Through the many years that I served as a Youth Pastor, I developed some important things that I enjoyed doing every year. One of them, was giving a special goodbye message to our graduating seniors. When a student graduates from a youth ministry, it’s a special occasion. A time for celebration, and commitment. We celebrate the fact that the student is making the step into adulthood, and that they are committing to continue following Jesus along the way.
My goodbye message was almost identical every year. Most of our students heard it 3 times prior to their own graduation. But that’s okay. It included a few truths that I hoped they would carry with them for all of life. I decided to share them with you today. You may recognize them, they are based off a song by a band called “Sidewalk Prophets” called “The words I would say.”
#1. Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope.
The phrase “Be strong on the Lord” means It’s okay to feel scared and overwhelmed. Human beings aren’t designed to handle all this stress on their own. That’s why Christ died for you. To take the burden of stress and anxiety from you. Lay your worries on him, and never give up hope that he is returning for all of us soon.
#2. You’re gonna do great things, I already know.
We believe in you! I can see the promise of the father growing in you. There is no doubt that you are going to do amazing things in the future. Keep moving forward. God has it all figured out!
#3. God’s got his hand on you, so don’t live life in fear.
Jesus says the phrase “Do not fear” over and over again in the scriptures. Don’t be afraid of growing up. Take a deep breath, and relax. This is just the beginning of something really cool!
#4. Forgive and forget, but don’t forget why you are here.
Forgiveness is paramount in life. If someone has done you wrong, be like Jesus and let it go. Forgiving is the most difficult, and the most rewarding thing we can do. Because when looking at the big picture, we are here to be like Jesus, and teach others to do the same. Don’t let anger slow you down.
#4. Take your time and Pray.
This one is super important. The scriptures teach us that prayer is our direct connection to God. They also teach us that he is listening.Prayer is very powerful, so use it!! When you are scared, when you are alone, when you are facing things you may not be sure of. God is always listening.
#5. These are the words I would say.
We can’t always be there with you to help you through the rough times, But these simple truths are written to be stored in your heart. Look back over them as you begin this next journey in life. I promise, they will help carry you on your way.
One of the things we always tried to teach our students, was that they were loved. Not only by a loving compassionate God, but by us as well. Jesus taught his followers to love others because he must have known how powerful a tool it was. We have to teach the next generation, that there is hope,and there is love in this culture.
If every student felt that they were loved, imagine how it would change the world.
Sorry if I am being too sentimental, but it’s true.
What do you think?
Till next week,