For decades, my church has had a special Sunday around the 1st day of school to serve as a kickoff for fall and a marker for moving kids and youth up to new grade levels. For the last 10-15 years, we’ve called it “Back to School” Sunday instead of the traditional “Promotion Sunday. Our theme changes yearly, but we include a Blessing of the Backpacks, Commissioning for Educators (from preschool teachers to university deans), Bible gifting to specific grade levels (Our kids/teens get 3-4 bibles over the course of their school-aged years!), a photo booth, and resources for faith-at-home for families to take with them .
Our 2021 theme was inspired by some ideas I saw shared in a children’s ministry facebook group where churches call this Sunday “Pop-Up Sunday.” How cute! We had just finished a VBS inspired by the Trolls Movie where we used John 16:33 as the theme verse and talked about how Poppy always would get back up when she faced trials and try again. So, a theme was born! We ordered zipper pulls from purebuttons.com (I recommend the 1.25″ size) to give during the blessing of the backpacks, and then ordered some fun goodies to put in bags for all of the kids and youth. We set up a popcorn themed photo booth area and boom—we were set!
This was definitely a fun theme that everyone enjoyed!
Here’s links to resources:
Pop-it keychains (in the goodie bags)
Custom Zipper Pulls
Canva template links if you’d like to augment the graphics we have for your own ministry setting:
Bible memory verse and explanation of the theme template