homecoming

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Wanna Tackle Homecoming with Me?

You know it. You’ve seen it. There are the cute and adorable homecoming #posals, and then there are the creative and cheesy ones all over social media. Regardless, it’s inevitable if your teens are going to homecoming or not – they see something about homecoming. Here are some suggestions to help you help your teens during this week and weekend.

Recognize Their Insecurities

Generally speaking, teens are insecure. Generally speaking, adults are also insecure! As preparations begin for homecoming, it can be rough:

“This dress doesn’t look good on me.”

“My friend is so much thinner.”

“I don’t have a date.”

“I’m going alone.”

“She said NO to me!”

Then, when you get to the actual dance itself, that’s sometimes even harder. Dancing in public? Everyone watching?

Recognize that many teens struggle with insecurity and homecoming can bring to the surface a lot of unsettled feelings. This is a great opportunity for us to process their feelings and go to deeper waters with them together.

Communication: Call and Message the Teens

Let’s be real. Homecoming nowadays is almost like a wedding. How about giving them a call during the week to see how they are, to check in or to just to say hi. Regardless of if they are going to homecoming or not, it is always nice to add that personal connection of calling a teen on the phone and just chatting. (Always keep in mind your diocesan guidelines for communicating with teens.)

Relational Ministry Before, During & After Homecoming

BEFORE

I love to see the teens dressed up, taking pictures with friends, affirming their dress color or bow tie choice. It’s a great way to connect with them outside your traditional youth group setting.

DURING

Some of my fondest memories as a youth minister take place visiting teens at schools, specifically at their homecoming dances. Some of them are in shock or maybe a little surprised to see me. Usually, they are happy and relieved to see someone who cares enough to chaperone the dance or drive to the dance on a Friday or Saturday night just to stop in or say “hi.” Watch out, they may drag you on to the dance floor!

AFTER

After Party at Church?! Why, YES! Invite the teens to a social gathering after homecoming or meet them at Chick-fil-a for milkshakes, Waffle House, Steak & Shake or another prime location.

Encourage them to bring Christ and use homecoming as a great opportunity for evangelization! First and foremost our job as a youth minister is to lead teens closer to Christ. If my teens are going to homecoming, I want them to know that Jesus Christ, their King dwells inside of them. They are called to be Christ-like to others – in their conversations, modest attire, words, speech, actions, and the way they dance – everything they do.

More specifically, homecoming, proms or dances are always closely associated to relationships, boyfriends, and girlfriends. I think it is our moral responsibility to have the conversations regarding their dignity and sexuality. C’mon, it’s always a good reminder that Cinderella didn’t have to take her dress off to get Prince Charming, and neither do our teens.

It’s also important to keep in mind – not all of your teens will be going to homecoming. Some don’t want to go. Some haven’t been asked. Some think it’s too “awkward taco.” Whatever the reason, as a youth minister we are called to minister to all of the teens God has put before us. Let’s be extra sensitive with these teens and affirm that their worth is not defined by attending homecoming. While it might seem like a mega thing now, five years from now, it won’t be a defining moment. God has great plans for their life.

We are all on the battlefield trying to love teens the best we can. Let’s give 100% to reach out with love and tackle homecoming together! 

Image via FlickrCC 2.0 Logo added 

About the Author

Kelly Colangelo

I got an award for having the neatest hand writing in second grade, my mom did my homework. I’m not a morning person; I love ketchup, blueberry cake donuts and mint chocolate chip ice cream. I want to go to heaven… and take as many people with me with as possible. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram at Kelly Colangelo.