Every fourth Wednesday of September, students across the nation gather around their school’s flagpole early in the morning for prayer. And this year was no different.
“See You at the Pole” has become a “global movement of prayer which is student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led.”
Thousands of Students Gather for See You at the Pole
Social media is full of posts and photos of students gathered for See You at the Pole 2023. Groups of students gathered on their own, and some parents or grandparents drove kids to the meetings at the schools’ flagpoles. After nearly 35 years of the event’s success, the prayer movement is “building momentum.” National Field Director of the National Network of Youth Ministries (a ministry partner of See You at the Pole) Doug Clark told The Christian Post of an increased number of students requesting resources over the past couple of years.
Before the 2023 event took place, Clark predicted, “I think I can confidently say that there will be students praying in all 50 states.”
“THANK YOU! We are blown away by how See You at the Pole 2023 went! We give God all the glory and pray that He starts a movement out of this moment,” the organization posted. “We hope you are all encouraged and determined to see more regular prayer in your schools! It starts with YOU #syatp”
This year’s theme focused on Jeremiah 29:13, which says, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” See You at the Pole provided a planning guide and a checklist for student leaders to follow as they organized the event.
Clark said that studies have shown some younger generations are more resistant to religion. But, as in the book of Jeremiah, while God’s people were living in exile, God spoke words of hope.
“But in the context [of this verse and theme], there’s a question of: Are you seeking me with your whole heart?” Clark continued, “So, the theme this year is ‘wholehearted.’ We want to challenge students to see God with their whole hearts.”
See You at the Pole began in 1990 in Burleson, Texas. “The teenagers felt led to go and pray at night at several area schools during a weekend youth group retreat,” according to organization’s website. “They had a profound time of prayer, and their experience was shared with thousands of other youth from across Texas in the form of a challenge in June 1990 at a large conference.”
“More than 45,000 students on 1,200 campuses in Texas and three other states were documented at the first See You at the Pole™ in September of that year. The movement continued to grow nationally and internationally from 1991 on,” the site goes on to say.
While there is no specific sponsor of the event, a “diverse mix of approximately 100 church denominations, nonprofit ministries, and other organizations are listed as ‘Supporting Ministries’ who promote, endorse, or otherwise support See You at the Pole™.”
Students were encouraged to seek permission from the school administration to meet on campus for See You at the Pole, though “there is no requirement.” The organization surmised, “According to your constitutional rights upheld by Supreme Court precedent, you already have permission.”
What’s Next for Student Leaders After See You at the Pole?
For years, Dare 2 Share Ministries founder Greg Stier has offered ways for students to make the most out of See You at the Pole events. Stier hopes youth leaders will encourage students to keep the momentum of See You at the Pole going throughout the school year. “Mobilize your teens to make See You at the Pole a starting point for revival not a finish line,” he said.