Transition Prayers

Brad M. Griffin

This Sunday my church celebrated transitions associated with the back-to-school season. Given the number of kids, educators, and college/graduate students in our congregation, we named quite a few transitions. In particular we blessed our kids who are transitioning from children’s ministry to preteen/middle school ministry. My daughter was one of those. Quite a moving service!

In the spirit of sharing Sticky Faith Stories and resources, I’ve slightly adapted our liturgy from Sunday (special thanks to Jordan Boldt who originally wrote it) to something that can be shared and adapted for your own context if it’s helpful.

We’d love to hear your stories, ideas, and prayers for transitioning into the new school year!

A Transition Liturgy

Reader 1:  The church calendar reminds us that for every beginning there is an ending, and for every ending, there is a new beginning. Transition brings about a variety of feelings including excitement, fear, sadness, anxiety, joy, and uncertainty. God, as our steadfast rock, be with us today as we process our transitions, especially that of the kids who are transitioning into new ministries within our church.   

Lord, in your mercy,

All:  Hear our prayer. 

Reader 2:  God, as our shepherd, give us eyes to see and ears to hear the children among us. Lead us to appreciate one another as brothers and sisters. Reveal to us where we fit into the lives of these particular children. Grant us the necessary grace, mercy, vulnerability, accountability, and support in our community as we all grow together and hold each other up.  May we claim one another as our own. 

Lord, in your mercy,

All:  Hear our prayer. 

Reader 3:  God, as the source of our hope, provide vision and wisdom to our children’s and youth ministry leaders, the mentors among us, and other volunteers as they shepherd and learn from our children.  Let the knowledge of your love fuel their commitment and inform their passions.

Lord, in your mercy,

All:  Hear our prayer. 

Reader 4:  God, as the crucified one, help us see you in our neighbors. We lift up our teachers, administrators, parents, and others in the educational field as the new school year begins. Be with them, granting them grace, hospitality, compassion, and love for the children they encounter. Provide unity among coworkers, and a network of support among those who work with children. We ask that you would walk with each student into their classes, relieve anxiety, stir insatiable curiosity, and cultivate gratitude. 

Lord, in your mercy,

All:  Hear our prayer. 

Reader 5:  God, as our example, help us to continually welcome children, learn from them, and be truly hospitable. Open our eyes to our shortcomings, remove any feelings of indifference, and shed light on ways in which we can be bread and wine to each other. While at times transitions may seem overwhelming or hard work, remind us that it is you who created us, it is you who is in control, it is you who sustains us, it is you who is among us, and it is you who will come again. You are the beginning and the end.     

Lord, in your mercy,

All:  Hear our prayer. 

Reader 1:  Every beginning has its ending, and every ending has a new beginning. 

All:  Amen


Published Aug 19, 2013
Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Associate Director of the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is also the coauthor of Sticky Faith ​and Deep Justice Journeys. A native Kentucky youth pastor, Brad now lives in Southern California with his wife Missy and their three children.

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