As promised in our email last week, attached is our free Story Training Certification Guide. What is that? It is a simple outline to help your students learn to share their story in a very clear and concise way. Our prayer is that your students would grow in their relationship with God by writing down what He has done in their life. We also pray that by going through this training that they would feel empowered to share their stories with each other for encouragement and for those who do not know Jesus to come to Him. Questions, please let us know. We would like to walk through this with you if you need it.
We have great news!
We have a plan of action through our relationship with the Bible Project, YouVersion Bible APP, and our HOPE Strategy to train students to lead small FP Groups to reach their friends who are far from God in the Fall school year.
What is the Bible Project and YouVersion app?
The Bible project is a video platform (website) that explains the Bible. There will be a video to go along with each week of our HOPE cycle this year. It will be easy to find thru our HOPE guides online or the FP app.
YouVersion is the most downloaded free Bible app for phones and tablets. It was created and is operated by live church. We have uploaded a prayer guide reading plan for students to use to get ready for school.
Basically a reading plan lasts 30 days. Once you download and open the app, click on plans- then search First Priority. Every day the app will remind the user to read the scripture for that day. This will reoccur for 30 days or until the plan is finished.
Once we begin FP meetings, there will be a reading plan to go with each month of the HOPE cycle and there will remain a follow up reading plan for students who accept Christ all year!
Have you ever had something so exciting to share that you couldn’t wait for the world to find out? Is there anything that would keep you from telling everyone? As believers in Jesus, we have the most exciting news EVER and it is our job to tell everyone.
So, who do we tell the “Good News” to? In Mark 16:15, Jesus gives His final instructions to His disciples and to us, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” We tell EVERYONE! Your friends, family, enemies, teachers, and the outcasts. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him” John 3:17.
So how do we start the conversation about Life & Death with the world? We have a help tool that can be found in month 9 of our hope guides that will help get the conversation started and help us share the Gospel with all creation, just as Jesus instructed. It’s the life/death card and you can download the instructions and card here.
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.
Do you have followers? I don’t mean the ones on lnstagram or Twitter. I’m talking about your “circle of influence”. For example: a younger sibling or cousin, someone that admires you, or someone that chooses your values or ideas whether they believe them or not. That is a follower.
How does it make you feel knowing that you are setting an example, good or bad, to your followers?
In First Timothy, chapter 4 verse 12, the apostle Paul instructs Timothy on how to respond to that. “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
So how do you as a believer set an example to your followers when it comes to your faith? First, Paul reminds Timothy about his speech. How you use your words matter, people are listening. Second is your conduct. How do you behave around your “circle of influence”? Someone is watching. The third and fourth go hand in hand; in love and in faith. Do you love those who follow you? Do you love them enough to share your faith?
We can use our hand to share the Gospel with our followers, therefore setting an example by sharing our faith, in love. You can find the whole Hand Gospel explanation here.
Thumb – Good News (John 3:16)
Pointer – One Problem, Sin (Romans 3:23
Middle – Christ died on the Cross (Romans 5:8)
Ring – Believe and Commit (Romans 10:9-10)
Little – A little act of Faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Palm – Secure and safe in the hand of God (John 10:27-29)
It is a fact that you and I get a burden for what we pray for. If I asked you to pray for my son Cole and you took the time to write his name down and prayed for him every time you saw his name, you would see me and ask about Cole. If you pray for someone, you will soon care for them. That is God’s heart, He is love, and He cares. Do something nice for the person you are praying for; it will make an impression.
The next part of the circle is to share the gospel with them. I heard it said that the reason most of us never take the time to talk to our friends about God is that we did not bother to talk to God about our friends. As you pray, remember it is not up to you to change or save anybody; that is God’s job. Our job is to pray, care, and share.
The Cause Circle
Who is God prompting you to Pray for, Care for and Share the gospel with? Find out more about the cause circle at dare2share.org
This year’s Hope writing is fantastic. We want to thank Joel, Natalie, and Phillip for their time and passion for the gospel. I love all of the help week tools and can’t wait to see how God uses them to see thousands of students come to Christ this school year. If you are a part of First Priority you know the feeling we get every day knowing that the gospel is being shared and students are giving their lives to Christ. Bam!! If you don’t love that you are in the wrong ministry. There are 4 podcasts this month that deal with each week of the hope cycle. Please take some time this week to check them out and send them to your campus coaches. Have a great week and remember someone somewhere in a FP club just gave their life to Christ!
You can find the podcasts here or you can listen on itunes, google play, or spotify.
Are you willing to push past your fears, doubts, and insecurities so that someone else can get a glimpse of Jesus?
This week we are highlighting another Help Week Tool from our Hope Weekly Guides. This tool can be found in week 1 of the Conversation with Best Friends. We share these tools so that students can move past their fears and have something tangible they can use to share the gospel.
In week 1 of the the Conversation with Best Friends it tells the story of Jesus healing the paralytic. Here is Jesus’ response in Mark 2 verse 5: “And when Jesus saw THEIR faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” It wasn’t their faith in each other that Jesus saw, it was their faith in Him that forgave their friend’s sin.
Wow! Friends telling friends about Jesus! That’s exactly what we want students to be doing in their schools. The salvation bracelet is a tool students can use to do just that.
Here are some instructions to get them started. Start with a piece of string. Tie a knot 2 inches away from the end and begin building your bracelet starting with the yellow bead. Follow along with the instructions and make it conversational as you add each bead.
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.
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.