How are you preparing your students to be missional this new school year?
During my first two years in student ministry, I made tons of mistakes, but one of those mistakes resulted in students having an unintended skewed perception toward evangelism. Every summer our church would send students to a little church in Ensenada, Mexico and we would help build homes, visit the local orphanage, share the gospel, and lead several nightly services. Months prior to our departure, my students went through several weeks of training including how to share their testimony. To my surprise, many of the students shared their testimony without fear, rejection, or embarrassment. They were yearning to share the Good News, and as their student leader, I was elated at their boldness and in awe of what God was doing. Truthfully, I thought that summer was a success. No one got hurt, summer activities were great, and the mission trip sparked a deeper passion for Christ. Summer was over and all the students went back to school. The truth is, my mistake as a leader was training my students that their story mattered only when they went on summer missions. When the new school year came around, I began to see my students shy away from sharing their faith with their peers and acted like they’ve never shared before. What happened to that zeal? Boldness? Frankly, I had not taught my students that missions isn’t just domestic or international, but that it’s also right in their own backyard, especially in their schools. I’ve learned a lot since then and I hope you won’t make the same mistakes I made; but instead, equip your students to see missions wherever they go, even in their schools. This is why “See You at the Pole” on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 is a great opportunity to encourage your students to join millions of other students across the nation in praying for their classmates, faculty, school, government, and nation.
See You at the Pole, the global day of student prayer, began in 1990 as a grass roots movement with ten students praying at their school. Decades later, millions pray on their campuses on the fourth Wednesday in September. It’s a prayer rally where students meet at the school flagpole before school to lift up their friends, families, teachers, school, and nation to God. See You at the Pole is a student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led event.
Here are 6 ways to make the most of See You at the Pole:
- Visit the official See You at the Pole website, www.syatp.com
- Get all materials, preparations, planning guide
- Event planning before and after SYATP
- Help your students know their rights: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/religionandschools/prayer_guidance.html
- School Visitor Policy
- Know the school’s policy prior to your arrival
- Some schools may allow you to walk on campus or stay in a designated area
- Support Your Students
- Pray for them
- Divide and conquer – Send your volunteers to different schools
- Bring coffee, hot chocolate, or donuts for your students (Food rocks!)
- Your presence makes a HUGE difference, but remember this is a student-led event
- Sharing the Good News
- This is also a great opportunity for your students to give away FREE Life Books (Gospel of John).
- Encourage your students to prayerfully think of 3 friends. Then on the day of SYATP, have your students hand out Life Books
- The Life Book, www.thelifebook.com
- Adopt a School
- “Join the movement of Christian students, adult leaders, educators, churches and organizations in adopting every school, praying, caring and sharing- giving every teenager the chance to see Christ’s love in action and know Him personally.”
- If you are not connected to a school, but would like to connect to one, visit www.everyschool.com
- See You at the Pole Follow-up
- Don’t let SYATP be a one-day event. Utilize this opportunity to encourage your students throughout the year.
- Create a prayer wall and have your students write down their friends’ names
- Use your mid-week Bible studies or Sunday worship services to pray for a middle/high school your students attend. Create a rotation sheet and continue to pray for students on your prayer wall.
- For great evangelistic strategies visit www.dare2share.org
SYATP is an exciting way for students to share their faith on campus. Let’s do all we can to support our students in this evangelism effort!