First Priority honors faculty sponsors at our first ever Teacher Appreciation Dinner
On Monday, May 9, 2016, First Priority Greater Birmingham held its first ever Teacher Appreciation Dinner to recognize, honor and encourage our faculty sponsors for their hard work and dedication to students. We couldn’t do what we do without them! Upon arrival, each of our teachers received a nice gift as our token of appreciation, and then they and their guests enjoyed a casual and relaxing evening at Scott’s Downtown.
Our program began with a welcome and prayer, followed by a wonderful dinner catered by Scott’s. First Priority Area Director James Cato shared several, “You might be a teacher sponsor if” statements. Some were funny while others were more serious including, “You might be a teacher sponsor if you find joy in arriving early to school to open your classroom for students to meet for First Priority instead of it being a burden.” Or, “You might be a teacher sponsor if you cry when you hear a student’s testimony from a broken home.” Or, “You might be a teacher sponsor if you hear students pray.” James prayed over our teachers and told them they are more than teachers, they’re missionaries. First Priority President Greg Davis continued our program by sharing a little bit of First Priority history and how FPKids began. He then introduced our special guest speaker, WDJC Radio Show Host Roxanne Richardson.
Roxanne began by encouraging teachers, telling them they are fearfully and wonderfully made and that they show light early in the morning to children. She based her message from John 14:12, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Roxanne said, “To those of us who believe, Jesus said to do this. You are all God’s original work of art; you are real and authentic. There’s only one of you and you can’t be replicated.” She then shared several points on how teachers can do our Father’s works each day on the school campus:
1. Your brain – God gave you a brain for wisdom to use when you speak to children.
2. Your smile – It’s important and peaceful. Approximately 50 percent of people you smile at will smile back. Jesus wanted the children to come to Him. You want children to come to you so your smile is important. Your light shines bright through your smile.
3. Your hug – cling to a child with loving hugs. When you hug, you’re the love of Christ. Some never receive a hug. Often times, parents have no idea what their children are going through. Be there to show Christ’s love for them.
“Can you offer a smile, hug, Christ’s love?” Roxanne asked in closing. “As a teacher sponsor, you have so much influence over students. You’re on the frontline. You can help students from making mistakes. You’re heroes; you’re the heartbeat of Christ. What you do matters. We love and thank you.”
First Priority Area Director Debi DeBoer then shared about an FPKids student who wouldn’t read the Gospel Step-up because she was not yet a Christian. However, she recently professed Christ as her Savior and now feels comfortable reading it. Debi also informed the group that there have been over 600 decisions for Christ reported this school year. Debi’s daughter Lindi, who is about to graduate high school, then shared her First Priority experience over the years.
The evening closed with a couple of teachers who shared about what God has done in their First Priority clubs this school year. Teachers mentioned that prayers have been answered. “Students outside of First Priority are becoming suspicious; they want to learn about the Bible. For some students, First Priority is their church; this is where they hear about Jesus.”
We would like to thank all of our faculty sponsors again for all you do for First Priority. For all those who couldn’t make it, we missed you and hope you can attend next year! Be sure to check out all of the pictures from the Dinner!