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First Priority Of America

Are You Listening?

By | First Priority Of America | No Comments

New podcasts have been uploaded every week for the last 12 weeks! Are you listening? There has been some great content from a variety of guests and we have enjoyed and been challenged by the things they have shared.

We also want to hear from you! Do you have any idea for the podcast or know someone who would be a great guest to have on the show? Let us know!

 

Happy Independence Day!

By | First Priority Of America, FP Success Story | No Comments
As we prepare to celebrate America’s independence, it is a wonderful time to reflect on our freedoms – particularly the right to speak freely. It is the bedrock of our country’s history and the first of ten amendments that protect our rights.

The First Amendment reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

These few sentences encompass our right to gather, to worship, and to share Jesus with others. These rights protect students as well. What a beautiful reminder.

May we always give thanks for these freedoms and never take them for granted. It is for God’s glory and honor that we are able to worship HIM freely.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)

FP Podcast!

By | First Priority Of America | No Comments

Do you know First Priority has a Podcast? We launched the FP Podcast in May and are excited to be able to share a lot of great information and hear from special guests who are living the ministry life.

There are 5 podcasts uploaded for you to listen to. Episode 1 is a welcome and introduction to the FP Podcast with our hosts Steve Cherrico and Brad Schelling. You can listen to these podcasts on our website here. We also encourage you to subscribe to our podcast so you are updated each week with new episodes.

You can subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Spotify. New episodes are uploaded every week. Start listening today and tune in to who will be on our podcast next week!

The Perfect Job

By | Nehemiah, First Priority Of America, Church Leaders | No Comments

You got into student ministry because you loved students and you wanted to make a difference in their lives. Thoughts of making disciples who you could build into student leaders were at the top of your priority list. If you are anything like me, you thought this was going to be the most awesome job ever! Wow! Hanging out with teenagers, leading them to follow Christ, meeting their friends and having this huge influence on them. Then reality set in. The parents of my students are demanding. The pastor thinks I have a lot of time on my hands, so he gives me every junk job there is.

When I was at my first church, I loved my pastor. He was so good to me. But some of the deacons thought we could save a few bucks by getting rid of the lawn guy and making me mow; because I made the big bucks as you know. The problem was, it was not just mowing a lawn. There was a big cemetery behind the church. Every week this had to be kept up. Because if there is ever something that needed to look nice, it was the grave sites of so many of our church members deceased families. You think I got a hard time about some of the activities our students did? Ha, nope! That was nothing compared to not mowing uncle Jesse’s grave site correctly…

Well, I soon found out that what I had imagined as the perfect job was not. I mean, there were times that it was awesome and God did great things, but man did I have to jump through hoops to get just a few wins. It seemed like every time God was up to something, Satan was there to put a wrench in it. I know now that is exactly how Satan works. His M.O. is to divide, get Christians to argue and to fuss and fight about stupid things. He keeps us busy with things that are temporal. He tells our students they are not good enough to be followers of Christ. We fight the culture, the emphasis on academics, sports teams, colleges applications and requirements to get in. It’s all overwhelming. Our student ministry becomes just another set of activities and programs. We feel like we are unproductive and spinning our wheels. Instead of making disciples of Christ and raising up student leaders, we start defining success by how many students we had at our last event.

Be alert and of sound mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

When we know the devil’s M.O. we can be alert and watch for the things that trip us up. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and your feet always bringing the gospel of peace.

“How beautiful are the feet of those who [b]preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:15

What Does a New Year Mean to You?

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It’s a new year! Another year has gone and a new year has come. Some say, well it’s just a day, one day it was 2018 and the next day it’s 2019. Nothing has changed. For some that’s true. They just continue in their same daily life without a change in the world. But for some it’s a 2nd chance, or a start of something new and different. Or even maybe to give something up for a while. Of course the gyms are flooded with people trying to get back in shape. More people set goals of things they want to accomplish or try to accomplish anyway. All those things are good things. Goals that we set out to accomplish that make us better people in one way or another. But we also want to focus on the ‘why’ of what we do.

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My church started a 21 day fast on the first day of the New Year. A way in which to focus on God and unite together to bring about revival in a place that so needs it. Whatever it is that you set out to do or not do in this new year, I pray that God will be in it. I pray that you are doing it for the right reason and that through it you will come closer to walk along side the One who gave you life. I pray that your passions will align with His and that He will lead you to be more like Him in how you live your life.

As we begin a new year at First Priority of America, we want to make sure we are intentional about what we do and how we do it. We want God in it all. Our desire is for us all to grow in Him so that we can continue our journey to see the Hope of Christ in every student.

12 Days of Christmas

By | First Priority Of America | No Comments

There was a period of time in England when Christians were not able to practice their faith openly so they had to find other ways to pass on their beliefs. The song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” is one example of how they did just that. The song goes:

”On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…” The ”true love” represented God, and ”me” represented those who are Christians and have received God’s gifts.
”Partridge in a pear tree” represented Jesus Christ who died on a tree as a gift from God.
”Two turtle doves” represented the Old and New Testaments, another gift from God.
”Three French hens” represented faith, hope, and love.
”Four calling birds” spoke of the 4 Gospels that tell the story of salvation.
”Five golden rings” spoke of the first 5 books of the Bible.
‘Six geese a laying” spoke of the days of creation.
‘Seven swans a swimming” spoke of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
“Eight maids a milking” spoke of the 8 beatitudes.
”Nine ladies dancing” spoke of the 9 fruits of the Spirit.
”Ten lords a leaping” spoke of the 10 Commandments.
”Eleven pipers piping” spoke of the eleven faithful disciples.
”Twelve drummers drumming” spoke of the 12 Apostles.

Regardless of the history of this song, people have had to hide their faith out of fear of the government. One of the greatest blessings we have as Americans is our religious freedom. What sets us apart from all other nations in the world is our right to worship and assemble without fear of the government. I know there is persecution and sometimes ridicule in our country, but our religious freedom trumps all. Do you realize the freedom our Christian students have on their public middle and high school campuses? Most of us do not. We think the schools have banned Christians on campus from expressing their faith, but it is just not true. We have one of the greatest opportunities right in front of us. We as youth pastors and leaders, can equip and empower students with a plan of action so they can change the lives of students at their school. Give us a call or or send us a text, we would love to help equip you.
God bless,

Mark Roberts

Share the Joy of Christmas

By | First Priority Of America | No Comments

As we approach Christmas, we as Christians are reminded of the greatest miracle to ever take place, and the opportunity of a lifetime.

Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[a] (which means “God with us”).
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Gospel means good news. It is the best news ever. God loves us so much that he sent his son into the world to show us what He was like and to prove His love toward us that while we were yet sinners, He died for us (Rom 5:8). That is the message the world needs to hear. That is the only message that really matters, that God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb, (Jer.1:5) and He desires to know you through a relationship with Jesus Christ. joy-1823939_960_720That is the Joy of Christmas. That is the hope of the world. That is the message that needs to be on our lips everyday and that is the mission of First Priority.

I have been around First Priority for many years and have seen thousands of students who’s lives were eternally changed because they heard that message.

I am proud to say that First Priority is intentional about sharing the gospel on campus. I heard a youth pastor ask one of our directors how First Priority reached so many students, which he replied “we plan to.” I love that because it is so true. That is what we do, we train and equip student leaders to share the good news with their campus, that’s our plan. I want to encourage you this Christmas time to be intentional about sharing the gospel. There are thousands of students all over our country that are desperate to receive the message.

The best gift you can give this Christmas is the hope of Christ. Go tell it on the mountain. You have an opportunity of a life time to go tell everyone about Christmas.

Merry Christmas

Mark Roberts

Help Spread the Word

By | First Priority Of America | No Comments

Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways of advertising and we need your help. We need you to help spread the word about what First Priority is and how it enables students to share Christ with their peers at their schools. We want to see the Hope of Christ in every student. In order to reach that goal, we need to be telling others about the lives changed through students meeting in clubs at their schools, the greatest mission field of all. Did you know that over 10,000 students gave their lives to Christ last year in First Priority clubs across our nation? That is something to celebrate and to share!

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How You Can Help

Think about the people you know. Those you work with, that you run into each week. Maybe a neighbor or friend you talk to frequently. Have they heard about First Priority? Talk to them about it. Point them in the direction to learn more.

They can follow us on facebookinstagramyoutubelinkedin and read more at fpofamerica.com. We can’t reach everyone without your help. Only you have the power to connect with those around you. We can make a difference together.

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As you share with others about who and what First Priority is, would you also consider sharing our goal for #GivingTuesday on 11.27.18? We are looking for 25 people who will give on #GivingTuesday. This will allow new clubs to start so that more lives can be changed. We can’t do it on our own. We need your help to spread the word about First Priority so that together we can see the Hope of Christ in every student.