NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–At schools across the nation, students will mark the annual See You at the Pole gathering Sept. 26 by praying for their schools, friends, teachers, government and nation.
The student-led event started with a group of youth in Burleson, Texas, in 1990 and has taken root nationwide as students proclaim their faith publicly and ask God to intervene in circumstances they face together.
This year’s theme is “Gather. Unite. Pray. Come Together,” based on Jesus’ prayer for believers in John 17:20-23.
“It’s tough being a Christian student today,” a message on the gathering’s official website, www.syatp.com, notes. “We’re forced to make a lot of choices about who we are, and who we’re not. We’re supposed to be deciding on our future, when the present is hard enough to deal with.”
The website goes on to mention the dividing lines many students face, including what grade they’re in, what kind of grades they make and whether they’re an overachiever, underachiever, genius or slacker. Students also face divisions based on the type of people they associate with, including “jocks, preps, goths, sk8rs, gamers, or geeks,” the website says.
“See You at the Pole isn’t about groups, grades, clothes, or churches. It’s about praying,” the site explains.
“It’s about all of us coming together and laying aside all the labels for one day, simply to call out to God, just as Jesus did in John 17 and say, ‘Lord, may we be one in you — whether jocks, preps, geeks, Pentecostals, Baptists, Catholics, freshmen, or seniors — may the world believe that You are real and have sent us to touch other through you, regardless of the dividing lines drawn by a broken world!'”
At most schools, See You at the Pole starts at 7 a.m. around the flagpole in front of the building. Last year, more than 2 million teenagers met for See You at the Pole in all 50 states and in countries on six continents.
“Every year, we have seen this day serve as a springboard for unity among teenagers on their campuses,” said Paul Fleischmann, president of the National Network of Youth Ministries, which coordinates SYATP promotion. “See You at the Pole unites students in prayer at the beginning of the semester. Young people have taken unprecedented leadership through this to have a positive impact at their schools.”
Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Erin Roach.