The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan's Resource Ezine

Weekly Resources, Ideas and Articles from The Source for Youth Ministry
Tuesday, September 7, 2004

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Featured Article: 3 Things I hope to NOT See at the Pole!

by Jonathan McKee
September 7, 2004

One week from this Wednesday we have the opportunity to repel students from our church! Yep ... send them running away! It won't be because of gathering around a flagpole to pray ... but because of an attitude that can sometimes creep into this once a year event.

What event?

On Wednesday, September 15th, flagpoles will be surrounded by praying students in the front of schools across America.


Prayer, of course!

Great! How do we ... NOT do it? That's right, NOT do it. Let me ask it another way. How do we do it in such a way that students will never want to have anything to do with Christians, youth group or church?

As someone who has run campus ministries, spoken at numerous school assemblies, and rubbed elbows with many different school administrators, I wanted to share something with you that is very close to my heart. See You at the Pole is a great opportunity for our students to pray for their campuses. When students truly come before God and pray for their campuses, incredible doors are opened.

Let's not look at what See You at the Pole is. Let's look at what See you at the Pole ISN'T.


1. See You at the Pole ISN'T our chance to act like first graders. Here's how it works. Students stand by the pole and stick out their tongues at other students and the administration! "Nyaa, na, na, na, na! We can stand at the poley pole and you can't stop us!"

I don't know why we would think that if we tic people off, they'll repent of their sins and turn to God.

Last month at a camp I spoke at, a high school student sat down and talked with me about sharing his faith. He said, "I don't understand. I told some of my friends that they're going to Hell. Now they won't talk to me."


Jesus modeled something very different in his ministry to sinners. Maybe we need to examine that model a little more closely.

2. See You at the Pole ISN'T our chance to be political activists. Youth workers line up across the street with signs about prayer in school. Militant Christians lurk in the bushes waiting for a school administrator to step out of line so we can "Rambo" them. After all it's OUR right, isn't it?!

Let's think about this. As youth workers we are constantly encouraging our students to be more Christlike. Well, when did Christ apose the government? When did Jesus stand up against the atrocities that the emperors and rulers allowed in that day? Which passage of scripture shares about Jesus picketing to bring the nation back to God?

Funny, the only people I ever remember him standing up against were the religious snobs of the day that were twisting the truth about God.

But I do recall passage after passage detailing Jesus feeding the hungry, healing the sick, hanging out with sinners, forgiving prostitutes, eating with tax collectors ... and consistantly looking at the crowds of lost people around him and aching with love and compassion.

3. See You at the Pole ISN'T our chance to say, "Look at me!" Students wear their brand new "Turn or Burn" t-shirts. Or how about those really artistic t-shirts with the picture of a strong peirced hand reaching down and squeezing a demon, bearing the caption, "He'll squeeze the Hell out of them!"

Then students stand by the flag pole and see who's watching. "I hope a bunch of kids notice us here. They should think about the lives they're leading ... those pagans! If only they led the life that I live. Oooooo ... they're looking. Better start praying. "God, help our campus, blah, blah, blah ..." one eye open. "Cool! They're looking! Watch and learn heathens!"

We need to shift the focus from "look at me" to "look at God." Paul tells us that clearly in II Cor. 4:5 (NLT) "We don't go around preaching about ourselves; we preach Christ Jesus, the Lord. All we say about ourselves is that we are your servants because of what Jesus has done for us."

Our focus should be on God. And anyone that sees us, should see something different about us and think, "What does he have? Whatever it is, I want it." The focus isn't on us, but on the treasure we have inside. That's why Paul goes on in the same passage and says, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." II Cor. 4:7 (NIV)

See You at the Pole is all about "look at God" and has nothing to do with "look at me."

The See You at the Pole web site (CLICK HERE) gives some great guidelines. The event is student led, and student run. The site clearly defines it: "See You at the Pole is not a public demonstration. It is not a club meeting. It is not a church service. See You at the Pole is a time for students to pray for their schools, friends, communities, and countries. Even when faced with opposition, students should keep in mind that they have gathered for the sole purpose of prayer."

As we approach this annual event, please continue to pray that God will use "See You at the Pole" as a great opportunity for students to focus on Him.

Jonathan McKee is president of and author of the new book "Do They Run When They See You Coming? Reaching Out to Unchurched Teenagers." (CLICK HERE FOR THE BOOK) Jonathan speaks and trains across the country and provides free online resources, training, & ideas for youth workers at

An Event Idea You Can Use: Mugshots

Here's a great event that will help you network with neighboring churches and your students will enjoy at the same time.

Get together with another youth group of similar size whom you don't know very well for this event. Take pictures of students from both youth groups beforehand and exchange them. Hand each student a picture of a student from the other youth group. Then, meet at a park, amusement park, mall or other public place and have students search for the person in their picture. Once they find their student have them autograph the back of their picture. The youth group with the most autographs (thus finding the most other students) wins.

Meet back at a previously agreed upon location where one of your worship teams (or better, a combination of both groups' worship teams) play some music. Have 2 students from each group share their personal testimonies.

This is a non-threatening way to include unchurched students in an event where it doesn't matter if they really know anyone well or at all. It's on "their turf" and a lot of fun. Also hearing students - their own peers - share the Gospel is always a bonus.

Idea from Kyle Rolph, St. Thomas, ON, Canada
"Our kids have since struck up a relationship with other believers and were encouraged."



Tired of doing the same ol' thing? Well browse on over to our EVENT IDEAS page. Many of you have been using this page for years ... free event ideas like Video Scavenger Hunts, Sledge-O-Matic, Slime Night, Five Buck Receipt Rush, etc.

Now we have updated our EVENT IDEAS page with a ton of NEW events including the recent hit Amateur Olympics, and others like Frozen Turkey Olympics, Car Restoration, Back in the Day, Bring Your Own Utensil, etc.


Featured Link: Free "Passion of the Christ" Curriculum

The Passion has been on video and DVD for a week now, and it presents an incredible opportunity to visually connect your students to the significance of Christ's last 12 hours on earth. Many of you are probably looking for a way you can use the film as a tool to reach your group and your students' unsaved friends.

Good news! Our friends over at DARE 2 SHARE MINISTRIES have put together a 4-week curriculum series designed to be used in conjunction with The Passion of the Christ DVD. The best part is that you can download it for free if ... GET THIS ... if you agree to look at another FREE resource. What were they thinking?

Actually they were thinking that youth groups all over the nation could use this curriculum as a tool to attract and reach unsaved students. So here's the deal:
  • go to and click on "Free Passion Curriculum".

  • From there you will be taken to an explanation page which walks you through the steps to get this free resource. In a nutshell, they will be asking you to take a look at their time tested and highly effective evangelism strategy (also free) called "The e-team revolution". An e-team (short for evangelism team) is a group of students leading the charge of evangelism in the youth ministry. Currently, there are over 2000 e-teams in 46 states and 5 countries, and their research indicates that the average e-team is seeing 5 new commitments to Christ each month!

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