youth ministry, youth workers, seniors

Seniors Slipping Away

By Doug Franklin February 13, 2012

When spring time comes the seniors leave. This has become a fact of youth ministry. Some churches embrace it and don’t even let seniors participate in events and mission trips the summer after their senior year. Basically cutting them loose before they decide to leave. Other churches try all kinds of special events to keep seniors interested. Most churches just let them go and pretend like they are too busy with senior stuff to have time for church. This migration sets the stage for students leaving the church. Think about it: if seniors don’t connect with the church why do we think they will reconnect the minute they get to college? We need to engage seniors so they won’t leave and because they are at a crucial time in their faith. If we want to keep seniors we are going to have to change our thinking and our programing. One idea: move seniors out of their traditional small groups and form a coed senior group focused on issues that are relevant to their stage in life. I suggest helping students develop a Christian world view by studying other religions or by giving them tools to defend their faith. The key here is getting seniors into groups with people who are going through the same things they are going through. Younger students can’t understand their issues, so moving seniors into groups of other seniors should help with connection. What are some ideas you have to keep seniors from leaving youth group early?

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More