“I’m Not Ashamed to speak the name of Jesus,” students said at this year’s Leader’s Summit
On Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, First Priority held its 11th Annual Leader’s Summit at Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, Ala. More than 700 students, teachers, youth leaders and parents from nearly 70 intermediate, middle, junior high and high schools across Central Alabama attended this year’s event. “I’m Not Ashamed,” based from Romans 1:16 in the Bible was this year’s theme: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Witnessing students take a stand for Christ and sharing His love has always been the main focus of First Priority. Students joined together this year with that in mind.
Praise and Worship Band The Multis Project kicked-off the morning with upbeat and interactive music that led students into the presence of God. Students enjoyed a day of intense training that began with First Priority President and Priority Talk Radio Show Host Greg Davis. Greg challenged students to speak the name of Jesus and to speak it with boldness and believe. Greg talked through “I am” declarations, which set the tone for passion and pursuit for students. First Priority Founder Benny Proffitt joined Greg onstage and inspired students to keep the Gospel torch lit and not grow weary in being a missionary on their campus. Christian Rap Artist Sanchez Tannehill then took the stage with his enthusiasm and talent. He challenged students to never underestimate God’s power in us to do great things for His Kingdom. Students then heard from Pastor and Evangelist Ed Newton who challenged them to share the Gospel and understand that evangelism is not about us but those we are sharing the hope of Christ with.
“The tangible illustration of evangelism (both before and after the break) was the most powerful thing the students could possibly experience,” said Youth Pastor Grady Morrison about Ed’s message. “We literally left Leader’s Summit, went to Krispy Kreme to de-brief, and the kids were using those same steps to evangelize to people coming in! I’ve taught them the difference between knowledge and wisdom recently. They took that to heart. Wisdom is the application of knowledge. That is where we find the biggest disconnect in Christians today. We are obese with knowledge and malnourished of wisdom. I can’t thank Ed enough for reminding them of common knowledge while giving them clear application to turn that in to wisdom.”
Former NFL Player, Jeremy Towns, then shared his testimony with students and challenged them to speak out about Jesus and not to be afraid to share the Gospel. Actor and Musician, Matthew Schuler, concluded the day by reminding students to be who God calls them to be. He shared a song with students to close out the day.
Special Thanks To:
“The Leader’s Summit is always a very engaging time for students to be refreshed and renewed on how to share the Gospel. Each speaker had a dynamic and Bible based word; students were set on fire once again to share Jesus on their campus!”
– Logan LeGrande, First Priority Student Leader
“I Love the diversity that was represented at the Leader’s Summit. I also loved watching the students that I brought take notes. Days later, I asked one of the students if she remembered what was said about how to talk to students about Jesus and she said it pretty much word for word! It was one of the best leadership summits I’ve been to. The First Priority staff put on a class A, number one event, not only for the students but for the glory of God and His kingdom.”
– Debbie Marshall, First Priority Campus Coach
“The atmosphere was electric, the speakers were relevant, the material was life changing, and the worship was spirit filled. The Leader’s Summit was a life-altering event for many students and I can’t wait to see what God does in their lives. I can’t wait to attend next year’s event!”
– Heath Pike, Youth Pastor and First Priority Campus Coach
“I really enjoyed everything about the conference. I loved hearing from all of the speakers, but my favorite was probably Ed Newton. Ed described how to share Jesus with people in a way that made so much sense and I thought he had a lot of really good ideas. Attending the conference made me feel very thankful to be a part of First Priority, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend.”
– McKenzie, First Priority Student Leader
“I really enjoyed praising and worshipping our God. I also loved all of the motivational speakers and learning about the different ways to share my faith. This was a great experience to learn what God has in store for us, and to not be ashamed to speak the name of Jesus.”
– Lily Grace, First Priority Student Leader
Join First Priority for Student Leadership University’s Youth Pastor Summit in Nashville!
Student Leadership University (SLU) has been privileged to host the
Youth Pastor Summit (YPS) as a FREE conference for youth pastors and their teams for the past 19 years. Youth Pastor Summit is a two-day conference that includes speakers, labs, worship, lunch and free resources for student ministries. SLU does this event to invest in and encourage those pastors, educators and ministry leaders who are making a lasting impact in the lives of students.
We would like to invite you to join First Priority Greater Birmingham as we take a group to this year’s YPS in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, April 25 – Tuesday, April 26. If you would like to attend with First Priority, the cost is $100 for lodging, plus the cost of your meals. Lunch is provided on Day 2 of the Summit. This year’s line-up is incredible and includes: Bob Goff, Dr. Brent Crowe, Doug Fields, David Nasser, Josh Griffin, D.A. Horton, Ben Trueblood, Jared Hall, and Liberty Worship Collective. And, that doesn’t even include the breakout speakers! You don’t want to miss this year’s Youth Pastor Summit! Click here for the full line-up, schedule, FAQs, etc. Be sure to click on “Nashville.”
If you would like to attend the Summit with First Priority or would like more information, please contact Ashlee Lambert at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you’ll take advantage of this great opportunity. Contact Ashlee today!
What is your First Priority story?
The following is a testimonial from Adria, who was a member of First Priority when she was in high school:
When I committed my life to Christ as a sophomore in high school, I got involved in my youth group and invited people to church. When I got my driver’s license, I loaded as many people as I could each week into my little car to take to church with me. That was good, but I realized there was so much more that I wanted to do for Him. I wanted everyone I knew to experience what I had by allowing Jesus to be Lord of my life. I thought about all of the students that I was around each and every day in my own school. I couldn’t fit them all in my car, but I could take church to them…at school. When I shared my burden of my school with my youth pastor, he told me about First Priority. I rallied together a few friends and shared with them how I would simply like to meet each week to pray and have a Bible Study before school. By hanging up a few posters and passing the word around, we began a First Priority Club my junior year at our high school that had about 30 students at our first meeting. By the end of the year, we had about 80 students gathering in our gym each Wednesday morning and grew to have up to 150 my senior year. Within those two years, I saw our club become one of the most happening things in our school. We had many of the area youth pastors involved and saw the churches begin to work together to grow the Kingdom of God. As the music began to play loudly each week, students would come rolling in to see what was going on in the “old gym.” But the best part was the impact that was made on their lives before they would leave the gym and throughout the day by students who were using high school as a mission field.
First Priority had given me a place to really let my light shine so others could see His grace. It was a place where students felt safe and accepted, and we saw so many make decisions to follow Christ. Our school became a different place because of the ministry of First Priority. As I think back on the many unbelievable stories of lives being changed, I am reminded of two that stand out the most. One of my friends, who could possibly have been voted, “Most Likely to Never Become a Christian,” finally came to First Priority and made the decision to seriously follow Christ. I saw his life totally change! But, what was even better was when he asked to share his story at First Priority one Wednesday morning and filled the gym with people who came to hear what he had to say. So many people were saved because of his testimony then and even now as he pastors his own church.
My other story is a simple comment made to me one day by a girl I didn’t even know. “You are the reason that I’m saved,” she said. That comment reminds me still to this day to do everything I can to help be the reason that people receive the love of Jesus.
After being in youth ministry for nearly 10 years, my husband went to work for First Priority because we believe in the ministry taking place in the local schools. We want to help begin and better First Priority Clubs throughout our area to help ensure that every teen can be introduced to Jesus in the place they spend most of their time. I love First Priority because I believe it gives students somewhere to be real in a place where they are trying so hard to belong and fit in. I love seeing churches come together with a common goal, realizing that students are searching for something to fill a void and Jesus is what they need. He is the best thing that could ever happen to anyone.
Do you have a First Priority story? If so, please share it with us at:email@example.com. We would love to highlight your story!
We would like to remind you to register for our 11th Annual Leader’s Summit that will be held on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, at Southeastern Bible College. The cost for this year’s Leader’s Summit is $5 per person at the door for all those who pre-register online. Lunch is included. The registration deadline is THIS Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. The cost is $10 for anyone who registers after Friday, January 22. As far as your payment is concerned, you can pay by cash or check. However, if you pay by check, no refunds will be made for students who were unable to attend. We advise collecting $5 cash from each student and bringing it with you. Payment is not due until the morning of the Leadership Summit. When you check-in the morning of the event, you will be able to make your payment for your students. On the day of the Summit, check-in will begin at 8 a.m. and we will dismiss for the day by 1:30 p.m. Please click here to pre-register your students for the Summit. Please complete the online form and list the names of everyone that will be attending in your group.
A First Priority club was recently restarted at Bumpus Middle School. Seven students have accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and more than 100 students attend each week and the club continues to grow. Wow, God is good! A mother of a First Priority student shared the following with us about the club at Bumpus Middle:
My two boys have both been active in First Priority for a few years. Last year, my middle school son was looking forward to attending First Priority his first year at Bumpus like his older brother did. He attended every week and was discouraged at the low attendance, which was not the norm from the heavily attended First Priority at Brocks Gap that he was used to. Near the end of the school year, there was only about 3-4 kids that would show up and we were told that First Priority would be canceled for the year.
This bothered me as a parent of a child who really wanted to be a part of a Christian group each week before school started. At the beginning of school this year and my son’s 8th grade year, I decided to do something about the group. I connected with our church (Hunter Street Baptist) and some other area churches and parents to see if we could encourage attendance this year. I started a network of parents on Social Media and we kicked off our first day of First Priority in September.
To our surprise, we had 60 students in attendance. We had 16 students that signed up to be on the leadership team and they are so plugged in and do a great job leading First Priority each week. The kids continue to reach out and invite their friends to join us for First Priority and we are seeing God do amazing things and the numbers continue to grow. The first week that we presented the Gospel, we had 7 students that gave their lives to Christ. We’ve reached numbers above 100 in attendance and are continually amazed at the students and their desire to be a part of this fantastic Christian group.
At one of our recent meetings, we got to witness something very special. A former Bumpus Middle School student (and now a Senior at Hoover High) who attended First Priority the same 2 years that my oldest son did, came and spoke to our students. She shared with the kids that as a young girl, she was unchurched and never heard about Jesus in her home but a friend of hers at school shared the gospel with her and it changed her life. She is being used by God in mighty ways today even as an 18 year old. She encouraged our students to OVERCOME their fear of sharing the gospel with other students at Bumpus. She was living proof that God does great things when we are bold in our faith!
Praying the HOPE of Christ in every student!
We would like to thank this parent for sharing her heart with us, and especially for her passion to see the success of a club at Bumpus Middle School. Is there a First Priority club at the school(s) in your area? If not, help us start one today! It’s easy, call 205.871.8886 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
Keeping Christ the First Priority,
We would like to wish you and your family good tidings and great joy this Christmas season. Our prayer this holiday and throughout the new year is that God will bless you and protect you, comfort you and guide you.
We are very excited about the October 2015, First Priority update from Area Director Debi DeBoer. We hope you’ll take a moment to read about the amazing things God is doing in our schools this year.
God is moving all over the state of Alabama!
- Six new FPKids clubs started, five of which are in Enterprise, Ala. The sixth one that started is Elvin Hill Elementary in Columbiana. Please pray that God moves in these schools in incredible ways.
We have had many reports of the Gospel being shared and students responding:– Oak Mountain Middle School – 6 salvations– Bumpus Middle School – 7 salvations– Berry Middle School – 33 Salvations– Corner High School – 8 salvations– And over 30 students wanted more information about the Gospel!
- At Oak Mountain Middle School, many youth pastors shared in small groups through PE classes about the choices students make.
- Vincent Middle/High had to move to a bigger meeting room because they outgrew their space.
Please pray protection over our schools, students and teachers because where there is great victory there is also opposition. We want to hear from you! Please report what God is doing in your school because we know there are many more great things happening around our city. Thank you for your passion to see the love and message of Jesus shared with every student, on every campus, in every community. Send your report to: email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
Great news… there’s still time to DOUBLE your investment to reach students with the Hope of Christ!