In my community, it's officially the end of the year. Schools get out in the next couple of weeks and it seems that between now and then, there's a steady onslaught of end-of-the-year festivities, including parties. In some instances, students have parties in nearly every class to celebrate surviving another school year and to usher in the start of summer vacation.
This mindset often seeps into the church, especially ones like mine, where summer activities are greatly reduced in order to allow leaders to take a break and encourage families to spend time together. Inevitably, at the end of the year, I get asked, “When's the high school ministry's end-of-the-year party?” to which I respond, “There's not.”
At first, people are confused by this. “Don't you want to celebrate the year?” they ask.
Well... Sort of.
I absolutely want to celebrate and name the ways God has been at work among us during the year. But I don't want to celebrate the end of the year and the start of summer vacation. I don't want to promote a graduation-like mentality that subtly suggests that when the weekly program year concludes, teens have graduated from both church and their faith.