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Campus Prayer Journeys link adults to students’ See You at the Pole gatherings

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Students will be gathering around flagpoles for prayer once again Sept. 17 for the annual See You at the Pole observance, but in many areas parents also are getting into the act through Campus Prayer Journeys.

Traditionally held on the night before the See You at the Pole prayer meeting for students, the concept is now becoming a year-round activity, said Chad Childresss, a North American Mission Board campus evangelism specialist.

“The primary goal is to get the church to have the school on the forefront of their mind as an incredible mission field,” he said. “It’s essentially saying that adults are praying for the salvation and the safety of students on the campus.”

The event began in Arkansas in 1998 in the wake of school shootings in that state, but has since expanded nationally. Campus Prayer Journeys participants are encouraged to walk, skate, jog around the campus and pray for the students, teachers and school staff. The original concept was that parents and other adults in the community meet 12 hours before the suggested 7 a.m. time for students to meet at their flagpoles for See You at the Pole, but in some areas the event is now held more often.

“We’re really moving toward churches doing it at any point they want throughout the year,” Childress said.

See You at the Pole is a student-initiated and student-led movement that originated with a Southern Baptist youth group in Burleson, Texas, in 1990. In 2002, more than 2.5 million teenagers met for See You at the Pole in all 50 states. “Consumed” is the 2003 theme, based on 1 Kings 18:26-39.

The Sunday before See You at the Pole in many churches also is a time for the commissioning of campus missionaries, students who commit to helping lead fellow students to faith in Christ.

Resources for conducting a Campus Prayer Journey or commissioning campus missionaries are available through www.studentz.com. For information on See You at the Pole, visit www.syatp.com.

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  • James Dotson