Do you have any traditions or special ideas for back-to-school season or Promotion Sunday? Something you do every year that encourages kids to reflect on the past year but also get pumped for the year ahead? A special way to celebrate the start of a school year or moving to new ministry classes/small groups?

My favorite back-to-school or Promotion Sunday tradition is much simpler than you might think: showing a picture slideshow or video that recaps the past year. This video or slideshow shares pictures and clips of special events, Sunday mornings, mid-week programs, etc. Set it to an upbeat worship song your kids loved from the year, and you’re all set!

I like to show this video recap on Promotion Sunday every year and use it as a launching point for small group discussion questions like:

  • What was your favorite thing we did at church this year and why?
  • What was your favorite thing that happened (in school, at home, etc.) this past year?
  • How did you grow this year? (Physically, mentally, spiritually, socially?)
  • Tell me something that you learned this year. (At church, at home, at school, etc.)
  • What are you looking forward to this coming year?
  • What do you hope God will teach you this year?

A picture slideshow is a great way to remind kids about the fun they’ve had, the friends they’ve made, and the things they’ve learned. Plus, as kids look back at what the last year held, it helps get them excited for the year ahead!

And it makes great content to share with your families or on social media (with permission). Grown-ups love seeing their kids having fun, and a video slideshow

For me as a leader, creating this slideshow forces me to slow down and celebrate what God has done in and through the ministry. I get to take time to remember the silly and serious conversations, the important decisions, and the special moments when God showed up big in the lives of our kids.

You can even release some of your major dates for the year ahead with this video/slideshow so families can go ahead and mark their calendars for what’s ahead. (Psst- you can use our Calendar Planning Checklist from the KidMin Planning Bundle to set all your major dates for the year!)

Looking for a lesson that has this simple Promotion Sunday tradition built in? Check out Movin’ On Up or LAUNCH, two promotion Sunday lessons that encourage kids to start the year with intentionality and faith!

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