All Posts By

Kristina

FP Student Leaders keep leading after they graduate

By Nehemiah, Local FP Communities, Student Leaders

I have heard story after story about FP student leaders and even students who weren’t leaders going on after they graduate to serve in First Priority in some capacity. Some of them have become a campus coach, faculty sponsor, priority parent, or even a full-time Director of FP in their area. It is amazing to see the club that they once valued in middle or high school, becoming a big part of their life as an adult as well. Here is a story out of FP Blue Ridge about a recent graduate who plans to keep helping with First Priority beyond high school. This is from FP Director Haley Wherry:

A First Priority Student Leader who just graduated called me. In 7th grade, he launched First Priority in his middle school, and then was a leader who revitalized First Priority in his high school. His younger brother was a leader in the middle school and will be a leader in the high school, and his youngest brother will be a lead in the middle school this year. The reason he called me was to ask if First Priority was in any of the schools near the local college he will begin attending in the fall. He wants to be a Campus Coach in one of them. When I told him that no schools in that area had First Priority clubs, he said he would help to launch at least one club in one of the schools and coach it while he was in college. He then told me that he was going to college to be a teacher and that he would be a First Priority Faculty Sponsor wherever he served in the future.

First Priority is changing the lives of students. It works. And it’s long lasting. And our hope is that we can see First Priority in every school across the nation so that all students can hear the Gospel of Christ.

Naming Loss

By Nehemiah, Priority Parents No Comments

These unprecedented times we find ourselves living in right now have brought many mixed emotions. You hear stories of families connecting more, times of rest and relaxation, and less stress. People are reaching out more and helping their neighbors and even strangers in ways they have never done before. It has brought a thankfulness and gratitude towards nurses, doctors, teachers, grocery store workers, etc. that maybe we all took for granted.

On the other side, I know many people are struggling greatly. And the losses they are dealing with are heavy. And they don’t know how they are going to make it.

During this time of the unknown it is important that we can name those things we are grateful for but also those things we have lost. Many times we focus on only trying to be thankful and talk about the things that are good. Which is a great thing to do. But it is just as important to name and recognize our losses. Our students and kids especially need to recognize that naming their loss is ok. It’s not a bad thing to think about something we have lost and only name what we are grateful for. Naming it gives us a chance to mourn and move on.

We hung a paper on our refrigerator about a month ago and started this process of naming things we are grateful for and things that are losses. We haven’t been great about naming things every week but I think just having it up there reminds us that it’s okay to have these feelings of both loss and gratefulness side by side. It helps us recognize that there is both pain and joy in what we face not only during this time in our lives, but at any time. I used to shelter my kids from anything bad. I didn’t want them to know I was sad or angry or had a bad day. But kids need to see that part of us. They need to know that naming a loss is normal so that when it happens to them, they know how to mourn the loss and pick back up and move on.

So I would encourage you during this time, no matter where you find yourself, to be thankful and grateful for the things God is doing or has provided but that it is also okay and just as important to recognize those things that you have lost. And help those students around you to do the same.

God is Still using Students to Reach Students

By Virtual Clubs

God is still moving in the lives of students as they have transitioned from meeting in schools to meeting virtually through zoom, facebook live, instagram and more. Stories of thankfulness and life change are happening in virtual clubs across the nation. Students who normally would not attend a club on their school campus are logging in and listening to these virtual clubs. Here are a few stories of what’s happening across the nation.

A student from FP Blue Ridge writes to her teacher who is the faculty sponsor for their FP club, “With the announcement from the governor I wanted to send you a message and say thank you for everything that you have done for me through my high school career. Being able to come into your room every day to talk made my day brighter each time. You were always there for us in our lowest points trying to help us get through these years. Without your help I don’t know where I would have ended up. I want to thank you for making homerooms amazing each time, and for hosting First Priority and always being there in my Christian walk. It is hard to believe that I will never be able to have you as my teacher again. Thank you for everything that you have done for me.”

There are more stories of students sharing the Gospel online. Many of their videos have 500 or more views reaching more students than they were on their school campus. Students are stepping up and leading and sharing the Gospel of Christ and reaching others from their own homes. Nothing can stop God from moving.

We have put together a 36 minute training broken up into 18 different segments on how to start and run one of these virtual clubs. God is using the internet right now to reach people! Don’t miss this opportunity. Click here to get started.

Our response to Covid-19 is to start Virtual Clubs

By Virtual Clubs

First of all we are all praying for all of you during this time of uncertainty and chaos in our world and trust that you are also praying for the world of First Priority.

It has been amazing to see how this has become a motivational time for all of our chapters and clubs to be intentional and aggressive about continuing to share the gospel.

FPoA has played a HUGE role in making this a successful and coordinated effort across the country.  Some state level organizations are sending out our virtual club link to every youth minister in their system encouraging them to start FP clubs if they have not already.

Here is the link to all of the resources and training that we have put out there and it is excellent stuff.  www.firstpriority.club/virtualclubs

Below you will find a couple of videos of students who are leading these virtual clubs as well as more social media pictures of what is happening online.

 

You Are Invited

By FP Tools No Comments

The help tool we are focusing on this week comes from Month 6 of the Hope Guides which talks about the conversation with outcasts. There are plenty of people we may enjoy spending time with, while there are plenty of others that, if we are honest, we might feel somewhat uncomfortable. Maybe we are afraid it will give us a bad reputation, or maybe we aren’t comfortable with the sights and smells that come with putting ourselves in certain company.

While Jesus was doing ministry, He experienced those who were considered respectable and admired people, while others were considered unclean and unwanted. But Jesus didn’t avoid the outcasts. He offered himself to them and gave them the opportunity to become part of his family.

So how do we start the conversation with outcasts? It begins with an invite. Through prayer, building trust, and time, the door will be open for you to share the gospel.

In order to do that, our help tool is to create an invitation to First Priority, a safe place where people feel welcome, not judged, and no one sits alone. Students can ask God to give them the boldness to hand out their invitations to First Priority and be ready to greet them at the door when they come or even meet them in the hallway and walk with them.

All people matter to Jesus so all people should matter to us.

Students find belonging in their First Priority club

By Nehemiah, Local FP Communities No Comments

Students want to feel like they belong. They seek others who are like them or who like the same kinds of things they like. But often, it is easy to go to school everyday thinking that there is no one like you. No one else who likes the same things you do or believes in the same things you believe in. But they are out there just waiting to be found.

One student from Wake County in North Carolina realized this when she decided she wanted to help get a FP club going in her school. She thought there would be no one at her school who was a Christian. Once she got permission to start her club, she realized there were a lot of Christians excited about it. Even the janitor started talking about the Bible to her and her mom. It was like Christians were in hiding. FP gave them a safe place to stand together and invite others to join.

At another FP club on the Emerald coast, students went out into their campus inviting other students to come to the club that day, handing out invite cards and biscuits. Students came and heard the gospel and four of them raised their hands proclaiming they accepted Christ!

First Priority gives students a place to belong. And a place to invite others to belong and learn about the love they can receive from Jesus Christ.

Finding a Time of Rest

By First Priority Of America No Comments

As I sit looking out the window on this dreary, rainy day in Tennessee, I am reflecting on life and how so many surrounding me are suffering physically. There are those with cancer, viruses, upcoming surgeries, or in the hospital ICU clinging to life. I don’t think I have ever heard of so many I know with this much suffering as I do right now.

We all suffer in one way or another, whether it’s physical or emotional. But we sometimes find ourselves wondering how God can allow things like our suffering or the suffering of others to happen. Or we wonder how God will use that suffering to mold us and shape us and bring others to Christ. Most of the time we are impatient and want to know the why or how right now so that the suffering can stop and we can move forward. Or sometimes we are just impatient because we are in hurry.

The world has become a hurried state of mind where we run from one thing to the next. Barely stopping to notice those around us. I’m reminded over and over again by the many books, podcasts, articles etc that talk about our society needing to rest. Encouraging us to take some time out of our busy schedules and find rest away from whatever is constantly consuming us. But do we do it. We talk about it, but we don’t always practice what we preach.

I would encourage you to take a step back and reflect on what your passion is. Hopefully part of that passion would be living a life for God in whatever manner that God has asked you to serve. But I also pray that you would find time to rest. And reflect on the life you have and the lives around you. And that you would find rest and trust in God, knowing that he is in control of everything whether it be those times of suffering or times of rejoicing.

Hebrews 4:10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.

Two new clubs celebrate life change!

By Local FP Communities No Comments

Read these stories shared from two new clubs that started in different areas this year and how God is already moving on those school campuses.

Tyler Eanes, a newly trained FP campus coach in Gainesville, Georgia, trained student leaders who got a FP club going in a new school called Cherokee Bluff. On their 2nd official meeting it was Overcome Week. I told Tyler, just wait until Engage week when you get to see students give their lives to Christ, it will fire up everyone. Well, they did not have to wait until Engage week, Go God! Another new club that started this year in Kansas City saw one student give their life to Christ in their first FP Club meeting of the year! One of the student leaders invited her friend to the club who went to church but had never heard the gospel and she gave her life to Christ in that first FP club meeting. Praise God!

You can be a part of this movement too! Isn’t it exciting to hear about life change in our middle and high schools? Did you know we will train you to help students lead students in the Hope of Christ? Register today for the last Start a Club Webinar of the year. Read more about it by clicking the image below and sign up to join the movement of sharing the gospel of Christ.

 

 

A Principal is thankful for the FP Club at his school!

By Local FP Communities, FP Success Story No Comments

At a recent First Priority meeting in the biggest school in our region (FP Blue Ridge, TN), a sophomore girl visited the club for the first time. No one knew her. She saw students preparing to go out onto the campus with gospel surveys. She approached and asked what was going on. A freshman leader told her about First Priority and she said she is seeking Christian fellowship because her friends are bringing her down and driving her from God. She claimed to be a Christian and went evangelizing with the team.

When she returned to the room we were debriefing about the experience. She suddenly went into a violent seizure and fell face first into a table leg, busting her cheek and leaving a gash in her scalp. I jumped around the table, pulled her out and determined she wasn’t bleeding to death or choking on her tongue. She seized for at least 6 minutes, while the school officials came running in and EMTs arrived.

We prayed over her, cleaned up and stayed with her until she was taken away by the ambulance. She had mentioned where she went to church, so I was able to contact her youth pastor who knew her as a former attendee. The youth pastor visited her in the hospital and let me know she went home that night with stitches.

She was back at school with a black eye and stitches and showed up at the First Priority meeting. She went evangelizing again with the team. When the meeting was over, she remained behind and approached me and another Campus Coach and asked “How do I find friends?” We encouraged her and gave her advice on that question and several others, encouraging her to get involved at her church and hang with people that lift her up, not tear her down. It was an opportunity to speak into a student we would never have met outside of First Priority.

Later that day I went to the principal at the high school. When he saw me, he said, “I’m glad you are here…I need to talk to you about an email I received yesterday regarding First Priority.” He then told me that the mother had emailed him a lengthy message. He said her main point for the email was that her daughter’s favorite class was First Priority (she must not know it’s a club), that her daughter couldn’t stop taking about it, and the mother wanted to ask the principal if he could assure that she could attend that class next school year.

He said her email was a testimony to the value of First Priority on his campus. I assured him it was a testimony to the student leaders who are loving on this student and the whole student body. He then said, “Most people outside of these walls only hear about the bad things that go on here. But, there are good things happening here and First Priority is one of them.”

Check out what is happening in Bristol, TN

By Local FP Communities No Comments

Scott Emerine Bristol Area Director was invited to speak today at Vance Middle School. Students will be altering the HOPE cycle to have Engage weeks to finish out the year and they will be sharing the Gospel using their testimony worksheets and the First Priority Blue Ridge provided Bibles from First Priority of America. We are extremely proud of how innovative and creative students are and how churches are partnering with the student missionaries to empower them.