An intresting article from Jonathon McKee’s blog

Yesterday morning was an event called “See You at the Pole” (SYATP). Thousands of Christian kids around the country gathered around the flagpoles at their schools to pray… or… to take a stand… it really depends on the group.

Sorry, I just can’t get behind it.

I didn’t even mention the event in our EZINE or in my blogging the past few weeks. I’ve received emails asking me about the event and asking me to publicize it. I haven’t.

Why? Am I a SYATP hater?

I’ve never really verbalized my feelings about the event. My mom taught me… if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all. So for the last couple years I just kept silent. But people are beginning to ask questions. I even was forwarded this blog –SYATP is Stupid! – written from a guy who really doesn’t like the event.

Is this guy a hater?

I hate to admit it… (and I wouldn’t probably title my article like this guy’s), but I can’t disagree with this guy.

Here’s what I have noticed year after year at SYATP. Adults tell Christian kids to go stand at the flagpole and pray for their school. “It’s their right!” The event is “adult driven.”

Now fast forward to the actual Wednesday morning where a kid is standing next to the pole… struggling with one overwhelming thought. “What is everyone thinking of me right now?”

A practice that is supposed to be our communication with God has just turned into a giant struggle with pride. Temptation while standing at the pole is, “Look at me!” Not, “Look at God!”

The question I have is simple. Where is the Biblical basis for this event?

Because if we look at what the Bible says about prayer, I only find passages talking about how we should NOT pray to be seen by others. Jesus himself said that we should go and close the door to pray.

What the heck is SYATP? It’s more like SOKUF. Set Our Kids Up for Failure.

A couple years ago my friend KJ went to a local campus to watch it all go down. A handful of Christian students gathered around the flagpole staring at the ground. One of the kid’s friends came up and looked at the ground to see what his friend was staring at. Finally, confused he spoke up. “What are you doing man?”

The Christian kid looked up and said, “Are you a Christian?”

The friend said, “I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

The Christian said, “Then get out of here!”

I’ve written articlesabout SYATP before, trying to not stop the moving train, but maybe guide it to safer tracks. But I’m tired of trying to put icing on the turd. I’m just not pumping it anymore. SYATP breeds a mentality of “us” vs. “them.” It’s not in the literature, but it reeks of, We Christians need to stand up for what we believe… amongst these dirty pagans! Nice. That attitude will bring a ton of people to Christ! (sarcasm intended).

Sorry guys, but I just don’t think Jesus was in the Bible Club at his high school. I think he was in metal shop.

Jesus went away to pray a ton… I just don’t remember it being in front of everyone.

Am I wrong?

(From Chuck)

 Before I begin let me say that the above quote from Jonathon McKee is his own opinion and I disagree with him on this issue. However this man has done more to reach teenagers than anyone else I know, and at the core of his being he loves Jesus and he loves kids. So not in any way should my comments be taken out against him, because I respect this man very much.

You just may be wrong Mr. Mckee. For the past two years  I have attended SYATP (see you at the pole) at Toombs County High School. Last year there were about 7 or 8 participants. This year there were 6. Were we standing around the pole looking down on those who were not attending? No. Were the kids standing around the pole saying “hey look at us and how religious we are!”? No. The kids that have attended each year met around the pole to say ” hey we need to pray for our school and our friends, cause there’s a lot of heavy stuff going on!”.

In the wake of the school violence that has plagued Toombs county in the past week, what better time to gather students together to pray for their school and their friends. My complaint, is that it only happens once a year, and I think it would do well to have a weekly time of prayer at the school with the students.(We just might see a decrease in problems)

I am sure there are those around the country who have students attend SYATP and treat it as an “us vs. them” opportunity, and if that is their mentality then I agree they have no business attending the event. Like everything else SYATP has become commercialized, blown out of proportion, and marketed to try and make a buck. To this fact, I resent them. The true spirit of SYATP was started as a genuine concern, and if it holds to the original intent, leave it alone, don’t complain about it, and pray for it and those participating.

Just an opinion from me.



About Chuck Mullis

I am the husband of Valerie and the father of Russell & Hannah. I am a self-employed contractor living in rural North Carolina as well as an ordained Southern Baptist Minister serving Living Water Baptist Church.

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