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Mark Roberts

Exciting News about New Communities starting First Priority

By Nehemiah, Local FP Communities

When a new community starts First Priority, we walk though a 4 phase process. Just like good Baptists, all the beginning letters are the same, we might even throw a poem in at the end just to bring it home. Ha!

Phase 1 – Discovery: Building awareness in the community, casting vision, and building the different networks of support; youth pastors, students, teachers, and business leaders
Phase 2 – Deployment: A vision casting event happens where you recruit donors and leaders to work with the clubs. This is also the phase that you train your networks to launch clubs.
Phase 3 – Development: Start building an advisory team. This is the beginnings of a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Phase 4 – Direction: In this phase, First Priority of America is now helping expand First Priority by providing direction to new communities wanting to start First Priority in their area.

With all that said we at FPoA are excited about the future expansion of First Priority into other communities. We are currently helping 8 cities get started. Kansas City, Orlando, Fort Worth, Denver, Richmond VA, Fredrick, MD, Springfield, MO, and Jackson, MS. We currently have what we like to call a Nehemiah in 5 of these communities. (Nehemiah showed up and leveraged what was already in the city to rebuild the torn down walls of Jerusalem). Jonathan Pugsley in KC, Wilson Clark in Orlando, Joel Rowland in Denver, Beth Endeda in Richmond, VA, and Jeff Stanford in Springfield, MO. Please pray God gives favor to these new coordinators as they work to build networks and train to start clubs this fall. Also be in prayer that God raises up a Nehemiah in the rest of the cities. If you have not seen our 2 minute Nehemiah video you can click here and see it.

We also want to let you know that we pray God uses you in your community to see students come to Christ. We are in a time in our history where the message of the gospel is important to share with our country and especially students. If you would like to get First Priority started in your community, please visit www.firstpriority.club/startaclub. We would love for you to join our growing First Priority family.


The Biggest Mission Field

By Nehemiah

Thank you for sticking with us along this 5 week journey of tips to help grow your student ministry. I pray it has been helpful and encouraging to you. Today’s tip looks at the biggest mission field of all. Watch the video below to hear what that is and how you can start reaching those who are lost.

To find out more about the plan of action of reaching lost students click here.

Empowering Students to share their story

By Nehemiah

You’ve reached the 4th week of tips. I hope these tips have been helpful for you.  I know that if you take the time, process through these tips, and begin to implement them in your ministry that you will deepen the lives of your core students that will change the culture of the entire group. Try it. Your student ministry will not be the same! AND, we are not done. Check out the video today from Wilson: 


All ministries lead somewhere. Have you ever asked yourself or people in your church the question: What is the goal of our student ministry for students who graduate high school? What is it that you want students to graduate with from being a part of the church? We think it is pretty simple:

  1. The number one thing you can do in the life of a student is to help him/her _______________ the Gospel.
  1. Equip them to share their __________________ Story.
  2. As they identify the God moments in their life, help students to __________ it out.

*** Our students are ___________________________ for Christ.

When you work and equip them to know the Gospel, their story of faith, and write it out, you will see them take ownership of their faith before they graduate high school.

Once you watch the video, download the homework sheet (it has the fill in words for these blanks).

See you tomorrow!  Get ready for the last day. it is a good one, no a GREAT one!



One simple way to grow your student ministry: Have a Plan

By Nehemiah

Welcome to tip #3 of our journey to help prepare your student ministry to grow after the shelter at home order is lifted. We started with your call from God. Last week, we gave you a prayer tool to help get your church behind the student ministry. And now, we are going to empower those students to begin growing your ministry. It is a very simple concept that doesn’t get enough street cred: Talk to God about your friends before talking to your friends about God. And measure it. Check it out:

In all of life, you have to have something to measure. If you don’t, how can you get anyone to join you?  Everyone wants to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves!  The best way to help people see that this something is your student ministry is to show results. In todays tip I challenge you to set goals and build your ministry though prayer. After all, if we don’t have the air cover we will never win the ground war.

  1. If I do not measure it, I do not ________ about it.
  2. Know __________ how many resources are needed.
  3. Develop your __________ for student led prayer.

*** Give your students the _________ friend challenge.

Once you watch the video, download the homework sheet (it has the fill in words for these blanks). Be ready for Day 4!! Tomorrow we give you a tool that will help the words of Jesus come out of the mouths of your student leaders!

See you tomorrow!



The best way to get your Church involved in Student Ministry

By Nehemiah

Welcome to Tip #2. I hope Tip #1 last week was a fresh reminder of God’s love for you and HIS desire to use you to redeem His creation! If you haven’t seen Tip 1, go back in the blog and check that one out first. Today we continue our quest to help prepare your student ministry for after the shelter at home order is lifted.

In today’s tip, we look at the best thing you have going for you: students! What if you and your church started seeing your students in a slightly different way? Don Miller (StoryBrand.com) says there are 4 kinds of people in every story: Villains, Victims, Heroes and Guides.  So what does this have to do with student ministry? Watch the video to find out:

  1. See students as __________________ to school.
  2. Identify students who are already ___________ their faith (the heroes! aka Luke Skywalker).
  3. Equip the church to _____________ for the missionaries (the guides – but you are their master Yoda!).

*** People have a __________ for what they pray for.

Once you watch the video, download the homework sheet (it has the fill in words for these blanks) and take some time to list the hero’s in your student ministry (the students). Be ready for Tip 3 where we will give you a tool for your students to use to share their faith story.


How your call strengthens your student ministry

By Nehemiah

This is day 1 of a 5 part email series that we will be sending you entitled, “How to double the size of your student ministry once we are meeting again.” We want to help prepare your student ministry after the shelter at home order is lifted. Each week on Thursday you will get this email that links to the blog. Check out the 5 minute video and follow along with the blanks below. The answers to the blanks are on the homework sheet that is attached. So, let’s get started. We feel like a good foundation for that is to start with your call. It might seem fundamental, but all great athletes, writers, business leaders, or successful people in general, work on their fundamentals. Here we go!

  1. The call of God on your heart is not about __________________.
  2. The call of God on your heart is not about a _________________.
  3. The call of God is not always _________ before you begin.

*** The call of God is about what __________ your heart.

Be ready for next week, because part of the process God uses to fulfill your call is always about the people you are in relationship with.


5 Things you can do from home

By Nehemiah, Local FP Communities

It is hard to believe that we have lived this way for over a month now. We have heard so many times that these are unprecedented times and we wonder when or if things will ever be the same again. There are so many questions that only time can answer.

As we patiently wait, we realize the obvious; we are not in control. This is the lesson that the entire world can learn. As sure as we are not in control, we realize that God is in control. He is still on the throne, He is still at work and He still cares.

There are a lot of things we can’t do during this time but instead let’s focus on what we CAN do…

Our faith CAN increase at a time like this.
We CAN grow: study the Word and pray more.
We CAN look for God in all of this.
We CAN share the Hope we have in Christ.
We CAN make the most of the opportunity. (Ephesians 5: 15 – 17)
I want to encourage you. God is faithful and His promises are new each day. Rely on Him and draw your strength and help from Him.

First Priority has been challenged to be creative and innovative during these times and we are excited to see the Gospel continue to go forth via virtual clubs – Praise God!

Chris Lane
FP Executive Director South Florida

Your Students are Ready to do Something

By Nehemiah, Virtual Clubs

If you are a youth pastor or work with students, we, first of all, want to say thank you for investing in and caring for teenagers. We know you sure as heck don’t do it for the money. If you are like most Youth Pastors during this shut down in America, you have been racing to find out how to still do ministry. You know as well as anyone that today there are more people looking for answers than ever before. You also understand that the way we do ministry has to change, but it is a good thing. My son serves as a youth pastor in North Carolina. He said his online church services have been more attended, more people giving their lives to Christ and more money in the offering than when they met publicly. Not that we don’t need to meet physically, we do and are even told to in Hebrews 10:26. With the creation of the internet, the word and the gospel can go forth. It is almost as if God pushed the church out of the building. Acts chapter 8:1, after the death of Stephen, the Bible says, “At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” We have an excellent opportunity for ministry since we got pushed out of our buildings.

Your students are ready to do something. Well, why not start a First Priority virtual club? A Clubwhere students can invite their friends to a zoom call and hear your students share their testimonies and give people an opportunity to give their life to Christ. I listened to a youth pastor the other day say he loved it when the salvation prayer was prayed, and the students who accepted Christ indicated it in the chat room. We have put together a free teaching platform where we walk you through a simple training on how to get these clubs going. To get started click here.