Youth Leaders Who Don't Go To See You At The Pole Are...
This won't be a surprise to many of you. But, I think that Youth Leaders who don't go to See You At The Pole are making excuses and not effort. I completely understand. We are all busy. We all get sick. We all have children. We all go out of town. We all have priorities.
That's really what it is all about.
My solutions to Youth Leader's excuses
"Our Campus is a closed Campus"
I get it. Some Campuses are tougher to get on because of the leadership (Superintendent, Principal, Board, previous issue at the school, etc.). But there is no such thing as a closed Campus. Only closed vision. And effort. You are on every Campus because your students are on Campus. Because you can go to extra-curricular events and activities. Because you are paying the taxes to have representation on that Campus through your involvement in the ways that are allowed. Such as School Board meetings, parent meetings, sporting events, band competitions, theatre and drama performances, etc.
"This is for the Students"
Right. Your students. And they deserve your presence. There is nothing that keeps you from standing at the school flag pole with your students and being with them. In the case of a Campus that will NOT allow you to be there, stand across the street. This kind of 'withness' may be the relationship your students are looking for.
Each year I would meet a teacher or a coach, or a principal and build that relationship the rest of the year. Other Youth Leaders were there and it gave me a chance to connect with them and go out for breakfast and talk about how we can reach the city together.
"But I work"
If you asked your boss for an hour, what would they say? If you stayed an hour later or came an hour earlier to work. What about going to SYATP after work? I work too. And I was really sick one year. It rained another year. And it snowed several years. I was out of town about 9 or 10 years.
And, I'll never forget talking to Jane the night before SYATP last year. Telling her that I would miss this historic prayer meeting for the first time ever. Because I needed to take care of her. She didn't take kindly to that. As she was lying in bed the night before, she told me, "I'll be fine. See you when you get back." I kissed her and told her I would be back in an hour. She said, "I'll still be here. I'm not going anywhere."
"But I have children"
Yes. And they would love to go to SYATP. With their daddy. I've done it. When they were young and when they were in high school. One of the most fulfilling things to me was to see my kids at SYATP with their friends. It was a great way to start the school year. Plus, there was always donuts and juice.
Here's another reason why I haven't ever missed a SYATP
Twenty-six years ago, a junior high girl got up one morning and changed the way we pray for our schools. One junior high girl in Texas with a vision to pray for her school. It was raining that morning in 1990 but it didn't discourage her. Now, 26 years later, students are still praying for their schools. She started a revolution, will you keep it going?
I haven't missed one yet. Well, I wasn't there at the first one. But, from the beginning of the movement that following year with about 18,000 students in the Dallas Reunion Arena, See You At The Pole (SYATP) became public. I have seen elementary, junior high, high school, and college students praying for their school. I have seen young adults, parents, policeman, politicians, principals, coaches, and teachers praying at flag poles. We even did an airplane flyover at several schools and announced live on the air. I will be at a high school in Dayton, OH. Where will you be?
Don't let excuses or fear keep you from this. Don't forget this world-wide prayer meeting that saw 7 million students praying around flag poles last year. Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 at 7am-8am local time. The theme this year is "We Cry Out". It is taken from Psalm 24.3-6.
"Who may ascend to the hill of the Lord? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, or sworn with deceit. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord. This is the generation who seeks after Him...."