See You At the Pole Media Coverage

Check out these media links from last week’s See You At the Pole.

See You At the Pole Rallies

We would like to invite you to join the tens of thousands of students in our area and millions world-wide on Wednesday, September 24, as they participate in the 24th the PoleTM (SYATP). Before school, students will join together at their school’s flagpole to pray for their friends, families, teachers, school, city, state and nation to God. SYATP is a student-initiated, student-organized and student-led event.

This year’s SYATP theme is “NEVER STOP PRAYING” and the scripture verse is Ephesians 6:18 – “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” This year’s theme message encourages us to put on the full armor of God, stand strong in Him, and be His representatives to share the Good News of the Gospel.

For 24 years now, SYATP and First Priority have been about encouraging students to lead-out in prayer, live-out their faith and ask God to reveal who He is not only on their own campus but all over the United States and the world. SYATP brings students to their school flagpoles to intercede for their leaders, schools and families, asking God to bring moral and spiritual awakening to their campus, country and world. First Priority will once again coordinate our state’s efforts through: Awareness; students gathering at their school’s flagpole; and community rallies planned for the evening of September 24. To encourage one another, plan to listen to 93.7 WDJC radio, 92.5 FM or 850 AM WXJC throughout the day and share the victories and struggles associated with this momentous day.

On Wednesday, September 24, 2014, make sure your family and community CONVERGE together and take part in one of the LARGEST prayer movements in our nation. GATHER at your school flagpole, PRAY for friends, families, teachers, schools and our world. ASK God to reveal who He is to your campus. PRAY, SEEK AND TURN TO GOD.

The following rallies will be held on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014:

North Shelby Area Rally

The Amazing Race will be held at Veterans Park Main Pavilion in Hoover at 4 p.m. There will be games, prizes and awards for winners. Contact Debi DeBoer at 205.871.8886 or debi@gofirstpriority.com for more information.

South Shelby Area Rally

at Liberty Baptist Church, 11050 Chelsea Road, Chelsea, AL, 35043, at 6 p.m. Contact Debi DeBoer at 205.871.8886 or debi@gofirstpriority.com for more information. All of the following rallies will be held on the night of Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014:

North Jefferson Area Rally

will be held at Corner High School Football Field at 6:30 p.m. John David Crowe Band will lead worship and Andy Heis will be the speaker. Contact Justin Oden at justinoden@gmail.com for more information.

West Jefferson Area Rally

at Pleasant Grove First Baptist Church at 6:30 p.m. Billy Smith Band will lead worship and Cliff Stanly with Christ City Church will be the guest speaker. Contact Michael Wallace at 205-213-0076 or mikewallace@mail.com for more information.

St. Clair County and Leeds Community-wide Rally

at Moody High School, 714 High School Drive, Moody, AL, 35004, from 6:30-8 p.m. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Cedar Grove Baptist Church Praise Band will lead worship and Word of Life’s Brent Finchum will be the guest speaker. There will be giveaways, games, fun and fellowship. Contact Ashlee Lambert at 205.871.8886 or ashlee@gofirstpriority.com for more information.

Pell City Area Rally

at Pell City First United Methodist Church, 2200 3rd Ave. North, Pell City, AL, 35125, from 6:15-8 p.m. Justin Tesenair Band will lead worship and Dr. Michael Barber will be the guest speaker. Contact Benny Bowman at 205.871.8886 or benny@gofirstpriority.com for more information.

Click here for more information about See You at the Pole

 

Minor High School students leave a lasting, influential mark on their school

Minor High School students leave a lasting, influential mark on their school

 

Walking down the halls of a local High school can sometimes feel a little dark or even boring for students. First Priority students at Minor High school, under the leadership of Teacher Sponsor Steven Hickman, took on a mission to bring light to the dark halls of their school. With this charge, a project took shape to leave a lasting impression on fellow students.

 

What to do? With so many windows in the school, why not make one into stained glass that speaks life? That’s just what First Priority students did. They took a main window that every student would see every day and turned it into a beautiful, bright creation. Choices and Consequences mark the window and signifies that each one of us must choose a path, life or death and broad or narrow. Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

 

With all that students deal with, and the decisions they have to make every day, the hardest one they will make is to follow Jesus Christ despite all the other paths they can take. It’s a narrow path for many and a group of committed Minor High School students have decided to follow Jesus and leave a lasting mark on their school and community for many years to come.

My First Priority doesn’t have a faculty sponsor; what do I do? by Ashlee Lambert

To have an effective First Priority club, a faculty sponsor is very important. He or she is a volunteer who supervises students to ensure they remain in line with the rules of the local district and state. The faculty sponsor becomes the main person or liaison for the students in the school to organize and charter the club. According to the Equal Access Act, the faculty sponsor’s role is to monitor the club. In order to receive the support of the school administration, it is of utmost importance that the faculty sponsor communicate the mission and the role of the club to the administration, developing a certain amount of trust between the two. In time, the appropriate leadership of a faculty sponsor and the enthusiasm by students, the First Priority club will positively impact the school, which will be both pleasing and beneficial to the administration.

 

But what do you do if your school’s First Priority club doesn’t have a faculty sponsor? “I wanted to be the teacher sponsor because I knew I would have the opportunity to be directly involved spiritually with the kids,” said Stephen Hickman, Minor High School First Priority Teacher Sponsor. After being interviewed by First Priority, Stephen offers the following suggestions to students, parents, business leaders and youth pastors who are seeking to find a faculty sponsor for their club:

  • Pray that God will send a faculty sponsor
  • Provide detailed information of responsibilities to teachers
  • Provide teachers with information about the joy and opportunities that come with being the faculty sponsor
  • Help teachers understand the positive influence they can make on students’ lives
  • Ask students to provide a list of teachers they would recommend
  • Ask the principal/school administration who they would recommend
  • Work with local church pastors and youth pastors to see if there are teachers within their church who would be interested in sponsoring the club

 

Faculty sponsors are vital to the success of an effective club, and they truly can make a difference in the lives of students. As First Priority, we are here to serve you. If your First Priority club doesn’t currently have a faculty sponsor, please don’t hesitate to call us at 205.871.8886 or e-mail info@gofirstpriority.com. We will do whatever we can to help you find one.

 

Think Fast with Guest speaker Coach Bobby Bowden

Think F.A.S.T. is a day by day spiritual outline upon which to model our daily Christian lives. A life based on words like Faith, Accountability, Sacrifice and Testimony allows us to change the world. A life based on words like Foundation, Authentic, Service and Timing enhances personal performance. All these words help to provide a life of Fulfillment, Affirmation, Sanctification and Transformation which is Finding God’s Winning Spirit

It is with great honor that the Sports Theology Institute announces Coach Bobby Bowden as the keynote speaker at the Think F.A.S.T. coaching session in Birmingham. Besides being a Birmingham native and one of the most decorated college football coaches of all time, Coach Bowden is a devout Christian and tireless mentor to men and women in all sports.

For more information on the Sports Theology Institute and our Think F.A.S.T. program, visit us online at

www.sportstheologyinstitute.com

When? June 19th

Where? Central Park Baptist

What Time? 1 -3 p.m.

How Much? $0

www.sportstheologyinstitute.com

FINDING GOD’S WINNING SPIRIT

 

Missions and the Local Church

What does missions mean to the local church?

To most, it looks like boarding a plane and traveling around the world. We rarely stop to think that the local school is a mission field. Public schools are full of students who are in desperate need of hearing the Gospel and receiving the Hope of Christ.

Take the words of Jesus in Mark 16:15: “And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” This “Go” has a big meaning. It’s more than sitting at a lunch table looking cool for the students as a youth pastor. It is more than us standing in front of students having the rock star treatment. It’s more than just showing up at a football game to stand on the sideline for free.

We are on a mission to promote the Kingdom of God.

We are to be what Jesus called us to in Acts 13:47 – For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Light is on a mission to reach the dark places. Missions on the school campus is just that. We carry this hope as a torch – The Hope Of Christ. We share, we show and we tell it.  So in turn the more that 90% of students who may never cross the threshold of our church have an opportunity to hear Gospel.

We are literally penetrating the enemies playground.

I know you may be thinking well I am at the school. My church feeds the football team. I pray with students at see you at the pole. We offer events for them. I show up for school assemblies. But, is the story being told? Are students being empowered to share their faith? Is Jesus and his love being shared with all or a select few?

The mission is clear, its a “GO” Gospel not a come to us and be like us Gospel.

The mission is having a passion to do what Jesus did. Jesus went to the least of these and we must do the same.

John the Baptist sums it up so well.  “He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30.

Missions is less about us being seen and heard and more about Jesus being glorified.

 

Club or Not

Is First Priority a Club?

Yes and no.

 

My hope is after reading this you can truly understand the point of the campus ministry and the strategy First Priority. Simply put, First Priority is a strategy for students to bring the Hope of Christ to the school campus. If you refer to First Priority as a club at your school, you are not in the wrong. But, the moment your First Priority club begins to look more like a club of members who refrain from impacting the school campus is the moment you are no longer First Priority

 

First Priority from the beginning was a strategy meant to unite the body of Christ on the school campus to reach students on the biggest mission field in the country. First Priority was never meant to be an exclusive club where only a few kids gather once a week and talk about Jesus. First Priority is a mission strategy using students to create radical fundamental change on the school campus.

 

As leaders and campus coaches, it is not our job to run this movement but to equip students to be leaders and take charge of the movement on their school campus.

 

Students have more influence with their friends in their little finger then all of the youth leaders combined. It is our job to train up these leaders and help them understand how much potential impact they have. Youth Leaders, we must take the background role in this strategy and allow Christ to move through these students as they impact their schools in ways we could never imagine.

 

First Priority is a mission, we must never forget that. The moment we do, we become static and useless. Let’s equip our students to impact their school campus for Christ and be used by the creator of the universe to redeem his creation.

 

Why do we wait for a call when we have a command?

2 Corinthians 5:21 ” For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

For me to utter the phrase ” Jesus is my life” is almost preposterous when looking at the life I live in entirety. I constantly struggle with sin when Jesus did not, I am no where near the perfection of Christ and never will I be.  I fail every day in my pursuit of his holiness and never will I achieve his ultimate purity in the life I live. Though in the midst of my failure this amazing God provided the ultimate loop hole for his creation. God gave his son to die on a cross so that I could be reconciled to himself and stand before the king of kings with boldness. Through the death of Christ I can say with absolute confidence “Jesus is my life” for it is not the life I live that has value but the life of Jesus that covers me. I have been counted blameless because of Christ’s sacrifice and now seen as right and just before God. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:19 “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”  We have now been entrusted with this very message and it is our duty to share it with the world.

Let’s unite the body of Christ on one of the biggest mission fields in the country, the public school. We must empower the next generation to be ambassadors for Christ in their daily lives as they have been given the ministry of reconciliation. There is a message to be shared and we have been given the command to go and share it. Why do we wait for a call when we have a command. Let’s tell, let’s go, let’s empower as we watch God work in bringing the Hope of Christ to every student.

My First Priority Club doesn’t have a faculty sponsor; what do I do? by Ashlee Lambert

To have an effective First Priority club, a faculty sponsor is very important. He or she is a volunteer who supervises students to ensure they remain in line with the rules of the local district and state. The faculty sponsor becomes the main person or liaison for the students in the school to organize and charter the club. According to the Equal Access Act, the faculty sponsor’s role is to monitor the club. In order to receive the support of the school administration, it is of utmost importance that the faculty sponsor communicate the mission and the role of the club to the administration, developing a certain amount of trust between the two. In time, the appropriate leadership of a faculty sponsor and the enthusiasm by students, the First Priority club will positively impact the school, which will be both pleasing and beneficial to the administration.

 

But what do you do if your school’s First Priority club doesn’t have a faculty sponsor? “I wanted to be the teacher sponsor because I knew I would have the opportunity to be directly involved spiritually with the kids,” said Stephen Hickman, Minor High School First Priority Teacher Sponsor. After being interviewed by First Priority, Stephen offers the following suggestions to students, parents, business leaders and youth pastors who are seeking to find a faculty sponsor for their club:

  • Pray that God will send a faculty sponsor
  • Provide detailed information of responsibilities to teachers
  • Provide teachers with information about the joy and opportunities that come with being the faculty sponsor
  • Help teachers understand the positive influence they can make on students’ lives
  • Ask students to provide a list of teachers they would recommend
  • Ask the principal/school administration who they would recommend
  • Work with local church pastors and youth pastors to see if there are teachers within their church who would be interested in sponsoring the club

 

Faculty sponsors are vital to the success of an effective club, and they truly can make a difference in the lives of students. As First Priority, we are here to serve you. If your First Priority club doesn’t currently have a faculty sponsor, please don’t hesitate to call us at 205.871.8886 or e-mail info@gofirstpriority.com. We will do whatever we can to help you find one.

 

Thank you for the Labor

 

“The Harvest is plentiful, but the Laborers are few.”

- Matthew 9:37

God has been working in remarkable ways through the students of Greater Birmingham this past year with First Priority. As Leaders of First Priority we have been able to witness the power of Christ’s work in the lives of so many students. God has provided us with the opportunity to work with these students as we equip them to share the Hope of Christ with their schools. It’s amazing to labor in the harvest and work with these students but it’s even more remarkable to see results in their lives.

Thank you for laboring in the harvest and being a guiding hand for these groups of students who strive to truly make an impact on their school campus. The ministry of sharing this very Gospel could not be accomplished without your help. God is using each and every one of you as agents for furthering his Kingdom on the school campus.

As we come to the end of the year let us look back at the success of this past year with gladness. Allow the results of your labor to be the motivation that pushes you to even deeper investment in the ministry that Christ has called you. Our prayer is that Christ continues to light within us a fire that cannot be quenched. For we can never become complacent or static, we must continue with a sense of urgency to bring the Gospel to all that must hear.

When approaching the summer we would love to hear if any FP Clubs are doing any events or activities. If so, please get back to us, we would love to be a part of whatever you are doing with the FP Community. Also, if anyone has pictures from the past year with their particular FP Club we would love to see them. Please email us your plans for the summer as well as any pictures from the past year at info@gofirstpriority.com. Thank you for laboring in the harvest with us this past year and we look forward to the years to come.