The Story of First Priority
First Priority clubs in the Metro East began in the Spring of 2015, as part of a larger organization, First Priority of America.
Sean Hall, our Area Director, was just beginning his second year of ministry in Illinois before realizing that this area lacked a few things:
- an evangelistic campus ministry for middle and high schoolers that championed the local church
- a united network of student ministers
- a strong burden for lost students
Sean was once a First Priority student and (later) campus coach in South Florida, where students share the gospel on 200+ schools. First Priority recommended that Sean prayed through the Nehemiah process to see if this was God’s calling.
After three months, Sean took a step by inviting several youth pastors of different denominations to talk about the possibilities of First Priority. Just 2 months later, in March of 2015, a vision casting launched 30+ students to begin a club the next month at Mascoutah Middle and High School!
The 2015-2016 School Year ended with 41 trained student missionaries leading on 4 campuses, with 16 youth pastors united from 10 different denominations.
The 2016-2017 School Year is on track to see student missionaries leading on 8+ campuses! First Priority also hosts events, like the UNIFIED Youth Rally, to be a catalyst to student evangelism.
Let’s partner to keep up with these students!
The Nehemiah Strategy
Our mission is to unite the local body of Christ with a plan of action to influence the schools with the Gospel.
So our strategy starts and ends when people unite together for this single cause. Unity looks different, and the same, everywhere. In some places, networking student pastors is natural. In some places, there are no student pastors within a 30 minute drive. Either way, our goal is to get people from multiple churches and denominations together to share the hope of Christ with students in their schools.
Practically, the ministry of First Priority gets worked out through a club at school. First Priority clubs follow a four-week strategy called HOPE. HOPE is an acronym for Help, Overcome, Prepare, and Engage.
Equipping the Christian students with foundational truth to be able to articulate a simple gospel message in thirty seconds or less.
Motivation and inspiration to overcome our fear, worry and doubts we have about sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Giving 1-3 students the opportunity to prepare and share their journey of faith in God (in its entirety or in part).
The opportunity for the believing students to invite their non-believing friends they have been praying for to come and hear about the HOPE of Christ.