by RJ McCauley
At the beginning of every school year, something inspirational happens at the flag pole on campuses all around the world. For over twenty-five years, the See You at the Pole (SYATP) movement has been calling students to one action – prayer. According to SYATP website, “The movement began to spread to other nations through Christian missionaries from the United States. Now each year, more than 3 million students participate. Students in more than 20 countries take part.” The SYATP movement encourages students to pray for their school and their generation, while promoting global unity with Christians students to live for the gospel.
The movement is based on Acts 1:14, “They all met together and were constantly united in prayer.” The context in which this verse appears happens to take place after Jesus tells his disciples they will receive power from the Holy Spirit to be his witnesses to all of the nations (Acts 1:8-9). They were united in prayer because it was foundational to the survival of their faith and community. Essentially, they believed that the more you pray, the stronger you become. In a response to do God’s will, the disciples united with one another in prayer because they passionately wanted to change the hearts of their generation, and knew that God would give them the strength to fulfill their calling. Thus, the SYATP movement seeks to foster that same desire and harmony among Christian students.
This year, SYATP provides two opportunities for students to unite in prayer. On September 23, 2015 at 7 am, students will begin meeting at the flag pole on their campus to pray in a large group. All around the world, students will gather before school starts to pray for their classmates, teachers, friends, families, churches, and communities. Youth pastors and leaders are invited to join them and lead students in prayer. Additionally, SYATP takes place on the Global Week of Student Prayer (September 20-26). This week of prayer encourages students to pray throughout the week about different things on their campus such as their sports teams, student body, and academics. It is a week dedicated to involving local student ministries to support and launch Christian clubs, because in the end, the main objective of SYATP is to eventually lead students to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Michael Kell, a youth pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Moreno Valley, has been participating and leading SYATP gathering for years. Kell comments, “See You at the Pole is a tremendous event and opportunity for students to stand for Christ in their school. Sure, they should stand up for their faith every day, but See You at the Pole gives a rallying point for Christians to come together and pray for their campus. At Canyon Springs High School, SYATP has got more students involved in sharing Christ on campus, and helped students pray together in a powerful way, which is a major catalyst towards connecting faculty and students. When our teachers and students join together to pray for their school, great things happen.”
Likewise, pastor KC McCauley from Harvest in Riverside has experienced similar things while he served multiple years on high school campuses, “Every year, See You at the Pole depicts a rare scene when students from all different backgrounds are united for a cause much bigger than themselves. When they gather together in front of on-looking peers, they claim their dependence upon God as they lay down their pride and lift up their prayers. For many students, this event rekindles a desire for evangelism and compels them to have compassion for their campus.” There are thousands of similar testimonies about the local impact of SYATP, which demonstrates the significance of the See You at the Pole movement in the Inland Empire.
Carol Fraser and Tanya Dominguez are teachers at Chemawa Middle School who participated in the See You at the Pole movement for the first time last year. Uniting them together opened their hearts to the possibility of hosting a Christian club in their classrooms every Wednesday at lunch. Fraser mentioned, “God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world, the better the world will be. The same goes for Chemawa. We are looking for positive changes on campus, and See You at the Pole was a great starting point to begin the Restart Christian Club on campus.” The Restart Christian Club became a place for students to meet and learn about God and how He gives second chances. Dominguez stated that her faith gets challenged by hosting the Christian club because she could see God at work in her classroom, “I tell all of my students to come and invite their friends. The power of prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit is a blessing to see on our campus.” See You at the Pole united Chemawa students and faculty to pray, and out of that event, a Christian club was birthed which went to bring about 26 professions of faith in Jesus Christ by the end of the school year.
The See You at the Pole movement inspires Christians to be united in prayer because it empowers and encourages students to live out their faith with victory and purpose. It empowers them by bringing students together so they can see that they do not have to struggle in their faith alone. It encourages them by stressing the importance to make Jesus Christ famous on their campuses. The SYATP movement is something to get involved with because it is about reaching the next generation. We can only do it if we are united in prayer.
For more information and promotional materials regarding SYATP, visit their website at www.syatp.com.