What started with a small group of teenagers in Burleson, Texas, at a DiscipleNow weekend in early 1990 has grown to phenomenal proportions. The students felt compelled to pray for three different schools one evening. Not knowing exactly what to do, they went to the school flagpoles and prayed for their friends, schools, and leaders.
Other youth leaders in Texas reported similar activities among their groups and together these youth leaders embraced a vision that students throughout Texas would follow these examples and meet at their school flagpoles to pray simultaneously. The challenge was named See You at the Pole at an early brainstorming session. They shared the vision with 20,000 students in June 1990 at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. From there:
• At 7:00 a.m. on September 12, 1990, more than 45,000 teenagers met at school flagpoles in four different states to pray before the start of school. A few months later, a group of youth ministers from all over the country gathered together for a national conference in Colorado. Many of them reported that their students had heard about the prayer movement in Texas and were equally burdened for their schools.
• On September 11, 1991, at 7:00 a.m., one million students gathered at school flagpoles all over the country. From Boston to Los Angeles, students came together to pray for their schools, for their friends, for their leaders, and for their country.
• Within only a couple of years, students were praying in several countries around the world. Now, more than 3 million students from all fifty states participate in SYATP. Students in more than twenty countries take part. In places like Canada, Guam, Korea, Japan, Turkey, and the Ivory Coast, students are responding to God and taking seriously the challenge to pray.
This year, See You at the Pole is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19 at 7:00 a.m. The Sunday prior, (Challenge Sunday) is an excellent time for churches to show their support for the event. It is a great opportunity for congregations to join together in prayer for their local campuses, educators, and students. Churches who wish to use the Sunday before as a special emphasis on SYATP may consider the following ideas:
• Use videos in the service to express the passion and emotion of students involved in ministry on their campus.
• Invite students, youth leaders, teachers, or coaches to give real-life examples of the issues teenagers face without Christ. Let these people also share their impact as a Christian example on the school campus.
• Ask students to share testimonies about what God is doing at their school.
• Include a time of commissioning where students in the service stand or come to the front and ask a church leader to voice a prayer of dedication, spiritual protection, and intercession over the students.
• Use a church bulletin to explain and promote See You at the Pole.
For resources and more information, call 817-HIS-PLAN, or visit the Web site at www.SYATP.com.