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Local FP Communities

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.

 

FP Student Leaders keep leading after they graduate

By Nehemiah, Local FP Communities, Student Leaders

I have heard story after story about FP student leaders and even students who weren’t leaders going on after they graduate to serve in First Priority in some capacity. Some of them have become a campus coach, faculty sponsor, priority parent, or even a full-time Director of FP in their area. It is amazing to see the club that they once valued in middle or high school, becoming a big part of their life as an adult as well. Here is a story out of FP Blue Ridge about a recent graduate who plans to keep helping with First Priority beyond high school. This is from FP Director Haley Wherry:

A First Priority Student Leader who just graduated called me. In 7th grade, he launched First Priority in his middle school, and then was a leader who revitalized First Priority in his high school. His younger brother was a leader in the middle school and will be a leader in the high school, and his youngest brother will be a lead in the middle school this year. The reason he called me was to ask if First Priority was in any of the schools near the local college he will begin attending in the fall. He wants to be a Campus Coach in one of them. When I told him that no schools in that area had First Priority clubs, he said he would help to launch at least one club in one of the schools and coach it while he was in college. He then told me that he was going to college to be a teacher and that he would be a First Priority Faculty Sponsor wherever he served in the future.

First Priority is changing the lives of students. It works. And it’s long lasting. And our hope is that we can see First Priority in every school across the nation so that all students can hear the Gospel of Christ.

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

To Love God and To Love Others

By Local FP Communities

A story about loving others told by FP Director Amber Johansen from one of her clubs in FP Tampa Bay.

This past week, I visited a First Priority club in a local high school. In this particular group, they meet each week during the three lunches. In the first lunch, there were three students who were Buddhist and one whose father was Muslim. The other students began asking questions about their faiths and a wonderful conversation ensued. I was particularly struck by how graciously the First Priority students interacted with these students, showing genuine interest. They humbly answered questions about Christianity and eventually shared the hope of Christ in a loving way. It was touching and inspiring.

This group perfectly reflected Christ’s call on our lives: to love God and love others. May we all reflect the same humility, love, and faithfulness of these First Priority students.

Are you ready to start club?

By Nehemiah, Local FP Communities

Exciting things are happening in FP Tri-county. They held a First Priority Training this week and expected about 50 people.

70 people showed up!!

 We explained First Priority and then trained them on our HOPE cycle.
 
At the end we split them up into schools and they filled out paperwork to turn into their schools. Out of the 8 potential schools, we had enough people to start 6 FP clubs!
 
The other 2 potential schools had students there, but were missing a faculty sponsor. They had commitments but the flu hit those 2 faculty. So we should be able to launch those 2 clubs in a couple of weeks.

Below is a picture of the students coming up and the rest of us praying for them to be sent out as missionaries. 

We gave each school 1 case of FP Bibles, 50 decision cards, and 3 copies of 8 weeks worth of curriculum to finish out the year.
 
Praise the Lord for the excitement and passion over there for the schools! Let’s keep praying especially now as their clubs launch.
 
Are you ready to start a club? 
 

Students find belonging in their First Priority club

By Nehemiah, Local FP Communities No Comments

Students want to feel like they belong. They seek others who are like them or who like the same kinds of things they like. But often, it is easy to go to school everyday thinking that there is no one like you. No one else who likes the same things you do or believes in the same things you believe in. But they are out there just waiting to be found.

One student from Wake County in North Carolina realized this when she decided she wanted to help get a FP club going in her school. She thought there would be no one at her school who was a Christian. Once she got permission to start her club, she realized there were a lot of Christians excited about it. Even the janitor started talking about the Bible to her and her mom. It was like Christians were in hiding. FP gave them a safe place to stand together and invite others to join.

At another FP club on the Emerald coast, students went out into their campus inviting other students to come to the club that day, handing out invite cards and biscuits. Students came and heard the gospel and four of them raised their hands proclaiming they accepted Christ!

First Priority gives students a place to belong. And a place to invite others to belong and learn about the love they can receive from Jesus Christ.

Students are looking for the opportunity to be used by God

By Nehemiah, Local FP Communities

In November, I had the privilege of speaking at a booming country church in Milo, Oklahoma. It is in the middle of nowhere. When you drive up, you are shocked at all the cars that are in the parking lot. You have to think where in the world did everyone come from, and where do they live? Mike Johnson has been the pastor there for years. He works in the oil field full time and preaches on Sundays and Wednesdays. He is one of my favorite people in the world and one of the Godliest men I know.

That Sunday morning, after I spoke, a girl name Chy came up to me and said she was a senior and wanted to get a First Priority club going before she graduated. During Christmas break, we set up a time to do a training with her so she could start a club after the first of the year. I told her all the things she would need to get in place and about the leadership teams and their roles in the club. I thought that it would be a few weeks before they got started. I was wrong. She started it the first week back! I got a phone call from Mike, who was all excited and tells me he heard from Chy. The very first meeting ‘help week,’ she was walking through one of the gospel tools, and four students gave their lives to Christ. BOOM! I am convinced there are thousands of Chy’s out there just waiting for someone to provide them with the opportunity to be used by God. Let’s pray God raises an army of these bold teenagers, and as the book of Acts says about the disciples, “these men who have turned the world upside down are now in our city.” Acts 17:6

Is God still in our schools?

By Nehemiah, Local FP Communities

Rachel Camarota, FP Director Johnston County

This blog was written by Rachel Camarota, Director of FP Johnston County, NC.

Before I stepped into this role with First Priority, I was a teacher and the sponsor for an FP club at a local high school. Every day I saw the need for Christ-centered clubs in our school and among our students. But do you know what else I saw? Students who love Jesus, who were unashamed to share their faith through First Priority.

For the past decade, we have been told that God is not present in our schools anymore or that young people aren’t interested in Jesus – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you?”

While in recent years there has been a noticeable decline in Christian beliefs in our schools and among our young people, as long as we have students who walk the halls and believe in Jesus, God is still there.

This is where First Priority comes in. We train students to be disciples of Christ and to share the Gospel in their school – and it is working. Just in the last weeks of 2019, 2 students accepted Christ in a local high school!

But those students would’ve never been given that opportunity had it not been for student leaders being brave enough to share the Gospel at First Priority – and they can’t share the Gospel without your help. Click the button below to find out more info about how you can start a club in a school in your area.

Start a Club

Rachel Camarota
FP Director Johnston County

Students spread Christ’s love this Holiday Season!

By Local FP Communities

Stories of students sharing Christ’s love from FP Birmingham, AL

Throughout the year, and particularly at Christmas, many First Priority clubs participate in various mission and service projects to serve their school, community and the world for Christ. We would like to share several of those awesome stories with you!

  • Spain Park High School students raised money to purchase 16 water filters for families in the Dominican Republic. Each filter will provide a family clean water for up to eight years. Until They Know is the ministry that will deliver the water filters and as a result these families will have the Gospel shared with them at the time of delivery and each time someone checks on the filters. Once the families receive a filter, Until They Know will continue to follow-up with them throughout the eight years. These students are passionate about reaching others with the Gospel at home and abroad.
  • North Jefferson Middle School First Priority students collected gifts for Lovelady Center children.
  • Pelham High School First Priority students gave out hot chocolate and candy canes to students to kick off exam season.
  • Thompson High School First Priority students passed out candy canes and Bible verses to students.
  • Oak Mountain High School’s First Priority club served hot chocolate to students to say “Merry Christmas” and share Christ’s love this holiday season!
  • Calera Middle School First Priority student leaders blessed the school with goody bags containing candy, life books, and an invitation to First Priority. Just about every student and teacher at Calera Middle went home with a goody bag! “We pray that all who received them will read the life books and maybe even come to First Priority to hear more about the Gospel,” said Campus Coach Savannah Grace.
  • Forest Oaks Elementary School’s FPKids club partnered with Liberty Baptist Kids Ministry in Chelsea to provide 244 candy goody bags to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Kids brought in candy for Military and First Responders for a mission project.

We’re super proud of these students and their passion to serve others and reach them with Christ’s love. Students are inviting their friends to First Priority. Students are sharing their testimonies. The Gospel is being shared on campuses every week and students are responding with questions and professions of faith. God is using First Priority to change lives. Please pray for these students as they strive to reach Every Last One.