Christian Parenting and Family Resources with Biblical Principles

How to Have a Blessing Ceremony for Your Teen

How to Have a Blessing Ceremony for Your Teen

"Want to have a blessing ceremony for our son?"

Admittedly, I was confused by my husband's proposition. I had never heard of a blessing ceremony but was intrigued by the idea. Similar to a quinceañera or a Bar Mitzvah, we wanted to help our son transition into young adulthood. On his 17th birthday, we did just that.

Jesus had a blessing ceremony of his own—his baptism. Matthew 3:13-17 says, "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment, heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Although we celebrate public declarations to follow Christ through baptism, a blessing ceremony differs in that the receiver doesn't have to do anything to receive their encouragement. A blessing ceremony celebrates the teen for who they are—warts and all. Baptism is an outward act of following Jesus, which we celebrate through immersion in water. A blessing ceremony celebrates the teen for simply being alive.

As Christians, we do a great job of providing activities and disciple-building programs for our kids. We clap our hands in jubilee when a young child accepts Jesus into their heart. We erupt into applause when that same child gets baptized in front of the congregation. We even celebrate their graduation and transition into adulthood. But we don't always celebrate the choice to follow God all the days of their lives when they enter adulthood. Statistically, young people fall away from church attendance once they enter college. Sometimes they return when they have kids of their own, but there is no guarantee of that. A blessing ceremony is an opportunity to hold a formal ceremony where your child can publicly declare their choice to follow Jesus into adulthood.

What the Ceremony Looked Like

We invited our friends and family, and local church body to attend. We held it at our local church. Both his father and I shared words about him. We used it as an opportunity to highlight the character traits we found most admirable and spoke blessings over his life. My husband shared that his name, Caleb, came from Numbers 14:24, which says, "But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it." He shared his desire for our son to live that way all the days of his life.

I then also spoke blessings over him, commenting that he had a good character and made us proud as parents. Then I asked the church to hold their hand's palm face-up, and we prayed together that as a church, we would release Caleb to the church as a young adult. We would not force him to attend church or follow the Lord from that day forward. As a seventeen-year-old man, we would treat him as an adult. I vocalized my desire to see him choose to follow the Lord, but that decision was up to him. I also stated that the church would always be there to help, love, and support him whenever he needed them.

The last part of the ceremony was interactive with the attendees. The group made a line up on both sides of the middle aisle of the church. Our son started at the far end. As he stood in the middle, each person said a prayer of blessing over him. This is similar to how Paul laid hands on Timothy to "fan the flame of God" into his life. When he got to us at the end, I put a cross around his neck we had purchased for him. The cross had Joshua 1:8 engraved on it, and the other side said "courage." We prayed for courage and boldness for him as he walked with the Lord for the rest of his life.

Ideas for Your Own Blessing Ceremony

The above is simply a suggested format for a blessing ceremony. Because it was our first time conducting something like this, we simplified it because our son doesn't like a lot of attention. However, when our daughter has her service, she is an extrovert and likes a lot of affirmations. Therefore, we may customize her ceremony to honor her personality the best. Feel free to add whatever elements you think might honor your child in their unique way.

Other things you can include in the service:

• Ask your child what their favorite worship songs are. Have the worship team from your church perform those songs.

• Have close friends and family share the microphone and share their favorite stories of your child from birth to now. They can be humorous or inspirational. Avoid sharing stories that could cause embarrassment unless you have asked the child first. Teens are sensitive, and a blessing ceremony can instead heap shame or embarrassment instead of encouragement or affirmation.

• Put up a slide show of pictures of your child from when they were a baby until now.

• Do other things that are unique to your child. Make sure to highlight their favorite hobbies, activities, etc., so it is their unique service.

We need to celebrate the big and small events of our child's life. Holding a blessing ceremony can make them feel special and allow them to make a healthy transition into adulthood physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Jack Sharp

Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website