In 1727, a community of believers in Herrnhut, Saxony, in what is now the eastern edge of Germany, started praying.
They didn’t stop for 100 years.
There is no greater place in your community to impact more people for God than your local schools. For every child that attends a school, there is a family. For every teacher, staff and administrator there is a family. Many area businesses provide goods and services for the schools. There are very few people in your community that are not connected<
Over the last few years, a group of churches from our local network has started making a winter retreat to Monadnock Bible Conference in Jaffrey, N.H. an annual, joint event. It started with two of us going together in 2010. Each year since we have had another church join us. There are already conversations about a fifth joining us next year! Through this simple partnership
It was September 19th last fall when my friend and illusionist, AJ and I headed to the high school in Negaunee, Michigan in the upper peninsula of Michigan for two assembly programs and a rally presented to 730 students. AJ brought down the house with his gravity-defying performance. Hearts were softened and defenses came down.
Editor's note: Mark Orr, the New England Regional Coordinator for NNYM, lives only a few miles from Newtown, Connecticut, the site of the horrific shooting that took place on December 14. Here is his update and appeal from a visit to Newtown on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Please consider how you can pray and get involved in YOUR own community to make a difference as we reach out to this generation!
I sent this report from Newtown yesterday via an email to our New England youth workers. The Lord really stirred in my heart to write...it's a bit long, but I needed to share my heart with our region (and NNYM youth workers nationwide)...I know that it applies to all of us no matter where we serve.
In my community, a student prayer movement began in January of 1998 at one suburban high school – but it didn’t stop there.
Two student leaders and about twenty other students at Maize High School began praying for a spiritual awakening on their campus, for the salvation of specific students, and opportunities to share Christ with them. In February
Does your ministry network reflect a biblical, global picture of youth ministry—and the mission of the church?
Most of us understand the “marching orders” Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:18-20 – the passage called the “Great Commission.” If we heed those orders, everything we do needs to ultimately aim at fulfilling the Great Commission while living out
Over a million students gathered for See You at the Pole (SYATP) on Wednesday, September 26. Groups met in masses of hundreds, while many others prayed in smaller groups; some were alone as they interceded for their friends, community, and country.
In Dallas, Oregon the Network of Youth Pastors developed a concerted effort to empower students to pray on multiple campuses.
Simply caring. Simply sitting at a different place for lunch and listening to someone’s story. These are powerful opportunities for students to connect other students with God’s story of love. But many students need help jumpstarting their faith and through SYATP, networks have helped millions of students publicly stand up and pray on their campus.
Several youth organizations in the Pittsburgh area have joined together with NNYM and the Campus Alliance to encourage churches to pray for their local schools on the Sunday before See You At The Pole each year. This year, Sunday, September 23rd will be “Pray for Our Schools Sunday” and we are asking churches in our area to dedicate that Sunday morning, or some portion of it, to praying for our schools. Here are some ideas we sharing with our churches…
The story below explains how networking is reaching students and the community for Christ in Greater Cincinnati.
Emily Richardson is my network coordinator for Harrison, Ohio. If you are not familiar with where Harrison is, it's the last town in the Greater Cincinnati area before you reach Indiana. Emily shared with me something powerful that is happening in Harrison.
A local network can rally around many passions and causes, but one of the most obvious is the local school. It is the one thing that all networks have in common. The question is what is the (or a) strategy to connect to the local schools in your geographical area?
We believe that if students can live out their faith in school, they can do it anywhere! Not only that, but there's really no better way for students to know that their faith is genuine than to live it out at school. We are exctied to have some students in western Pennsylvania who are not only living out their faith, but they are coming up with some creative ways to share their faith with their friends at school. Here is the latest example from some students in our area...
You can’t always predict what will happen when you plan a simple youth group retreat. Sometimes, God messes with your plans.
Looking back, that’s the testimony of Rick Eubanks.
Who’s Rick, you ask? He was the Minister of Music and Youth at Crestmont Baptist Church in Burleson Texas from 1975-1995.
This was a “pregnancy” that was full of humble beginnings and wonderful surprises. And like radio newsman Paul Harvey used to say, “And now, the rest of the story.
Last year, on the first Bless Our Schools Sunday, two high school sophomores and one freshman stood in front of more than a hundred peers during Sunday School to pray specifically for their schools, the staff and the students.
They were part of approximately 700 congregations in 20 different countries crying out to the Lord in one voice for students and schools on the third Sunday of September. This year’s prayer event will be September 18.
Bless Our Schools Sunday, hosted by Moms In Touch International, is a time for churches to pray blessing over the educators and students in their congregations and community. Imagine the impact this time of prayer will have on that worn-out teacher, the weary principal, the school board member that’s standing up for biblical values, as well as every school in your community.
The website store went live on August 8. Free and affordable promotional resources are available at www.syatp.com, including tee-shirts, promo videos, artwork, posters, wristbands and more.
The most efficient way to order is using the online ordering system. But orders can also be phoned in to the Ft. Worth, Texas office by calling 817-HIS PLAN between 9:00a.m. and 5:00p.m., Central time, Monday-Friday.
“CONVERGE” (from Matthew 18:20) is the theme for See You at the Pole 2011, the Annual Global Day of Student Prayer. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, September 28, at schools across the United States and in many other countries.
In 2010, teenagers met for See You at the Pole in every U.S. state and many countries around the world. Other nations have launched SYATP movements with their own promotional efforts, including Australia (where it was observed in 2011 on May 26; see stories at www.syatpaustralia.com) and Canada (on the same date as U.S.; www.syatpcanada.com).
But the lesser-known part of the story of SYATP has been how, both locally and nationally, students and youth leaders have taken the event beyond one day to continue prayer, evangelism, and other student-led campus ministry.
I have had this problem for a long time now. I think BIG! I dream of a Student Ministry that is BIG. That is huge. That says to every student in every High School that this ministry is for you. That our students, that our leaders, that our team, that our philosophy, that our direction, that our message, is for every Middle Schooler, every High Schooler, every College/Young Adult student in our surrounding area.
I have been at this thing called “youth pastor”, “youth worker” for quite some time now and I can't stop thinking BIG. I can't help it.
Do I care about numbers? Some would say, “Oh yes, this guy cares about numbers.” I say if that is what you think, so be it. Some might say “He only wants to build his own kingdom.” If that is what is said, so be it. Some might feel that I only care about evangelism and reaching students. Alrighty then, and the problem with reaching students is what? I have heard all the stuff for years. Quite frankly, no big deal. I know the truth and as a leader, I must push on with the vision, with the passion, with this big ole heart for students, all students that the Lord has given to me.
In January I attended the screening of the movie Soul Surfer and came away with two thoughts: First, this is a very good movie, well produced, students will love it (including those who do not know Christ). My second thought - some how we need to tell the rest of the story of Bethany Hamilton’s faith and give every student the chance to know Christ just as Bethany knows Christ.
YW.net Editor's Note: Ever think of sending teenagers from your youth group on a 9-month mission trip? Well, Travis Deans is a youth pastor and network coordinator in
Imagine having the youth in your group saturate their high school campus with God's Word so that every student gets a copy in one week! That is what The Life Book is doing on campuses across America.
I had an opportunity to meet Carl Blunt, the author and CEO of The Life Book. He was at the Campus Alliance Summit in Kansas City, where denomination and youth organization representatives came together to discuss how to reach every student in every school in America.
Have you ever wondered how to better reach students at the seconday school campuses in your area? How about thinking of your relationship with parachurch or church-assisting ministries as a partnership, not a competition?
Ryan Sharp is the associate pastor of Lambs Fellowship in Murrieta, CA and has had years of experience in partnering with parachurch organizations to effectively reach students on campus. He was literally raised with campus ministry for his father, Monty Sharp, has directed Student Venture Temecula since 1983. The Ministry impacts over 3000 teenagers working in partnership with local churches.
We caught up with Ryan Sharp at the Summit on Schools in San Diego as he shared with youth leaders his perspective on student ministry last August.
Take a look at this video to see how you can more effectively reach students on their campuses through partnerships with church-assisting ministries.
Angel was a teenager in Carson City, Nevada when she prayed for her school. She recalls See You at the Pole during her teen years as a significant milestone in her spiritual life. Now, she’s taking her excitement overseas.
Angel married a Norwegian man and now serves in a Foursquare church as a volunteer youth leader in the southern Norway city ofKristiansand. Angel is mentoring a student in her youth group who is a junior at one of several public high schools in the city (see some of them in the photo, right). God has given them a burden to see SYATP spread across the entire nation of Norway.
Although the protégé is also an American, they are relating closely with Norwegian nationals at the school to promote school-wide participation in See You at the Pole on September 22.
The cool thing is that Norwegian public schools have a mandatory “club” in every school that...
Thirty campuses, 2,000 volunteers, thousands of hours of labor… all on one day! As part of our involvement with local networking here in San Diego, NNYM partnered with the Luis Palau CityFest to put on the first annual "School Beautification Day." The purpose was to connect volunteers to schools through service projects to show God's love and build relationships with school administrators. On the day, I went around with Nate Landis who headed up the efforts for the countywide day of service.
Our youth ministry network facilitates churches working together to reach teenagers for Christ. We assume, hopefully correctly, that students are being discipled in their churches and so the emphasis of our network is on evangelism. We believe that there are two big things that church youth ministries need to do together:
Austin Kendrick is not just your ordinary high school student. He is a fighter. He goes to High Tech High in one of the poorest areas of inner-city San Diego. And he is fighting for the eternal lives of his friends by leading a Bible Study on his campus.
No youth pastors are allowed to run a Christian Club at his school. Nate Landis of Urban Youth Collaborative has come alongside and empowered Austin to be the Student Minister on his campus. According to Nate, "Austin has been the one leading his friends and leading the Bible Study...He is much more effective and dangerous for the Kingdom than any youth pastor would be."
Check out this video and listen to Austin's story. If you are looking for other resources to empower students to be leaders on their campus this school year, check out our Youth Leader's University Training site on Campus Ministry at YLU Campus Ministry.
What if See You at The Pole happened every day of the school year in your community?
Students do not just need an event to pray on their campuses. They need purpose and direction to keep on praying.
What if your Network made a concerted effort to have students praying for their student body every school day of the year?
Claim Your Campus is a movement of students across the US to bring student-initiated prayer to every middle school and high school campus in America by 2013, 50 years after the Supreme Court banned "state sponsored" prayer in public schools in 1963.
Check out this video and go to www.claimyourcampus.com for more information.
Have you ever wondered how to get your entire church involved in reaching your community's secondary school campuses?
Right now in San Diego there is a coalition of churches who are answering the call. For example, Mike Gilson is the associate pastor at Pathways Community Church in Santee, California. The congregation has partnered with the Luis Palau CityFest to serve San Diego schools through their "Season of Service" in the days leading up to the evangelism festival in September. Take a look at the video to see what they are doing.
Work projects were scheduled on August 21 on 28 school campuses across San Diego County! Adults, youth and even children, as well as a team from the U.S. Navy, are serving the schools together. Hundreds of churches will be volunteering thier time and materials to clean up, landscape and build projects. It is a win-win situation for the church and the school districts, as the projects were ones that the local school administration asked to have completed. If you are local to San Diego, you or your church can sign up for a school campus near you. Or, learn more about the effort by going to www.adoptschoolssd.org.
Twenty years ago, one youth group decided to make a difference by praying for their school. Now over 2 million students will come together to pray on Wednesday, September 22 for a global day of student prayer. See You at the Pole™ is a student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led event.
The theme this year is "Reveal" from Matthew 6:9-13. We are praying that God reveals Himself to us in our hearts, churches, schools and nations.
Why would youth workers want to continue encouraging their youth to pray at SYATP? Paul Fleischmann, NNYM president, commented: “For 20 years, we have seen this day serve as a springboard for unity for teenagers on their school campuses. See You at the Pole unites students in prayer at the beginning of the school year. Challenging youth to take leadership on their campus is always a good idea. Every year, it offers a fresh challenge for them to minister to their friends.”
Check out the new website at www.syatp.com for ways to resources students to pray for thier schools. Also you can follow SYATP on Facebook and Twitter.
Sometimes a good idea takes a while to generate traction. But then a combination of timing, people, and Providence inspire enough hearts and minds to action that it transforms society, in what Malcolm Gladwell calls a “Tipping Point.”
Consider, for example, the idea that churches should love youth in their communities by adopting public schools. The Campus Alliance has been saying this for years, even creating a website to help promote the idea and track its progress (www.EverySchool.com). But a review of the EverySchool database suggests that the cry has fallen on many ears that are unable, or unwilling, to hear. Many schools still wait to be adopted...
In Luke 5, we find the familiar story of Jesus coming in contact with fishermen who had been out all night fishing, but arrived back to shore without catching anything. Zip, Nada, Nothing. Skunked.
Then Jesus has the audacity to tell these tired fishermen to head back out. I can almost hear the conversation… “You’re doing it all wrong,” Jesus says. “You need to fish on the OTHER side of the boat.” (“There’s a concept,” Peter says sarcastically to his brother under his breath.)
Can’t you hear Peter’s thought process? “Who’s this guy think he is, telling us how to fish? We’re the experts here! This guy’s a good teacher and all, but he’s a carpenter. What does he know about fishing?”...
Empowering teenagers to make a difference on their school campus. Listen to Rudy Tapote talk about his ministry with Vista Assembly of God in California where he equips teenagers to serve outside the Christian club box.
Seeing his youth pastor working in unity with other churches has given David Johnson a head start on what it takes to build a healthy youth ministry that brings hope to his community! Passing the torch to younger youth workers of "unity to reach every" is given through the example we set. As the saying goes, "More is caught than taught." I wonder if the parents and students in our youth ministries notice the difference in our overall program when we network with other churches and ministries? Do they see other church youth groups as a part of their faith community? I believe the new revolution in youth ministry is a commitment to "developing a Parish mentality." Youth ministry models abound for individual church youth ministries. Let's take those principles and apply them to our communities alongside other kingdom-minded neighboring churches. Our students are watching us.
Jeremy Story of Campus Renewal Ministries asked us to pass along information about an April 9 solemn prayer assembly for college students. One Cry is a nationwide event which links groups of college students praying together on campuses across America live via satellite television. The focus is praying for an uprising of organic mission, prayer, unity, revival and awakening. It is a solemn assembly with a focus also on repentance. This "One Cry" will be broadcast live from Times Square, where a city-wide gathering of college students will lead the event.
Visit campusrenewal.org for more information.
Over the years I've met some pretty amazing young people. I want to share with you a little about those who have tattooed my soul over they years. (Their names have been changed for confidentiality.) You know the kind of people I'm talking about: those that leave a permanent mark on you. There are too many to write about in just one sitting, but they are the reasons we do what we do...
A friend and supporter of the National Network of Youth Ministries, high school teacher Brad Johnson has won his court case regarding Christian heritage and patriotic banners in his classroom.
In his federal court ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez offered,
"May a school district censor a high school teacher's expression because it refers to Judeo-Christian views, while allowing other teachers to express views on a number of controversial subjects, including religion and anti-religion? On undisputed evidence, this court holds that it may not."
Smart, beautiful, and the life of the party, Abbey was only 20 years old. She had a permanent smile and whenever she was near; you could not help, but be drawn to her. As it turns out, Abbey was an opiate addict. In March of 2009, six of her friends carried her casket to her grave site, a life cut short by a prescription drug overdose. Abbey was my cousin.
The good news is that pot, alcohol, cigarettes, meth, ecstasy and LSD are being abused less nowadays by American teenagers compared to the 1990s.
Almost 40% of NNYM members list “college” as part of their ministry involvement. Although most of our focus is on middle school and high school-age youth, an important national event for collegians is scheduled for February 25: The Collegiate Day of Prayer. Please keep reading for more information from the organizers...
To Save A Life opened last weekend nationwide. The writer/producer/Network coordinator who authored the film reported to us that "a student shared about how he attempted suicide on Friday. He was unsuccessful and then went to the film that night and became a Christian and is excited about helping others."
Read on to find out about the film and how to get involved in using it in your ministry.
I took a road trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin to find out what God is doing in their city to reach students with the gospel...together!
The high school basketball star is at the top of his game. His former friend shoots himself on campus right in front of his eyes. His world collapses from guilt and helplessness. What happens now?
That is the theme for the new movie, "To Save a Life. " It was filmed by Jim Britts, a youth pastor and network coordinator in Oceanside, California. His passion for seeing teenagers reached on campus led him to write and produce this movie coming to theaters in January. Many of the stories in the movie were modeled after issues the network experienced together.
Prayer is a vital part of cultivating unity in our nation, and so, “How can we be praying for Las Vegas?”
I recently met with the Las Vegas Network and took part in a discussion for a campus strategy in their city. We were overwhelmed and excited at the possibilities of connecting with campuses throughout the area. Here is how we can be praying for what God is up to in Vegas.
I have found the last five years to be filled with opportunity once I got out of the church (I mean in specific ministry, not the church itself...haha) and into the schools.
But I had to go well beyond the list of 30 things (previous post) to be accepted, respected, and even for the opportunity to be utilized within the schools.
Although most of these ideas took some major work and are fairly long-term, they, like any ministry, address specific needs...
Tell us your See You At The Pole story by filling out the form at http://report.syatp.com/syatp/.
You can also monitor the SYATP buzz on Twitter, or tweet your own thoughts using #syatp.
If you had something noteworthy happen at your SYATP on campus or rally, please write it up and submit it for the “feed” at www.youthworkers.net. If you have a picture to post, please describe the location and a little about what happened there too!
We've heard the mantra of "separation of church and state" for so long that we often think there's nothing we can do to make a difference. In fact, there's a lot we can and should do!
Several years ago I had one of those life changing phone calls. I was talking with a friend who lived in Denver who was a volunteer youth leader in a small church, while I was a full time high school pastor at a large church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
We began to dream about what would happen if our students were to catch a vision of claiming responsibility to display Christ’s love through prayer and action on their campus throughout the year...
You might consider sending this information on to any mothers that you know...praying moms might be one of your best allies to reach the schools in your community.
Moms In Touch International is hosting a historic prayer event, “Arise! Cry Out!” on November 14, 2009, inviting Christian mothers from around the world to “Arise! Cry Out!” for the generations. Click here to watch a 90 second video about Arising and Crying Out!
It’s been estimated there are more than 600,000 Christian public school teachers who are educating more than 50 million American students. In most cases, the teachers spending many hours per week with your students could be your best allies in youth ministry. You just need to be aware of how to help them and how they can assist you.
After-school and before-school meetings are permissible on the school grounds. For example...
This is it! Students go back to school this week all over the country - the unofficial signaling of the end of summer, but the beginning of a great adventure. Teenagers see the new school year differently - for some it's a new football season, for others it's time for a new girlfriend or boyfriend, and for still others it's the beginning of a prison sentence. We need to challenge Christian students to see the new school year as a 9-Month Mission Trip. Think about it - transportation is already provided, they still get to eat strange and exotic food, and best of all, the people there speak their own language. Many of our teenagers are coming off of great experiences with God over this past summer - now is the time to make those experiences really count. A girl I know just posted the following on her facebook status - "I'm dedicating this school year to proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ! Who's with me!?!?" I could not have said it better myself. Let's pray that God raises up many more like this girl in the days and weeks to come. www.facebook.com/9monthmissiontrip
Twenty years and praying
See you at the Pole™ 2009 is scheduled for Wednesday, September 23, at schools across the United States and in many other countries.
This year’s See You at the Pole (SYATP) marks the 20th year for this student-initiated and student-led movement that started in the Ft. Worth suburb of Burleson, Texas...
Editor’s note: In January 2010, the film To Save a Life will be released in theatres nationwide. The vision behind the film is to inspire millions of teenagers to reach out to the hurting and lonely in their world. What most theatre-goers won’t know is that the author of the story and producer is one of our own: a youth pastor and local network coordinator in Oceanside, California. We asked Jim Britts to talk to us: why add writing and making a movie to the responsibilities he has as youth pastor at an active church? Here is the heart behind the film from his perspective as the screenwriter.
I never thought I was going to be a youth worker.