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Commissioning service for students planned in many churches Sept. 13

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–A commissioning service for students on America’s middle and high school campus will kick off the school year in many churches Sept. 13, followed by the annual See You at the Pole prayer observance Sept. 16.
The “Challenge 2000 Sunday” emphasis is part of an interdenominational youth initiative geared toward helping students reach other students with the gospel. Churches are encouraged to dedicate the service to the needs and opportunities on campuses, and offer prayer for students willing to commit to becoming “campus missionaries.”
Many students will be signing a six-point “Challenge 2000 Covenant.” The covenant includes commitments to passionate pursuit of a growing relationship with Christ, Christ-honoring personal morality, respect for parents and other authorities, involvement with other Christians, prayer for spiritual awakening among their generation and taking the message of Christ to others.
“We believe the empowerment and commissioning of students by the local church could be one of the greatest spiritual momentums coming out of the church,” said Chad Chldress, a student evangelism associate for the North American Mission Board.
NAMB is one of many evangelical youth ministry organizations participating in the initiative as part of the Challenge 2000 Alliance. The goal of the Alliance and NAMB is to help establish ministries in all 56,000 middle and high schools in the United States by the end of the year 2000.
Len Taylor, NAMB’s director of student evangelism, referred to the strategy as an “hourglass approach,” reaching students at the one place where 100 percent of them gather each day. Last spring, NAMB formed a strategic alliance to assist First Priority of America in its goal of helping local churches encourage development of Christian clubs on campus.
See You at the Pole, in which students gather around their school flagpoles at dawn for prayer, began in 1990 as an emphasis of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. More than 45,000 participated the first year, and in 1991 the effort gained the support of a broad range of evangelical organizations in the United States and other countries. Hundreds of thousands of students now participate annually on the third Wednesday of September.

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  • James Dotson