Special Section: Rite On

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Movin’ Up

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Promotion to the next grade is a big deal for kids-it gives them a
sense of accomplishment and anticipation. Mark this yearly
tradition with these fresh ideas.

Pray for Me

As kids leave our nursery, we ask volunteers to commit to praying
for individual children for one year as they move up to the
preschool ministry. If they say yes, we give them a card with the
child’s photo, birth date, address, phone number, and family
members’ names. We get written permission from parents before
pairing preschoolers with a prayer partner and also ask for
specific prayer requests for the child and family. We write those
on the back of the child’s card.

This idea can be used for any age or grade at promotion time.
Parents appreciate knowing someone is praying for their children,
and kids enjoy the special notes and reminders their prayer
partners send them throughout the year letting them know their
church family loves them.

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Lisa Leonard

New Providence, New Jersey

BEAR Awards

Many kids in our community struggle academically, and each school
year there are several kids who don’t progress to the next grade.
So to encourage all kids, we hold a special BEAR (Behavior,
Enthusiasm, Attitude, Respect) awards night. Kids get a special
family invitation to the awards night dinner, and we serve a
kid-friendly meal such as pizza or spaghetti and ice cream.

After dinner, we have a ceremony where each child receives an award
not for their achievements but for one of the four BEAR qualities.
Kids get awards such as “Always thinking of others first,” and
“Wears a big smile each week.” Each child receives a certificate
along with a small teddy bear, and we feature all of their photos
on the big screen. We finish with a movie and popcorn.

Anne Johnson

Queensland, Australia

Cheer Tunnel

On promotion Sunday, we have parents drop off kids in their regular
classrooms. Toward the end of the service our pastor dismisses
parents early so they can attend our promotion ceremony. We call
kids up front by their current grade and ask their new leader to
stand at the back of the room. We introduce the leader for kids’
upcoming grade and then ask parents to form a tunnel for their kids
to run through to their new leader. Parents cheer as kids pass
through the tunnel; then the new leader escorts kids and their
families to the new classroom for a tour and treats.

Courtney Wilson

Vancouver, Washington

The Gift of the Word

Many churches present Bibles to children as gifts at various ages.
This rite of passage signifies the importance of the Bible to our
faith. Use these ideas to help make your Bible presentations
memorable.

Ready to Read

We present Bibles to first graders to celebrate their graduation to
elementary-age ministry. We present age-appropriate Bibles during
our worship service and invite families to lunch where we
photograph each child with the pastor. We also give parents a book
that helps them guide kids in their faith journey.

Karyn Sheets

Phoenix, Arizona

Bible Sponsors

People in our congregation sponsor a Bible for kids at our Bible
presentation service. We order Bibles by the case for a discount
and ask donors to write a special note on a self-adhesive bookplate
prior to the service. We give each sponsor a bookmark of gratitude
that includes the age-level characteristics of children receiving
Bibles and ideas on how they can pray for these kids in the
upcoming year.

Courtney Wilson

Vancouver, Washington

Sweet Verses

After your Bible presentation, serve refreshments that include
fortune cookies baked by your youth ministries. Instead of slipping
a fortune inside, have teenagers insert an uplifting Bible verse in
each cookie.

Diane Thom

Maple Valley, Washington

Light the Way

We give accompaniment gifts to children during our Bible
presentations. For nonreaders, we present Bibles with good pictures
and include a small teddy bear. We emphasize that just as the teddy
bear is our comfort and friend, Jesus also comforts us and is
always a friend who’s with us wherever we go. For our young
readers, we include a small flashlight along with a Bible. We
explain that the flashlight is for times they can’t sleep-they can
pull out their Bible and read about heroes or find comforting words
to help them fall asleep peacefully. We also emphasize that God is
always with us-day and night-and God’s Word is the best guide to
light the way in any situation.

Christy Olsen

North Branch, Minnesota

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