In 1990, a small group of high school students in Texas felt led by the Lord to pray for their schools. God gave them compassion for their lost classmates who needed to know Christ.
They determined that their school’s flag pole would be the best gathering place to pour out their hearts to God. Little did they know that it would lead to a movement in the years that followed that involved thousands of groups of Christian students doing the same thing!
This year, See You At The Pole (SYATP) will be held on Wed., September 26 and will provide a great opportunity for churches to unite around this movement. It is important for the unity and prayer emphasis around SYATP to spill out into our churches.
One of the best ways to make sure your church is a part of it is to attend one of the SYATP post rallies in your area. If the Lord is leading you to help organize one of these rallies we would love for you to keep these six key ingredients in mind.
See You At The Pole is all about prayer and realizing that only God can change hearts and make a genuine impact in our lives, churches, schools, states, nation, and world. The same is true for the rally you are trying to plan. Immediately begin to regularly pray and ask others to pray for SYATP and your rally.
Make sure you know why you are having the rally? Remember the youth leaders you are asking to join you will be asking themselves why they should put off their regular Wednesday night youth service to come. A few of the important purposes you want to communicate is prayer, unity in the body of Christ and evangelism.
Partnership in a SYATP rally is key. How are you connecting to the youth leaders in your area?
An important step to partnering is to meet together in a youth leader network lunch and/or meeting to cast the vision, plan, and get on the same page. Reach out to your area’s Director of Missions and ask for promotional help and financial assistance.
Connect with all the evangelical churches in your area, not just those in your denomination. Work with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and other campus ministry clubs to ask them to participate and help you get the word out about the rally. Don’t forget to get Christian Schools and Home School groups involved as well.
Determine where the rally will be held. In most cases meeting at a local church works great. In some instances it may be better to meet in a neutral location like a school gym or community center. Make sure you get the rally on the venues’ calendar ASAP. You want to schedule a time that works best for as many people as possible.
Make sure it does not start too early or too late. Communicate clearly when it will start and end in order to help other youth leaders make plans. Consider having food, door prizes, and other elements to create a draw to your rally.
Decide on a budget. Be creative if your budget is limited or even zero. Utilize all the resources you can. Check with your local association, local businesses, and ask other churches participating in the rally if they can participate financially. Determine who will be your rally speaker, band, or other program elements.
How will people know about the rally? They need to know sooner than you think, so get on it!
Challenge every one of your students to participate and ask the other local youth leaders to do the same. Promote SYATP and your rally on various social media outlets and ask the students to get involved and even lead those online campaigns.
Figure out how SYATP and the rally can be promoted at schools (Announcements, posters, etc.). Remember that word of mouth is always the most effective way to get people to come to things. Reinforce that thought with your leaders and students.
Also note that a successful morning of SYATP will give you great momentum for a successful SYATP rally! So make sure the students have a solid plan for their campus gatherings. Not do it for them, but provide assistance where you can.
Because we understand our responsibility to the Lord, we should work hard to persuade others (2 Cor. 5:11). Your event should be a rallying point to persuade people to pray, have unity in the body of Christ, and to proclaim and accept the Gospel!
Make sure your rally speaker leaves plenty of time for a clear Gospel presentation and opportunity for students to respond. It is best to have the invitation planned out in advance. It could be a traditional “come to the front (or back) of the room,” raise a hand, small group discussion, fill out a card, send in a text, or talk to a youth leader type of response. Do whatever fits best with your people. Make sure and have a plan to record those decisions for crucial follow up and to report those decisions to the right people after the event.
Col. 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men.” We are not simply praying that there will be many SYATP rallies this year in Oklahoma. We pray that many rallies in Oklahoma will be done with enthusiasm, excellence, and most importantly through the power of the Holy Spirt! Check out www.skopos.org/syatp or www.syatp.com for more ideas and resources.
How will you be involved in this amazing opportunity coming to you with SYATP this year?