The Hope of Christ in Every Student! That's the vision of First Priority! First Priority's "first priority" is to provide multiple opportunities for every student to hear the gospel and to respond before they graduate high school. First Priority sees our local middle and high school campuses as the greatest mission field in our country and perhaps the world.
First Priority is a ministry designed to unite the Body of Christ around each school, equip churches to empower their students as Campus Missionaries, and to unite their youth groups at school with a common strategy to share the gospel. Students establish a student-led, evangelistic campus organization at their school through which they pray for their campus, encourage their classmates, serve the needs of the school and share the gospel with every student.
First Priority works with 5 groups of people: Students, Teachers, Church Leaders, Parents and Business Leaders. Picture the relationship between these 5 groups of people like a football game.
Location: Just as a football game is played on a field, First Priority takes place on a middle or high school campus.
- Players: Students are the "players" in First Priority. They are the ones using their gifts and talents to carry out a strategy for victory...through Christ.
- Referees: The "officials" are Faculty Sponsors who oversee the campus organization as an unbiased representative of the school.
- Coaches: Church leaders are the "coaches", mentoring, equipping and challenging the students as they implement the strategy at school.
- Fans: Parents are the "fans in the stands" cheering on their students, investing into the "team" and praying for the campus.
- Team Owners: The "team owners" are the Christian Businessmen and Businesswomen in a community who provide long-term impact and provide leadership to First Priority.
As students (both Christian students and those students who do not know Christ as their Savior) are challenged with the gospel, God moves in their hearts and minds and across a campus. Take for example, "Mike".
Last year, Mike was an 8th grader at Liberty Bell Middle School. He was invited by a friend to attend the very first First Priority Hook Week meeting at Science Hill High School. Hook Week is the designated week of a 4 week cycle at which the gospel is shared and students are given a chance to respond. Mike responded, "Today I prayed to received Christ as my Savior". Working together, Student Leaders and area Youth Workers followed-up with Mike and his church and realized that Mike had actually wanted to rededicate his life to Christ. He had asked Christ to be his Savior several years before, but was convicted through the gospel message that he was not living a Christ-like life and that God was calling him to step up as a leader.
Mike began attending First Priority at Science Hill High School and became active in the ministry. A few weeks later, he was asked to share his testimony at Share Week. He took the time to think out his testimony and write it down. That Share Week, he stood in front of 20 of his peers and shared how God had changed his life. This was most likely the first time he had ever spoken in front of a group of people.
On the last First Priority meeting of the 2011-2012 at Science Hill High, Mike was the guest speaker. It was Hook Week and he shared the gospel on his campus!
That's what First Priority is all about! Challenging students with the gospel, developing them as student leaders, and providing opportunities for them to share the gospel with their friends!
The Hope of Christ in Every Student! Are you ready to help make that a reality?
GFC began partnering with First Priority in 2012. You can learn more about First Priority on their website or find on Facebook or Twitter.
Posted on Thu, October 4, 2012
by Haley Wherry, Regional Consultant