SAN DIEGO, Calif. Hundreds of thousands of students worldwide are expected to usher in the new school year with the global See You at the Pole 2010 event, set for Sept. 22. In addition, they will be joined by scores of adults who will provide their own support through Bless Our Schools Sunday, a Moms in Touch International campaign, set for Sept. 19.
Both events are designed to cover teens and their spheres of influence with protective prayer.
This year marks the 20th anniversary for See You at the Pole, a student-initiated and student-led movement that started in the Fort Worth suburb of Burleson, Texas, in 1990. The prayer campaign brings students to their school flagpoles to intercede for their leaders, schools and families, asking God to bring moral and spiritual awakening to their campuses. The students also look beyond themselves to offer prayers for local, state and national civic leaders.
Many communities conclude the observance with a student rally later that evening, where they share their experiences from earlier in the day.
"For 20 years, we have seen this day serve as a springboard for unity for teenagers on their secondary and college campuses," said Paul Fleischmann, president of the National Network of Youth Ministries, which coordinates the promotion.
This year's theme is "Reveal," based on Matthew 6:9-13.
In addition to the focus on prayer, the event is also designed to challenge youth to take leadership on their campus by ministering to their friends.
Churches are encouraged to support See You at the Pole by sponsoring special "Campus Challenge Sunday" commissioning services Sept. 18 and 19, the weekend before the event. Participating churches are asked to recognize and pray for Christian students and educators in their congregations.
Everything necessary for students to plan and promote a successful pole event is available free on the ministry website, as are resources for Campus Challenge Sunday resources, including sermon outlines and program ideas.
Similarly, churches desiring to participate in the Bless Our Schools endeavor sponsored by Moms in Touch are asked to bring teachers, administrators, staff, school board members and their students to the altar while the pastor prays blessings over them for the school year.
The actual vision on how the Moms in Touch program can be initiated is left to the sponsoring churches, but the ministry offers tools for those who seek ideas and resources. Participants could include whole sermons or even testimonies from ministry moms, teachers and students. A list of prayer points and publicity fliers are available on its website.
The singular goal of the 25-year-old Moms in Touch prayer ministry is to gather women together to pray scripturally and specifically for children and schools. Mothers in more than 140 countries meet regularly, spending an hour praying through the Four Steps of Prayer: praising God for who He is; preparing one's heart for prayer by silently confessing to the Lord; thanking God for what He has done; and interceding on behalf of children, teachers and school staff.
The Moms in Touch website also offers a booklet with more details about the ministry. For more information, visit www.MomsInTouch.org and look under the Bless Our Schools Sunday link. For more information about See You At The Pole and the student initiative, visit www.syatp.com.