We are in the middle of September which means we are gearing up for See You at The Pole. I used to be surprised when I would meet resistance from youth pastors about encouraging their students to participate. I think it’s worth challenging your students to be at their flag pole on September 28th and I want to share a few reasons why:
- It is a good measure of where your students are
See You at the Pole is a good measure of the commitment level of your students (and or parents). Think about it, you are asking them to get to school early just ONE DAY out of the entire school year. They can find a way to make it. Either their parents will prioritize it enough to go into work late, or they will go around begging for rides, or they will pray fervently for their bus to be early , but they can make it (obviously there will be a few exceptions). If they don’t make it, you have to ask yourself, why didn’t they? There are a number of reasons that could keep a student from wanting to show up at their school flag pole to pray: They may not have a relationship with God, they may have a huge divide in their church life and school life, they may fear what others will say, they might be afraid to be called on to pray, they may hate waking up in the mornings, they may be judgmental and assume that everyone around the flagpole is there for show and thus assume an air of moral superiority for not being at their flag pole, etc… Whatever the reason for the students who don’t show up, it’s the students who show up that give you a real measure of possible impact on a school campus. These are the ones who made it a priority. They want to see God do something in their school. They want to be used by God. So when a school has 100 of these students show up it says something (even if half to were come because of positive peer pressure) and when you struggle to see three at a flag pole it says something too. I like that See You at the Pole is at the beginning of the year because even the campus with 3 students willing to come out and pray for their school can see real change over the course of a year.
2. It’s Student Led
See You at the Pole is student Led. How often do we preach at our Students and tell them to go and make a difference at their school, with their friends, etc.? Here they have a simple and low commitment level opportunity to practice what you have been preaching. So often our preaching can be ineffective with students simply because we do too much for them and don’t ask them to step up. We don’t give them many structured real world opportunities to do what we have shared with them. They need opportunities to lead! SYATP by nature allows them the opportunity to do just that! It can be as simple as holding hands and praying or as complex as organizing a worship band, sound system, etc while everyone is praying… but bottom line students lead and quite often adults are surprised at how much passion and gusto students can bring to the table when they lead and organize an event like this.
3. It builds momentum
See You at the Pole isn’t an end, it’s a beginning. For many campuses it becomes a launch pad for students meeting before school each week to pray. For some it becomes a launching pad or organizational center for evangelistic Christian clubs who will maintain that vision all year long. For some students it helps them realize that they have the right or ability to pray on their school campus, unfortunately in our society there are voices that would try and hinder the rights of students to exercise their faith in a PUBLIC school.