||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.
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
THREE THINGS THAT SEE YOU AT THE POLE
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
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."
WHAT SEE YOU AT THE POLE
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 TheSourceForYouthMinistry.com
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."
FOR MORE EVENT IDEAS
New: A TON OF NEW EVENTS ON OUR EVENT IDEAS PAGE
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.
CLICK HERE FOR OUR
NEW EVENT IDEAS PAGE
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:
CLICK HERE FOR
THE DARE2SHARE WEBSITE
- go to www.dare2share.org 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
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