Words to Grads as They Transition

Kara Powell

A few months ago, during our youth ministry’s “Senior Sunday,” a number of seniors shared what they learned about Jesus while in high school, and words they would want to pass on to underclassmen.  After that, our student ministry pastor, Jeff Mattesich, shared a few thoughts with them, many of which were spun out of our Sticky Faith research.  As I told Jeff at the time, his insights were brilliant.  The only thing I wish he had done differently was record his remarks so that we could let other youth leaders hear his powerful words. 


It’s been a few months but here are some of the highlights of what Jeff said.

  1. Fight to plug into Christian community.  It would be so easy to view your faith as “something you did in high school” instead of an ongoing part of your life.  Before you even head to college, look up churches in your area or check out websites of organizations like InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Campus Crusade for Christ, and the Navigators.
  2. Know that you always have a place at this church.  This past summer, seniors have been welcome in either the high school or college ministry at our church.  While it’s now time for them to stop attending high school events and services, students ALWAYS have a place at this church – whether it be our college ministry or our overall church.
  3. There’s nothing you can do that is bigger than God’s love for you.  All of you will fail.  Sorry to say that, but it’s the truth.  I will fail too.  When you fail, know that God’s love is bigger than your failure.


All three of these points dovetail so closely with our Sticky Faith research.  I urge you to share these bullet points with the college freshmen you know.  Whether you call them right now, text them, or even handwrite or type these thoughts in a personal letter they can take with them to college, please take a few minutes now to share these highlights.

Published Aug 29, 2011
Kara Powell

Kara Powell, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. As a youth ministry veteran of over 20 years, she serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties. Named by Christianity Today as one of "50 Women You Should Know", Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including Sticky Faith, Essential Leadership, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum.

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