Holding a backpack blessing during worship is a great way to encourage students preparing for the new school year.
What’s a Backpack Blessing?
A backpack blessing is a moment set aside during your worship service to encourage students. Doing so celebrates with the excited, and soothes the anxious. No matter the age or how a student is feeling about the upcoming school year, a backpack blessing is a valuable ritual within a faith family.
Students bring their backpack with them to church on an assigned morning. Then, if the worship space is conducive, they head up front with their bag and receive a blessing. Often, students receive a tag to put on their backpack that reminds them of this special blessing.
Are you doing a backpack blessing at your church? We’d love to hear about it! Share in the comments down below.
Why Do a Backpack Blessing?
Lots of feelings surround the start of a new school year. Some students are over the moon. Others are made nauseous by the thought of a new teacher, class, maybe even a new school. That was me. The thought of school starting would cause my stomach to turn immediately. And some kids don’t care all that much one way or another.
No matter where a kid is on that emotional continuum, ritual offers something for everyone. When we gather to reflect on such a moment of time, we find comfort, grounding and a sense of added significance.
Also, a chapter’s beginning is an important time to recognize God’s faithfulness and care. God walks with us always and sends the Holy Spirit to strengthen and equip us for all the steps we take in life. Don’t worry….God’s Got Your Back! 🙂
Seizing opportunities to highlight this informs our children’s and youth’s faith journeys.
Additionally, we highlight for students what a blessing education and access to it is. Gratitude is the basis for joy, so we offer our young ones a gift when we teach them to search for God’s provision.
Not only that, but we are blessed to be a blessing to others. Take the time to dream about how they might be a blessing in their school and community.
Searching for something concrete? Invest in girls’ education through The Revolutionary Underground Foundation, an organization and girls’ school started in 2006. Their mission is to provide girls and young women in Africa access to learning resources and technology, leadership training and emotional support, focusing on empowering them to become vessels for change.
Helpful Tips for Your Backpack Blessing
- Place backpacks up front when students arrive. As a result, they won’t have an issue in getting out of their row to go down front for the blessing during the service.
- Ask that the students arrive a few minutes early to go over what they and their parents can expect.
- Have the students leave their backpacks up front after the blessing. Once the service is over, invite families to retrieve their children’s backpacks.
- Take a photo of all the students with their backpacks to share on social media. Also, it makes a significant impact to mail a print of the picture to the students with a card of encouragement.
- Communicate with parents who may need financial assistance for purchasing their children’s backpacks. Coordinate acquiring them before the blessing so their children have a backpack there.
Variations on the Backpack Blessing
- Include all those connected to the education system and parents in the blessing.
- Invite students of all ages to participate, not only children and youth.
- If students aren’t often present in worship, meet for a backpack blessing at their schools one morning the week classes begin.
- Host an end of summer all-church cookout and incorporate the backpack blessing there.
- Gift teachers, administrator, janitors, bus drivers, crossing guards, etc. with a pair of scissors decorated with a tag that reads: “You’re a Cut Above the Rest!”
We hope this post has been helpful and that your backpack blessing is a wonderful time to celebrate the coming season and God’s faithfulness within it. Don’t forget to share with us what you’re doing to welcome the school year in the comments below!
And of course, if you’re still looking for a fun and creative new backpack tag to use, be sure to check out our newest “God’s Got Your Back” backpack tag! We also have last year’s tag still available, which says, “Blessed to Be a Blessing” (available in both English and Spanish). You can order your backpack tags below, and also browse through some photos from folks in our community who have used our tags!