Student ministry equips youth to become beacons for Christ
Gia, a high school student, had attended church a few times and had been exposed to the teachings of multiple denominations. When a classmate invited her to attend a Gospel-based meeting of a school club, she gladly went along.
At this meeting, a high school senior gave his testimony, and afterward, Gia approached him and said, “I gave my life to Jesus. What’s next?” In the following months, she became involved in church-led activities and walking in service to Christ.
“Since then, we’ve seen Gia plugged into church and start to shut out those things in her life that aren’t Christlike,” says Cameron Crow, a master’s student at Southwestern Seminary and youth pastor at College Baptist Church in Big Spring, Texas. “She’s been baptized, and she has gone along grabbing people alongside to come with her.
“Let me show you what a disciple looks like, and that’s Gia: She’s been transforming right before our eyes.”
Gia is one of hundreds of success stories from the church’s club partner First Priority America, a Nashville-based nonprofit youth organization that supports student-initiated, student-led Christian clubs on middle school and high school campuses nationwide. First Priority equips students to share the Gospel with their peers and creates opportunities to do so.
At College Baptist Church, First Priority partnerships led 35 high school students to salvation in the last year. This semester, with the partnership of six other churches, they have already seen nine other clubs start and 178 students give their lives to Christ. Last year, First Priority saw over 1,000 students give their lives to Christ in the Midland/Odessa area, and 10,022 salvations nationally.
“In Mark 4, we’re told the results of sharing the Gospel,” Crow says. “Even the smallest mustard seed will grow into the mightiest tree. Gia is one of those little seeds, defying norms. It’s been fun to watch.”
Nationally, First Priority partners with 820 clubs, all with students leading students to Christ. “It’s all about students sharing their testimony with other students. Students learn to overcome their fear of sharing their story,” Crow says. “In the fourth and final week of partnership, students come forward to confidently present the Gospel.”
“Students spend a large majority of their time at school, so we’re going to reach them where they are,” Crow continues. “It’s better for students to lead their peers to Christ. It’s going to be more believable to hear it from each other. The school campus is the students’ mission field.
“This is what we’re teaching students to do—to not just be a light, but be a beacon for Christ.”