As most of you who follow this blog know, I have had the good fortune of being part of First Priority of America for the past six years. Through some ministry and professional shifting, my focus has been turned toward relaunching First Priority Greater Nashville. In my 21 years of ministry, majority of them have been spent in Nashville. I have been a part of fantastic local organizations like Salama, Bethel, Christ Church, On The Go, Barefoot Republic, Fellowship Bible, MyLifeSpeaks, Oasis and others. Nashville attracts a diverse group of people who are desperately in need of the Gospel and I am passionate about seeing them reached.
With all of those good organizations in place, a question could be asked, "Why relaunch a nonprofit organization now?" The question is not only valid, it is right.
As I wrestled with my focus on Nashville, I could not shake my call to the mission of First Priority. My heartbeat revolves around uniting the local Church (Methodist, Baptist, Charismatic, Presbyterian, Nazarene, Catholic….) to empower students to reach their peers with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. First Priority Greater Nashville is not a new organization. It is a 17-year-old movement in schools across Nashville and a 5-year-old NPO. The decision to take the lead as it's executive director was less of a decision and more of an "IT IS TIME!"
Which leads me to this thought. In the six Greater Nashville counties with whom i am working, there are over 140,000 teenage students in public and private schools. I am moved daily by the thought, "WHAT IF?":
What if amongst the 1,500 local evangelical churches in Greater Nashville, many began to unite as the prayer of Jesus urges in John 17:23, specifically around schools?
What if every student in these schools had the opportunity to intersect with the love and message of Jesus Christ through one of their peers?
What if 1,000 students who never experienced Jesus, heard and responded to that message during the 2014-15 school year?
For me the answer is easy, the body of Christ in Nashville would be reaching, discipling and launching an army of Hope. Not just any army, but an army of young people the world is currently watching. An army that would have the resources Nashville offers and could seriously bring the Hope of Jesus to the world. As a father of three, students aren't just a passing interest for me. My oldest son will start Jr High in two years. Which means, reaching the schools in Nashville is not only a ministry for me, it's personal.
Back to my "WHAT IF" questions: "What if it worked?…" The answer is simple: our community, our state, our nation and this world, would never be the same!
If i can buy you a smoothie or cup of coffee to discuss further how we can come together to see this Kingdom reality, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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