See You At The Pole 2011

This morning I got up at 5:00am to meet some students at Jack In The Box before the See You At The Pole events at the various schools in our community. See You At The Pole is a national event where students from all over the country gather at their flag poles for prayer. I've been involved with this event ever since I was in Junior High and I've always had mixed feelings about it.

At best, the event is an awesome opportunity for students to take leadership on their campus and to gather in solidarity around their love for Christ and their hope for their schools and communities. It's completely student lead and focuses on what's common among all the churches in their community, namely, devotion to Christ. Onlookers are welcomed and even drawn to the event because of the authenticity of those gathered, opening the possibility of good conversation throughout the day.

At its' worst, it's a political rally where students, influenced by their Pastors and Youth Pastors, push a social agenda through the medium of public prayer. Students who look on are intimidated and alienated from those gathered and the Christian subculture, the Church as an alienating "holy huddle," is perpetuated making authentic ministry an improbability.

I've heard of both extremes... In our network we strive to empower students to become the former.

This morning, we youth pastors were mere spectators as students took leadership at the local schools. I went to Olive Peirce Middle School and prayed with students there who shared passages from scripture and talked practically about how they were going to love the people around them through the day. I was surprised and encouraged by their maturity. A few questions always go through my mind; are the students taking leadership? Are they focused on prayer? What would an outsider think about this?

I can safely say that this morning, at least at the school where I was, See You At The Pole went well. I'll be praying throughout the day for those students, for their schools, their town, their country, and the world... That the Kingdom will come!
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