First Priority is bringing a fun-filled gospel message to elementary schools in the New Year, and they are seeking churches, parents, volunteers and school sponsors to get in the game with them. FP Game Day is a new after-school club, featuring 20 minutes of high energy games followed by a Bible lesson and an invitation to receive the gospel.
“The age range in which the highest number of people accept Jesus is between 4-14 years old,” said Game Day Director Brody Howell, pointing to statistics from the International Bible Society. “FP Game Day is going to reach 7-10 year old’s. By providing this high energy program, churches now have an effective and relevant strategy to reach more children to bring spiritual and transformative change in their lives, which will have an impact on their families and bring exponential growth to the church.”
While FP Game Day is modeled after an Orlando initiative, it utilizes a curriculum written specifically for the program by the team at OneHope, a global ministry with a mission to bring God’s word to every child. OneHope President Rob Hoskins, said, “First Priority is a committed champion of reaching the next generation for Christ in schools throughout South Florida. OneHope is honored to partner with First Priority and looks forward to collaborating together to instill biblical values in the lives of elementary age children.”
Chris Lane, First Priority president, said, “The exciting thing is that the gospel is going to go out to more students and to students that are in the age range that are making decisions. It will naturally follow that when kids get involved in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade then when they go on to middle school, they’ll be pointed to a First Priority Club, so there will be a natural feeding into.”
In keeping with First Priority’s model of connecting the church to reach the campus for Christ, FP Game Day works with churches who adopt an elementary school, and aids them in recruiting and training volunteers.
“In middle and high school, First Priority clubs are student led and its primarily student ministry. FP Game Day is adult run, adult driven and students have to have parental permission to join the clubs. So we’re training adults and keeping them on track and on mission and then providing the resources so that the ministry can take place on the elementary campuses,” said Lane. “It’s definitely an evangelistic opportunity for churches to be involved in a school in their community to build relationships and get involved in a Game Day Club. Then when kids do come to Christ or when families have questions, there’s a natural flow right into the local church.”
FP Game Day will consist of open recreation with games like kick ball, basketball, hula hoops and four square followed by a Gospel message. One of the first FP Game Day Clubs to being will be at Pines Charter Elementary School, said Howell. “Pastor Bernie Diaz of Christ Community Church, which meets at Pines Charter, he has led a First Priority middle school club there for years. It was an elementary teacher who approached him a few months ago with a desire to have a club at the elementary school level. He is now recruiting volunteers from his church.”
Matt Lomenick, executive pastor at Rio Vista Church and a member of FP Game Day’s Board of Directors, said Rio Vista is currently developing a relationship with Harbordale Elementary School. “We really believe in the local church’s investment in schools with no strings attached – going in and asking how can we help you? And we’d love to do something that other churches could replicate in their own neighborhood. Certainly we’d love to see Church United get ahold of it and all the churches jump on board.”
FP Game Day is currently seeking churches to partner with local elementary schools as well as parents and others interested in volunteering. A Pre-Game Volunteer Training is being held on February 1st from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at First Baptist Fort Lauderdale (D Building), 301 E. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Parents, teachers, children’s pastors, administrators, church volunteers and community leaders are all invited to attend. To register visit, www.fpgameday.cc/pre-game-training/
To find out more about FP Game Day and how you can invest in the program, visit fpgameday.cc