Suggested Bibles as Gifts for Graduating Seniors

bible-stackIt’s that time of year again. Your seniors are graduating and in a few short months they will leave your student ministry to start a new chapter of their life called college. If your like most student pastors during this season, your searching online for that perfect graduation gift to give your seniors. Even though it’s been done since Adam and Eve graduated high school, I think giving your seniors a new Bible is the way to go. But if we want them to appreciate the Bible and actually use it, you need to invest in getting them a good Bible. Let me suggest a few of the Bibles I would consider giving your graduating seniors.

ESV Thinline BiblesIf you have a lot of seniors and a tight budget this may be the Bible to go with. Usually the ESV thinline Bibles are pretty cheap ($20-$30) and are very popular. Their simple Bibles that are easier to carry around or throw into your book bag. You can get this Bible in many different colors, materials, and designs.

ESV Study Bible. This is the Bible of choice if you want to give your students the best! This is what we will be doing for the next few years. The ESV Study Bible is by far the best study Bible out there right now. It’s a pretty large Bible, but is packed with study notes, book introductions, maps, charts, and other resources. This is a Bible your seniors will not only find helpful in college, but for the rest of their life’s. The only bad thing is the price. This Bible is not very cheap, but if you dig around online long enough you cab find a good deal on this Bible.

Apologetics Study Bible (HCSB). I haven’t used this study Bible much myself, but I have heard some great stuff about it. The notes and resources includes within the Bible deal with apologetics and answering common questions in regards to defending Christianity. Since many students head off to secular universities where professors will discredit Christianity, this Bible could be a great tool for them during those college years. Check this Bible out and see if it may be a good fit for your students, especially those headed to secular colleges and universities.

College Devotional Bible (NIV)This is another Bible I have not looked into much yet, but it seems to make a great gift for graduating seniors. One of the most important things a college student can do is get into a regular habit of spending time in God’s Word everyday. This Bible is designed for college students who are busy and need a plan in place to read Scripture. It includes a reading plan that goes through the college year.

These are just a few of the Bible out there that will make great gifts for your graduating seniors. You may notice that many of these Bibles, especially the ESV Study Bible and Apologetics Study Bible, have popular students versions of them. I didn’t share those because I think college aged-students have outgrown the “student Bible” days. Those are great for middle and high school students, but not for college students.

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3 Ways to Gift Your Volunteers this Christmas

Gifting Your VolunteersThe Christmas season is a busy time for everyone. It’s a time of year where everyone is running around shopping, attending parties, and visiting family members. As student pastors we must not forget our volunteers are crazy busy during this season. We have asked a lot of them up until this part of the year and they still will give us another semester of working with our students. Christmas is a great time to thank your volunteers and gift them in some way. Here are three ideas for gifting your volunteers this Christmas.

Send them a card with a gift card. This is the route I took this year. I personally hand wrote a thank you card to each of my volunteers and included $5 gift card to Starbucks. It was a simple way for me to say thank you by writing them a short note and giving them a small gift. There is something special about a hand written letter. I promise you that if you take the time to hand write a letter to your volunteers they will feel appreciated and it will be an instant win for you. Your volunteers do a ton in your ministry, the lest you can do is write them a note and give them a small gift.

Throw them a Christmas party. This is what one of our campuses at CCC did for their student ministry volunteers. They threw them a special Christmas party as a way to say thank you. This is a good idea because it is just another way to build community among your volunteer team. If you have a large enough house, this may be a great way to open up your home to your volunteers. The only negative thing in  doing something like this is your volunteers schedules are probably pretty filled up during this season so having a Christmas party may just be adding another event to their calendar. It could become a burden rather than a joy. But every volunteer team is different so this may be a great way for you to gift them this Christmas.

Give them a break! If you do anything for your volunteers this Christmas just give them some time off! Cancel youth group for a week or two so your volunteers can enjoy Christmas with their friends and family. Plus, your students and their families probably need a break as well! Just do something to give your volunteers a break. This is a great time for them to step back, catch their breath, and let them reenergize before starting a new semester with students.

These are just three ways you can gift your volunteers this Christmas. Volunteers play a vital role in your ministry so don’t miss out on a chance to say thank you during this Christmas season.

[Question] How do you use the Christmas season to say “thank you” to your volunteers?