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Community Leaders

The primary way to start doing ministry in a public school

By Priority Parents, Church Leaders, Community Leaders No Comments

The answer? Think Long Term.

Period. I really could stop there and say nothing else. If you follow that way of thinking, you will be where you want to be. But really think about it for a moment. Who has access to all the places in town? The individual who everybody knows and loves. Who does everybody know and love? The person who has been around for a long time and goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Which leads to point number 2: Think long term.

Again? Really?! Yup!? NO SINGLE EVENT WILL LEAD TO REVIVAL! Even the ministry of Billy Graham got started in a tent revival in California that lasted for weeks. Do not form a committee that does a bait and switch school assembly where someone feels ‘inspired’ to share the Gospel even though you said you wouldn’t. Yes, maybe 60 students did come to faith through the event. They are thankful. But they also have not been followed up with to get plugged into a local church (cause that never happens to its capacity). And God does not tell you to do something that is illegal or undermining. Never has. Never will.

Which leads to point number 3: Think long term.

Paint a wall or some lockers at the school. Organize a group of adults or community churches to do a workday. And if you’ve been around so long the paint you put on cracks, paint it again. Clean garbage out of the stands after a ball game. Don’t ask, just bring some trash bags with you to the game and get started. It’ll make the custodians night/weekend if you do.  Show up at a summer football practice with popsicles for the team. They could use a little sugar kick and flavor.

The long and short of it all: It is not about you. It is about God’s love for the students walking the halls of your school. Start with a servants heart and end with a servants heart. Bring Chick-Fil-A to the secretary the first day you walk in so it won’t be the last.

#gamechanger

By Local FP Communities, Church Leaders, Community Leaders No Comments

I don’t mean to start with the obvious or to be too simple, but the way we think affects the way that we see the world and ultimately how we act each and every day. So, we begin here.

  • We hear people say that culture is ‘so bad’, and we agree with that sentiment. But let’s look at it as an opportunity. The pendulum of our culture always swings from spiritual depravity to spiritual awaking. If you have studied revivals in the past, we are due to see one happen. What an opportunity we have to be a catalyst of this next revival!
  • There are more students who identify themselves as Christians than identify with any other group in the school building on any given day. At least we think so. There is not a poll that has been taken on this. Especially since there are so many privacy laws in place around minors and around the school system today. But, we feel that many still would check that box should they get the multiple choice. Maybe 25% of the students would feel this way? Unless you are a part of a small rural school with 100 students total and the band has 26 of those students in it. Then there would be more band members. That said, in a small rural school, there is a greater chance of there being upwards of 80% of the students who call themselves Christian with some 71% of U.S. adults considering themselves Christian in 2019.

Either way, we are convinced that one of the largest groups on school campuses are Christian students. The problem is they are not organized. The school system helps organize the football team. They buy equipment, hire coaches and give the players a place to practice and play. The same is true with the band and other sanctioned organizations on campus. What if we organized the Christian students? Would that not be a game changer? Would that not change student ministry in your community? Would that be worth asking God to use you to help organize and unite the body of Christ in the middle and high schools of your community?

Why say all this? Cause there are more Christians for your students to partner with at school than just those that go to your student ministry. Think about the implications of a united Christian student-led movement at school.

Which naturally leads to thinking about the bigger picture in your community.  What would happen if the student ministry leaders in your community knew each other, trusted each other, and worked together at school for the common ground of building the Kingdom of Christ.
#gamechanger

Your Story

By Priority Parents, Student Leaders, Church Leaders, Faculty Sponsors, Community Leaders No Comments

Have you ever thought about the role that stories play in your everyday life? Stories help us understand things that other forms of communication cannot. Stories sometimes become the way we understand ourselves and the world around us. Did you go to a theater to see any
movies this summer? Obviously, the movie was itself a story, but what other stories were involved in your decision to go and pay money to see that movie? Did you see an advertisement for the movie? That’s a story. Did you go with friends? A personal story probably determined which friends you went with. Did you buy snacks to enjoy during the movie? A story had to be displayed to help you understand that this entertainment experience would be right for you. Some stories are not as obvious as others, but stories generally do four things:

  • Stories make a point
  • Stories make the point memorable
  • Stories make the point meaningful
  • Stories create connections

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 11.39.17 AMMany of us think that we have nothing worth sharing. Maybe you think your testimony is nowhere near as powerful as someone else’s. If you follow Jesus, however, you must realize that the true power of your story is in the Gospel, not in your own achievements. No matter what our experience appears to look like on the surface, the truth is that we were lost and now we are found! We were in darkness but now we walk in the light! Once we were alone and without hope, and yet Jesus has brought us into His family!

So I want to encourage you to share your story. You never know how it might help spread the gospel to those who hear the message.

Campus Coach Spotlight: Casey from FP Great Plains

By Local FP Communities, Church Leaders, Community Leaders No Comments

First Priority clubs are a great way for youth pastors to be able to step into the lives of their students on campus and meet them in a place where they spend most of their time. Being a campus coach provides this opportunity, and not only does it help youth pastors connect with their students, it helps churches unite locally. Listen to Casey, a youth pastor from the FP Great Plains community talk about her role as both a youth pastor and campus coach for the FP club she is involved with.

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 11.41.49 AM

Summer Prayer Challenge: Week 8 – GENTLENESS

By Local FP Communities, Priority Parents, Student Leaders, Community Leaders No Comments

The act of saying “yes” to Jesus causes the “fruit of the Spirit” to come through us! The eighth fruit we are focusing on is GENTLENESS. We serve a loving God and He has many ways of gently leading us forward. Psalm 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Gentleness copy

Challenge: Pray this week that God would gently lead you toward Him and help you lead others to Him. Specifically, how can you be more gentle in situations to the people around you?
Let’s also pray for the students who will be sharing about GENTLENESS In their schools during the month eight HOPE cycle. 


//let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person- Colossians 4:6//

Summer Prayer Challenge- Week 7: FAITHFULNESS

By Local FP Communities, First Priority Of America, Leadership Development, Community Leaders No Comments

The act of saying “yes” to Jesus causes the “fruit of the spirit” to come through us! The seventh fruit we are focusing on is FAITHFULNESS. Our God keeps His Promises which make our faith have meaning and our eternity secure. Practicing faithfulness takes effort and we as humans often fail. So first pray for it, then model and share God’s faithfulness to others!Faithfullness
Challenge: Because God is always faithful, let’s commit to being faithful in praying every day even when we don’t necessarily feel like it. Let’s ask God how we can show others His faithfulness this week.
Let’s also pray for the students who will be sharing about FAITHFULNESS in their schools during the month seven HOPE cycle.
// One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. – Luke 16:10 //

Summer Prayer Challenge: Week 6 – GOODNESS

By Local FP Communities, First Priority Of America, Church Leaders, FP Tools, Leadership Development, Community Leaders No Comments

The act of saying “yes” to Jesus causes the “fruit of the Spirit” to come through us! The sixth fruit we are focusing on is GOODNESS. In the same way that the Goodness of God moves Him to act, the Goodness He imparts to us is what causes us to be world changers. Goodness is a heart change that occurs when we put Jesus in charge of our life.Goodness
Challenge: let’s pray that this week we wouldn’t just strive to “do the right things” but that we would seek Jesus deeper so that our hearts and minds will be transformed to imitate Jesus.
Let’s also pray for the students who will be sharing about GOODNESS in their schools during the month six HOPE cycle.

// For we are God’s Masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago – Ephesians 2:10 // 

 

Thank you for your Partnership

By Priority Parents, Student Leaders, Church Leaders, Faculty Sponsors, Community Leaders No Comments

Thank you for your partnership in the ministry of First Priority!  We are always encouraged by people who are passionate about reaching students, our future generations. We see the despair of middle and high school students brought on by abuse, addiction, depression, and suicide. Our goal is to bring the HOPE of Christ to every student in America. This past school year, we trained 3,608 Christian students to lead a First Priority club on 820 schools around the country and we saw 10,022 students come to know Christ!  This all happened inside public school buildings this school year! Thank you for being a part of that!

Henry Ford-2We are on our way to helping the 325,000 local churches in our country to influence all 41,000 public middle and high schools. We believe the body of Christ is alive and well in every community in America. What would happen if we got churches in your community to work together to influence their schools with the gospel? After all, Christian churches outnumber public schools four to one! This wouldn’t happen without you working in your community! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Keep praying for the lost to hear the gospel in your schools. Continue helping train and equip the Christian students to share their faith with them. And most importantly, talk about First Priority with family and friends in and out of your community. If nobody is sharing Jesus with the lost students in your school, nobody is sharing Jesus with lost students in your school! We are always one generation away from missing them entirely.

Summer Prayer Challenge: Week 2- JOY

By Local FP Communities, Priority Parents, Student Leaders, Church Leaders, Community Leaders No Comments

The act of saying “yes” to Jesus causes the “fruit of the Spirit” to come through us! And the second fruit we are focusing on is JOY. As we hold onto God we can have gladness that overflows into our friends, family, and the world. Joy

Challenge: Let’s pray that this week we would pursue the Joy of the Lord even when life gets tough. Let’s pray that that Joy would overflow out of us so that we can impact the people around us for the sake of the Gospel.

Let’s also pray for the students who will be sharing about JOY in their schools during the month two HOPE cycle.

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my Joy. Yes, your joy will overflow -John 15:11

Summer Prayer Challenge

By Local FP Communities, First Priority Of America, Student Leaders, Community Leaders No Comments

For this coming school year, our Hope guides are focusing on the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Our student leaders will be challenged to focus on and give talks on one Fruit each month and how the Lord can use that Fruit to make a huge impact for the Gospel.

fullsizeoutput_16ddSO, for the next 9 weeks leading up to the start of school, we challenge you to actively follow along in prayer as we pray over one Fruit each week starting this Wednesday.

Ask God how you personally can bear this fruit throughout the week while praying for the students who will be discussing that fruit on their school campus.

// This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. Colossians 1:6 //