziness of this season with a Back to School Prayer Journal, Back-To-School Eve Devotional for the night before school begins, or a Family Prayer Guide. You could even create a full Back-to-School Survival Kit or share a practical way for parents to pray for their kids at the start of the year.
- Make Promotion Sunday special – Even though some people do their promotion at church at the beginning of summer, Promotion Sunday is a great way to celebrate the back-to-school season! It helps get kids excited for their new class or small group at church, and it helps you give special attention to those milestone transitions like rising kindergarteners and the kids graduating to youth group. You can make it a fun morning with something like our Pop Up Sunday Promo Kit or our Chalk Draw: Back To School video-led game that works well with any curriculum. Or take a break from your regular curriculum to make the whole morning a special lesson focused on the year ahead! Our top Promotion Sunday lessons include Movin’ On Up, Best Year Ever, and What’s In Your Backpack. And don’t forget to check out the Promotion Sunday Prep Bundle to help you stay on top of all of the administrative aspects of the day!
- Give back-to-school gifts with purpose – I always love giving out gifts to kids whenever I can (because who doesn’t love a surprise gift) and the start of a new school year is a perfect time! But rather than just giving them another piece of candy, what if you gave them a gift with a purpose? Either a prayer pencil, a pack of lunchbox scripture notes, or even just general encouraging notes for parents to add to their lunches each day. Or what if each child in your ministry woke up to this sign in their yard or at the church for the first week of school? Or even a fun school supply with your ministry logo or something you’ll know they’ll use!
- Don’t forget about your volunteers! – As we’re talking back-to-school season, we can’t forget about our volunteers! Now is a great time to refresh your team for the year ahead. Host an annual volunteer training (use a superhero theme to really blow your team away), update your volunteer handbook, and make a plan for appreciating the volunteers who served last year. If your team isn’t ready to meet in person yet, make a plan to train them digitally on topics like classroom management or types of learners. Maybe it’s time even to share the vision of your children’s ministry or introduce the new team in a fun way! If you want a resource with everything you need to recruit, assimilate, and train your team for the year ahead, check out our editable volunteer bundle.