If you have not yet held your final club for the year, the end is in sight. It’s an old Young Life tradition to end each year with “Senior Club,” giving the graduating seniors a chance to lead club and share about their experiences. Here’s a few tips I’ve learned along the way.
This could be your highest attendance club of this semester if “sold” well. If the seniors take ownership of it, they will get people there.
Even if seniors have “checked out” on YL, this is a club they will come back for if personally invited. (Not just a mass text, but a face to face invite or phone call.)
This is a great club to invite the 8th graders (upcoming freshmen). Get parents involved in promoting this and also consider offering prizes for the highschooler who brings the most 8th graders. If you connect with Wyldlife or teachers at the middle school feeding your high school, they can help you reach kids that your club kids don’t know. Wetting the appetite for the 8th graders will make that connection much easier when they’re freshmen in 3 months.
I’ve watched many kids come to a Senior Club that have never been to YL before. Its an easy invite because it’s the last one and the seniors are talking. Work hard to get first timers there! Who knows, they might even sign up for camp. That happened at our club on Monday!
If not carefully monitored, this club could run too long. Consider starting 15 minutes earlier than usual if you want to pack more in there.
Make sure you allow enough time for every senior that wants to share to have a turn.
Coach the seniors ahead of time on WHAT to share. If they know Christ, ask them to speak clearly of what He has done in their life. If they’ve been to camp or plugged into Campaigners, ask them to share of those experiences. Their words will carry much weight with the underclassmen. Although it is fun as leaders to hear kids tell us how great we are, encourage them to use this time to tell how great Jesus is instead.
Coach the seniors ahead of time on HOW LONG to share. If you have 15 seniors that each talk for 4 minutes, that will take an hour. Consider warning them ahead of time that after a certain predetermined length of time you will raise a sign in the back letting them know to wrap it up. Set the seniors up for success.
Will the seniors run music, games, skits? If so, help them prepare. Last year we edited together a “Best of Viral YouTube Video.” We showed part of an original viral video like “David goes to Dentist” and then showed clips that we had videoed of seniors acting out those videos. You can watch it here. It was a big hit!
Think outside the box about ways to make this evening special.
Will you have a time when the leaders pray for the seniors?
Will you give the seniors any gifts, notes, etc…
Will you have a special surprise 24 ft long Gutter Ice Cream Sundae waiting for the kids out back when the night ends? If so, ask some parents to help prepare it so its ready and still frozen when everyone runs outside. Also, prepare to get sticky. Ice Cream fights are inevitable.
What suggestions or ideas do you have? Please share in the comments below.