10 Things To Do at Your Closing Program
04.28.2015 posted by Chris Marchand
Closing programs can be chaotic and awesome times. There are a lot of parents present. Students are wrapping up a year. Awards are given. Cookies and watered-down juice or punch will be consumed. It’s the climax of a year. Here are a couple of things to consider as you reach your closing program. Think of this as a game and see if you can do all ten at your closing program.
1. Thank your leaders publicaly . They gave up their own personal time to come and hang with the group. They raced to the church from work. Sometimes they skipped dinner on the way. They hung out and handled the students that drove you nuts. They memorized just as much scripture as the students. They stayed late. Cleaned up games. Planned activities. Ran small groups. Counseled, cried and spoke truth into the lives of your students. Spend a few moments and recognize them. It doesn’t have to be anything gaudy or over the top. Sometimes all anyone needs to hear is that the work they have done was noticed and appreciated. Words have an eternal quality to them and are remembered long after all the toys, plastic, and trinkets have gone away. What words will they remember hearing from you?
2. Find your student’s parents and brag about them a little. Seriously, it’s an awesome thing to find a student’s parents and spend a few minutes telling them the great things you see growing in their student’s life. Honestly, this doesn’t happen hardly enough. We live in a world flooded with criticism, report cards, and improvement plans. Spend some time sharing with these parents the God-Sized things you see growing in their student’s life and just watch the faces of the parents. See how many smiles you can get in one night.
3. Find the custodians and thank them too! They were there to put up and take down the temporary walls. They cleaned up your messy game night and helped you get those stains out of the carpet. They helped you cover up a few things that happened that nobody will ever find out. Seriously, give them some love and appreciation. Yes, it’s their job. However, they are an important part of the ministry team and deserve a little something extra for helping deal with all the sticky and yucky stuff over the past year.
4. Take a picture with your small group. I have several pictures of my small groups from over the years. They serve as prayer reminders to this very day, and I continue to pray for my students. Get a picture and put it in a place where you can continue to lift them up and pray for them this summer.
5. Speak words of expectation. Coaches and teachers know how to do this well. They say things like, “I hope to see good things from you next year.” Or, “I cannot wait to see how your swing develops for next year’s season. We’re going to need your arm on the team.” Wait! You noticed me? You saw me? You have a plan for me? Believe it or not students and leaders want to know this. They want to know that they have been seen. Spend some time thinking about some words of expectation that you could speak into the lives of your students and leaders.
6. Recruit someone for your ministry team. You’ll have a room full of parents. Get at least one parent to sign up to help you next Fall. You will have added one member to your team. Meet with them over the summer to develop their skills and build a relationship with them. See if you can get someone on board in an hour. Challenge made!
7. Return everything you “borrowed” over the past year. “Hey, we need this chair. O’ we’re only going to use those tables for one week.” Seriously, if you and your students took some stuff or used some supplies this past year then spend some time returning them to their rightful owners. It might be like Christmas for the facilities management departments in your ministries.
8. Thank the Pastors. Pastors are a vital and important part of any ministry. Even if they are not there when your group meets, your group is under the shepherding of a pastor. They provide and fight for space, budget dollars, etc. Spend some time thanking the Pastor, who is in charge of overseeing your group. Have your students thank them as well. These people want to know they are making a difference for the Kingdom of God. Show them the difference they are making and enlist your students to help show that to them.
9. Make plans to hang out with your students over the summer and make sure they know what the plans are before they leave. Don’t let all this energy go to waste. Make some plans to hang with your students one or two times over the summer. Go see a movie together. Or, spend some time just catching up over coffee or a salad. Do at least two check-in’s over the summer and stay current in your student’s lives.
10. Pray and Give Thanks to God. Spend a good chunk of time just giving praise and thanks to God for all that He has done this year. Thank Him for His Word that has been sown into the lives of your students. Thank Him for His provision, direction, and wisdom. Thank Him for the Gospel and His Son. Find five ways that you can give God thanks for all that He has done to bring His children back to Himself.
Think you can do all ten? Let’s thanks some people, encourage some hearts, and make some plans to continue to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ.