Empowering students to be part of something bigger than themselves
by Mike DeVito, National Network of Youth Ministries
Jimmy headed to the school flagpole one September morning remembering his youth pastor’s challenge. He was on his way to meet other high students who were coming to pray at the flagpole. “Just wait,” he remembered. “Others are coming to pray.”
It was a unique day. Jimmy would join millions of students around the world to rally and pray for the needs of school friends, teachers and staff, and for what God desired to do on the campus in this new school year. Today was SEE YOU AT THE POLE.
In 1990 a small group of students from a Texas church gathered for a weekend retreat. Their hunger grew to see God alive and at work on their school campus, and they wanted to be a part of it. To them their campus was their mission field. So how could God use them to show others Christ’s love?
To conclude their weekend they returned home, gathered around the flagpole at their local high school and prayed. God burdened their hearts to pray for students and staff alike, for Christian clubs and how they could serve their schools. Little did they realize the impact that this act of obedience and passion would have for decades to come. It was this weekend that the seeds for See You At The Pole began to grow and have continued to grow each year (usually in September), not just in our nation, but around the world.
SYATP is not a protest. Rather, students humbly gather together to acknowledge their dependency on God and pray for those on their campus. Kids are in school for as much time as they are most anywhere else, and so they pray, asking God to show them how to shine God’s love wherever it is dark.
Sharing Christ Today
In today’s culture the love of Christ must be seen through genuine kindness, compassion and servant hood. The best avenue for this is listening and listening well. Everyone has a story that desires and deserves to be heard and honored. Students are challenging themselves to not just listen with their ears, but with eyes, heart, head and hands. They are encouraged to be on the lookout for intentional listening-focused conversations and opportunities. These opportunities may be found during the lunch hour, on the field, the court, or in the classroom. Watch. Listen. And listen again.
Bigger Than Themselves
Most of us desire to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. SYATP presents students with this opportunity.
Wednesday, September 28 is SEE YOU AT THE POLE 2016. Students around the world are called to gather and humbly pray around their school flagpole. This year’s theme is WE CRY OUT: A Generation Seeking Him! This takes place in the middle of a Global Week of Student Prayer beginning Sunday, September 25 and continuing through Saturday, October 1. For additional details and resources to support a successful day go to syatp.com.
SYATP must be more than a one-day event. Students are challenging themselves to not only join others in the community and pray at the pole in the fall. They are also encouraging themselves to leave the pole united in their every day, year- long mission to individually and together be God’s love to others. The troops are again rallying and joining millions of students as WE CRY OUT!
Youth Workers, encourage youth to show up and pray on September 28th for SYATP. Let’s support them and pray for local school campuses now.