See You at the Pole
If you were born in the nineties or before, you were alive for a piece of history you may not even realize. At a high school in a Texas town in 1990, the very first See You at the Pole (SYATP) gathering was held with only ten students in attendance. Since then, despite opposition, the event has been repeated on an annual basis on the third Wednesday in September.
This is a twenty-five year old movement of prayer in which Christian students from elementary school to college level meet at the school flagpole to pray. This program has spread to more than three million participants internationally, according to the Baptist Press. The news of the original ten students spread to Christian youth leaders in the area. The following month, leaders challenged over 20,000 Christian teens in Dallas to follow the example.
If you have ever attended one of these meetings, you know what a moving experience they can be. I can recall quite vividly one of my first SYATP assemblies during my elementary school years. It seemed all the students and teachers in my public school were in attendance. The community realized the importance of taking time to pray together as a body. We prayed for pressing needs and for God’s direction and protection. After some time, the prayers began to fade out, but no one seemed to move.
From the back of the crowd, an angelic voice began to sing the words of a cherished hymn, “Jesus, Jesus There’s Just Something About That Name.” Soon the innocent voices of first through fifth grade students joined in, followed by teachers and parents who were present. With one voice, we sang and offered up praise and reflected on the goodness of our King.
That was years ago, yet I still remember what an impact that time in the presence of the Lord had on my life. We were united, we took a stand, and it really made a difference in every aspect of our school environment and the entire city. But things have changed drastically since my elementary school days. At one point, SYATP was encouraged, but that has quickly moved into indifference, and is rapidly transforming into intolerance. Now it seems we have reached a day of resistance or unacceptance. It does not have to be this way.
There are most certainly those who may think you’re insane or radical if you assemble together at your school to pray. They say it is a violation of separation church and state, but we are separate, and we are still the church in the state. They may laugh at you or try to stop you, but remember, often in the face of opposition, greatness is born.
With teen pregnancy, drug addiction, suicide, and countless other negatives on the rise, many people believe there has been a decline in Christianity. It appears many now have an apathetic attitude.
But I disagree with the statistics of young people today. With P7 clubs, campus ministries, home Bible studies, Bible quizzing, AYC, and so many other programs taking place, I don’t see the decline they see. Rather I see an incredible spiritual army rising up.
This nation may seem like it’s on a downward spiral, but if the church would continue to do what we are called to do, we could literally change the course of history and make the difference this world desperately needs. Asuza Street was incredible, but it was just a stepping stone. We can see greater works!
This is one opportunity where you can step out of your comfort zone and step into the realm of the Spirit. At North American Youth Congress, we were reminded of the importance of a flag and the significance it holds. As we gather around the flag this month, let us remember our Anthem once again.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015. Join the thousands of other students who will gather around the flagpoles of their schools and capture the attention of those around them. But most of all, get the attention of the only God who can save the nation upon which it was founded. We are still “one nation Under God,” so let’s rise up and act like it. We are not weak or powerless; we are not victims of religious discrimination; we are the church, and we are unashamed.
Let’s make this year the biggest See You at the Pole congregation in history. Our answers will never be found in a smartphone, a Snapchat, or Facebook. The only hope for this world is Jesus. Prayer is not simply an option; it is an imperative, so we must never stop doing it.
I will see you at the pole!
Rachel Thorne was born in Florida and has lived in many places throughout the United States. She is a graduate of Urshan College, formerly known as Gateway College of Evangelism. She wants to make a difference and change her world. Rachel is actively seeking the will of God for her life and is willing to do whatever He has for her.