School Can Be a 9 Month Mission Trip

First Priority

The Dominican Republic, Kenya, Colombia, Southeast Asia, Haiti — these are some places that may pop into your head when you think of a mission trip. Mission trips are altruistic endeavors by church groups to provide physical and/or spiritual relief in times of crisis. At First Priority students are equipped for a mission trip to places that desperately need Jesus. It is estimated that where they go 96% of the population is without Jesus. Where’s their destination? The public school campus. If you have gone on a mission trip before, it may have lasted a week, a month or a summer. However, First Priority students are on the mission field for nine months, and they don’t even have to pay for a plane ticket. As the First Priority staff and volunteers gear up for the school year, they are inspired by the phrase “nine month mission trip.” They tag their Instagram photos, tweets, & Facebook posts with the hashtag #9monthmissiontrip. This phrase reminds them that these clubs are not God groups, holy huddles, or Christian cliques. They are inclusive Great Commission clubs, fulfilling the call in Mark 16:15 to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”

See You at the Pole
One of the most visible opportunities to express their faith occurs on Wednesday, September 24 as students around the world gather around their school’s flagpole to pray for their nation, campus and family for See You at the Pole (SYATP). This event serves as a great opportunity to officially announce the First Priority club on campus. Students plan to meet 30 minutes before school starts for this event, and adults may observe from the sidelines. SYATP presents many great opportunities for Christian students. It is a great way to network since Christian students, who First Priority club members may not have met otherwise, often come out to each school’s flag pole. It’s a great time to hand out First Priority invite cards letting these students know when the club meets. While SYATP is a one-day event, it is also a visual representation of the nine month mission trip First Priority encourages. It takes courage to stand at the flag pole in front of all your peers. SYATP lives out Ephesians 3:12, “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence (NLT).” Visit syatp.com for the history of this event and a planning guide to leading this event at your school.

First Priority Alumni Success Stories
First Priority not only impacts the campus for Christ, but also develops the students who engage in the clubs making disciples and leaders. The following adults, who were once First Priority students at local public schools, shared their experiences.

Natasha Scruggs

How did you hear about First Priority?
My mom encouraged me to try an extracurricular activity to make some new friends. I wasn’t good at any sports, so I started looking at clubs and First Priority was on the club list at Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach. I checked it out at lunch, loved it. Never stopped going after that! I made a lot of friends who were Christians and it really encouraged me.
Did you lead a friend to Christ through First Priority?
Yes! My now good friend, who had been claiming she was an atheist the majority of the time that I’d known her, had been very open to spiritual things our senior year. She started making Christian friends and asking me questions. She came to First Priority and it was there that I invited her to church and on that Wednesday night she gave her heart to Jesus! A month later she was baptized at the beach and my family was there to support her! We have since kept in touch while she has been away at college and she has been plugged into a great church with an awesome college ministry.
How has First Priority affected your life today?
I have the privilege of ministering to over 400 1st-3rd graders every weekend through my internship, and I get to have conversations that are gospel centered! With a clear understanding of the story of Jesus and feeling comfortable asking questions, many kids have signed up to take classes about salvation. Many kids have asked for Bibles and want to know what they can do to have Jesus live in their hearts forever! I’m also confident in training others to have conversations about Jesus with our kids and their friends.

Bailey Cordero

What was your First Priority Club like?
My experience was incredible in that I was able, alongside a few other students, to be at the ground floor of a new club at Park Vista High School in Lake Worth the year it opened. My sophomore year a few students were approached by First Priority, and we worked to find a sponsor, started to promote the club and trained.
Did you lead a friend to Christ through First Priority?
I can remember one friend who struggled with an eating disorder. We invited her to FP and after a few cycles, she prayed to accept Jesus into her life. My friend and I started to disciple her and she continued to be a part of our group.
How has First Priority affected your life today?
First Priority was an absolutely pivotal part of my High School experience and my faith journey. The leadership skills, as well as evangelistic opportunities I was given, allowed me to be a light in my high school. It gave me a platform to share my faith many times as well as some rare opportunities to help change fellow student’s views on “Christians” as they’d been taught by our world. It was also an incredible tool that supported the local church/youth group in that I was able to invite many people to my church through the club.

Felipe Peterson

How did you find out there was a First Priority club on your campus?
I found out about First Priority through a zealous young fireball for Jesus at church, so I looked into it further at my school, Boyd H. Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes. The Spirit of the Lord stirred up a core group of students there who desired to impact their campus for Christ…and we did. We prayed and God led us to a great man of the faith to become our Faculty Sponsor, Brian Faso. From then God put all the pieces together and allowed us to flourish into a haven for students to come seek refuge and develop a relationship with Christ.
Did you lead anyone to Christ through First Priority?
There were many students the Lord allowed me to lead to Him. One in particular that stands out to me was a young man I invited to club and was able to see the power of God move upon his life. Later on he testified that God had delivered him from a background of witchcraft and voodoo. It was exciting to see how God was transforming and renewing his mind, who today is still a friend that I keep in touch with and is now considering to partner with First Priority. How has First Priority affected your life today? The evangelism training has given me the strategy and boldness to desire not only to be an example at a First Priority as a Campus Coach at Stranahan High School in Fort Lauderdale but to win souls for Christ wherever I go.

To find out more about First Priority visit www.firstpriority.cc | #FirstPrioritySF  #9MonthMissionTrip


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