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“One Way” Help Tool

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The school year has started for some and is quickly approaching for others. As clubs start getting ready to launch we wanted to share one of the evangelism tools from the Hope Weekly Guide. Below is an excerpt from the first Help Week explaining how to use this tool. You can find the whole Help Week explanation here.

Now that we know that Jesus is the only way to God, how do we use the “One Way” Help Tool to start a conversation with God and share the Good News? Place the sticker on your folder, binder, phone case, or item that is visible to others. When your classmates, teachers, or parents ask you what the sticker means, you can respond with excitement, “I am so glad you asked” and share about our key verse, John 14:6, “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Tell how Jesus is the “one way” to a relationship with God now and forever. Then, share your story of beginning a relationship with Jesus.

Take 5 and Pray for 5 Tool

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With the school year quickly approaching, we want you to take a peak into one of the tools you can use to train students to share Jesus. This tool is included this year in month 7 ‘The Conversation with Enemies’ of the new Hope Weekly Guides. You can (soon – we are updating) access all of these tools online for free at firstpriority.club/Hope or via the First Priority of America app. Here is the sneak peek.

Who would you say your enemies are? This can bring up different kinds of feelings, from betrayal to gossip. As you think of who these people are, start praying that God will give you a heart to love them. Let’s read what Jesus says we should do with our enemies in Matthew chapter 5 verses 43 & 44. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ BUT I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Why should we pray for our enemies? Because Jesus did. He prayed for those who opposed Him, for those who betrayed Him, and as He was hung on the cross, He asked God to forgive them. Jesus modeled how we should pray for our enemies and commanded us to do the same. Our hearts should desire for our enemies to have a relationship with Jesus and their presence in Heaven. So we pray like the apostle Paul did in Romans chapter 10 verse 1, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” This can be something as simple as a card to remind us to Take 5 and Pray for 5.

Think of 5 people you would consider your enemy and commit to take 5 minutes a day and pray for their salvation and for God to give you an opportunity to share Jesus with them.

 

 

 

This tool is here to remind us to take the time to pray for those who may be really hard to pray for. But if you take this simple step, it can truly change your life and the lives of those you are praying for.

Tool: Romans Road to Salvation

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Some may say they do not believe in God or life after death. I believe they are denying their heart. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, 11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

When God gives you an open door to talk to people about Jesus, use the book of Romans to walk people through the way to salvation. Romans gives us a road map that many call the Romans road to Salvation.

It begins with Romans 3:23, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

What all humans have in common is that none of us are perfect, we have all fallen short. The 2nd verse on this road is: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

We just established that we are all sinners. We find out here that the penalty for our sin is death. Not just physical death but eternal death. The first two verses are depressing but the 3rd verse on this road is where it changes to hope.  Rom. 5:8 says, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Our sin separates us from God and we are hopeless, but Jesus saves the day by dying for us and taking our place. If you were in prison for a crime that sentenced you to death and a friend showed up and took your place, you would be free. That is what Jesus did for you and me.

Romans goes on to say in verses 9 and 10, 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Your heart is your totality of being. It is the person you are when you lay in bed and can’t sleep, it is who you are when you are alone with yourself. If I confess Jesus as Lord and believe in my heart I can live eternally.

The next verse is the best verse in the Bible. Rom. 10:13,For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Whoever! That is all of us. All we have to do is ask. Salvation is simple and God desires all of us to know Him. When you share this with people, ask them if they would like to call upon the name of the Lord and ask God to save them. You can lead them though a prayer that goes like this:

Dear God, I admit that I am a sinner and deserve death. I thank you Jesus for dying for me and taking my place on the cross. I believe you rose from the grave 3 days later and I put my faith in you and invite you to be Lord of my life and to dwell in me. I confess you are Lord of heaven and earth and you are now my Lord. Amen.

Now go right down the date you prayed this prayer and get involved in a church and be baptized to show the world that you are a new creation in Christ. 2 Cor. 5:17

3 Tips to understanding student-led Jesus meetings in public schools

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How can we share Jesus in the school when there is no prayer allowed? Simple: It’s the law! The Equal Access Act became law in 1984 and was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1990. There are 3 major components of the law:

  1. Nondiscrimination: if a public secondary (middle/high) school allows non-curriculum, student-led meetings, then the school must treat all meetings equally – even Christian ones.
  2. Student-initiated, student-led meetings: In order for the meetings to be deemed lawful at a public middle or high school, meetings must be student-initiated and student-led.
  3. Local control: the act does not limit authority of the school leadership to maintain control.

The following are the some of the guidelines set out by the Equal Access Act:

  • Federally funded, secondary schools must allow students the right to hold meetings if the campus has a limited open forum policy (more than one student meeting is allowed)
  • The meetings are voluntary and student-initiated
  • There is no sponsorship of the club by the school or government
  • Employees of the school are only present at religious meetings in a non-participatory capacity
  • The meeting does not interfere with orderly conduct or educational activities within the school
  • Non-school persons may not direct, conduct, control or regularly attend activities of student groups

Definition of terms:

  • The term “meeting” refers to student groups and activities permitted in the limited open forum and are not directly related to school curriculum
  • The term “sponsorship” refers to school employee assigned to meetings for the purpose of providing custodial provision
  • The terms “non-instructional time  refer to time set aside by the school before actual classroom instruction begins and ends
  • The terms “student-initiated” refer to students seeking permission to meet; and to directing and controlling the meetings

Important points to consider:

  • The school’s authority has the right to establish the regulations for if, when and where the meetings will occur; the key is nondiscrimination
  • Schools may allow students to promote meetings through school media if other meetings are being promoted
  • Outsiders may attend meetings if invited by students and approved by the school authority; the school authority has the right to limit or deny access of outsiders; outsiders are not permitted to proselytize students who are not voluntarily attending the student meeting

For more information on the Equal Access Act, please visit: http://www.freedomforuminstitute.org/publications/first/findingcommonground/B09.StudentClubs.pdf

This flyer was created for First Priority of Tampa Bay; information is provided by Freedomforum.org

Greg Stier, President of Dare to Share, explains how to share the Gospel

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Check out our good friend Greg Stier, President of Dare to Share, as he explains how to share the Gospel. Train your students in a First Priority Club and watch God move on that campus.

At Dare 2 Share, we train teens how to share their faith because a lot of teens and adults know how to bring up the gospel but don’t always know how to share the gospel. Sometimes the gospel is hindered because of fear or uncertainty. It is our goal at Dare 2 Share to help every teen and youth leader feel comfortable to fearlessly share the gospel with their friends, family, students and peers.

Learn how to share the gospel with a practical, 4-minute crash course training by Greg Stier and a set of resources designed to help activate a bold and daring faith!

5 Ways to serve your school!

By | Church Leaders, FP Tools | No Comments

School Ministry needs to be a well-rounded strategy, not just a box to check off each week. Not only do we need to be ministering to the students, but we need to be ministering to teachers, staff, administrators, and parents. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus lays out the Great Commission in this way,

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

We need to look at the Great Commission in a way that we normally do not. We need to find the different “nations” on our school campus and strategize ways to reach each one. Below are a few different ideas to reach local schools for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  1. Become a School Chaplin- Sports Teams, District Ceremonies, Praying over a Banquet.
  2. Principal Q&A- Bring the Principals to your church and interview them on
    stage to discover school needs. 
  3. Lunch Duty- Give the teachers a break during lunch, and cover cafeteria duty for them.
  4. Service Projects- Spend your free time serving at your local school, invest in areas that they are limited by time and resources to address.
  5. School Year Kickoff- Have a time where you do something special for the school to launch
    the school year. It can be as simple as walking the halls of the school, taking time to pray over each room. 

The big theme here is to serve the school. You can never go wrong by serving.

God Bless,

Cameron Crow
Area Coordinator
First Priority Premium Basin, TX

PRAYING FOR OUR STUDENTS AS MISSIONARIES TO THEIR SCHOOL

By | Church Leaders, FP Tools | No Comments

We pray for missionaries all over the world; why not pray for our students? A majority of all who believe in Christ as Savior believe before the age of 18. That makes our middle and high schools the largest mission fields in our country. Our Christian students in our churches are therefore the link, the missionary force if you will, that God will use to see spiritual awakening in the lives of non-believing students. The greatest influence on students today is their peers. Is there a better time in history to see students as missionaries to the teen culture and send them to school to be light in their culture?

HOW IT WORKS

1. Start in your church: Expand to other churches as the opportunity arises. Contact the pastor, the youth pastor, or the churches in your area. Explain the idea of having their students commissioned in their church as a missionary to the school. Offer to make missionary cards printed for the church to have on hand during the commissioning event. Be sure parents/guardians are aware that the students picture is being taken and will be distributed to fellow church members.

2. Hold a commissioning service or commissioning moment in a church service. After each participating student missionary has their cards printed, commission them in a church service. This could be done as easily as having the students come to the front of the church or youth service and having parents and elders pray over them as they seek to be used by God at their school.

3. Have the pastor encourage the congregation to take a student’s photo missionary card, put it on their refrigerator, and pray for that student missionary throughout the school year.

4. Church members grab a card and sponsor a student. Lay the printed missionary cards on tables where adults who are willing to pray can pick them up after the service. Having multiple cards printed for each student is okay. Why not have 5 people praying for the same student? Make sure you get contact cards on all adults praying and add them to your prayer database.

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Benefits of Social Media Unity and Uniformity

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It shows that we are student led! But HOW?

By highlighting student leaders of the FP clubs. This is tricky due to privacy laws and marketing etiquette. The best student leader highlight I have seen in recent past was by Tim Bargo in the Tri-County, KY chapter. He took a picture of only the student leader outside the school and told her story. This got around the school privacy laws of getting a parent permission form from all the students in the room. It also will keep you on the up and up in marketing practices which state that you can take someone’s picture without asking. However, once you put a product name next to them, you need to make sure they are okay with it. Here is the example.

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It shows that we are a multi-denominational movement!

By highlighting the churches and church leaders that are involved in your area. The best church network highlight that I’ve seen recently is from Sean Hall in St. Louis Metro East. As the school year started, Sean posted a hero post for each of his campus coaches, telling their story. This highlights the multi-church movement that FP is and gives props to the student pastors in the area. Not only do they feel appreciated, but it tells the FP story as well.

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Another Student Leader Example:

South Florida got a quick pick of 3 student leaders outside the club room recently. Chris lane did several things in designing this shot. He told the story of the local club. He also showed the world that everyone is welcome at a First Priority club. This eliminates the need for dozens of parent permission forms while being in the school and telling the FP story. Change up the poster for different clubs to tell different stories about FP.

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Where is First Priority located?

Larry Franks did a great job answering this question recently by sharing one of his campus coaches Facebook posts. This one does not include other social media platforms, but does give you the opportunity to post as many times each week as you have clubs. Just ask your coach or a student (if they are allowed) to check in and share some simple data about how the meeting went. You can then share that with your FP Facebook page.

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Keep it consistent!

The FPoA summer intern taught us this one. Quality is just as important as Quantity. When someone comes to your Instagram/Facebook/Twitter, their first response is not, “Man, they post 3 times a day.” It IS, “Man this looks good. I am not saying that the FPoA Instagram account is where it needs to be, but our look, colors, and feel is consistent. It is intentional. We have a long way to go, but when people show up for the first time, they get a quick feel for who we are, what we do, and whether they want to dig into our content or not.

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As the saying goes, “If It was easy, someone else could do it.” But, that is why you are here! Be consistent. Be legal. Tell the FP story well!

Check out where we have new FP Clubs this year!

By | Local FP Communities, FP Tools | No Comments

We are off to a great start this school year and are so excited about the new clubs starting this year in new places! First Priority is helping students reach students for Christ in new locations like Big Springs, TX, Vicksburg, MS, Panama City, FL, Paducah, KY, Gainesville, GA, Clinton and Altus, OK, and Port Angeles, WA. God is good!

If you want or know someone who would like more information on starting a club in your area you can download our app that has many resources for you all at your fingertips. It has everything from “How to start a Club” to the HOPE weekly guides and links to the First Priority youtube channel and blog. It’s a great resource to share with your students as well. Plus you can register to win free stuff. Everybody loves to win something. Here’s a video below explaining the many things the app has to offer.

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Training Student Leaders to bring H.O.P.E to their School

By | Priority Parents, Student Leaders, FP Tools, Faculty Sponsors | No Comments

HOPE classroomStudents are on the greatest mission field in America: school. Engaged in the middle of the “game,” students are the players we are here to train, pray for, and support, just as we do for foreign missionaries. First Priority clubs follow a four-week strategy called HOPE.  HOPE is an acronym for Help, Overcome, Prepare, and Engage.  

The H.O.P.E. strategy gives the student missionaries the action steps and direction they need to reach out to their peers at school. It is broken-down into these four actions:

  • HELP: Equipping Christian students with foundational truth to be able to articulate a simple gospel message in thirty seconds or less.
  • OVERCOME: Motivation and inspiration to overcome our fear, worry and doubts we have about sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
  • PREPARE: Giving 1-3 students the opportunity to prepare and share their journey of faith in God (in its entirety or in part).
  • ENGAGE: The opportunity for the believing students to invite their non-believing friends they have been praying for to come and hear about the HOPE of Christ.

Each month, they are provided with a HOPE weekly guide that helps them focus on a group and share the message of Jesus Christ with unbelieving students.

The H.O.P.E weekly guides are a resource we provide for free when you download our app on the app store or google play. They are also available as part of the club kit you can purchase in our online store.