The Birth of First Priority of Sioux Falls
Perspective is everything. This rendition of the history of First Priority of Sioux Falls comes through the eyes of Grant Sather. We ask that grace would be the lens through which you would read our story. It is by God’s grace alone that we exist!
In the second semester of the 2007-08 school year, a group of students at Lincoln High School decided they wanted to do something to reach their classmates with the gospel. During that time, First Priority of Sioux Falls did not exist. A group of youth pastors and students began meeting together to plan an end of the year outreach. It was during that time that First Priority of America began to give legs to the desires and dreams that God had placed in that small group of students and pastors. This partnership resulted in an end-of-the-year outreach at Tut Hill Park.
The Birth of Collision
Before the outreach could take place, an on-campus movement (ie. club) needed to be formed. Instead of calling it First Priority, the students desired to choose a name that would intrigue their friends and be relevant. A meeting took place at The Firehouse Underground, a local Christian coffeehouse. That meeting became the birthplace of “Collision.” The mission statement the students adopted for “Collision” is taken directly from Isaiah 61:
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.”
At that first outreach a local youth pastor shared the gospel, and connected the mission statement with the newly picked name: “Collision.” Ryan shared that when human beings collide with something bigger than themselves – they must be changed. The name and mission statement set the evangelistic emphasis of the movement which continues to this day.
In the fall of 2008, ministry kicked off at the annual, See You at the Pole event. Students gathered around their school flagpole at Lincoln High to pray. They asked that God would do something at their school this year, that God would show up in a big way and change their lives and the lives of their classmates.
Leading up to See You at the Pole, no one really knew all that God had in store. There was a vague concept of a coffeehouse that came from a brainstorming session, but no one ever imagined it would take off so quickly. For that matter, it seemed as if it were going to take place in a small classroom where maybe twenty to thirty students could hang-out and get into gospel-centered conversations. Oh! What God had in store for us!
The very first week brought almost five-hundred students through the curtains of our sectioned off portion of the cafeteria. The lights were dimmed, the coffee was hot, the English muffins were toasting, and the tables were covered with white linen and gospel tracts.
The evolution of the Café has been amazing. To be honest, the first semester doing the Café – we really weren’t exactly sure what we were doing. We pretended like we did, but it was all experimentation! God’s grace alone sustained us.
Collision Café has become more than just a simple coffeehouse. It has all the elements necessary to the foundation of a movement. Students desire to share Christ; youth pastors are training, encouraging and emboldening them to do so. Students are feeling compassion for the needs of their classmates and seeking to meet them. They are seeing their lost friends with spiritual eyes!
The community has come around Collision Café in amazing and unique ways! From businessmen taking the time to toast English muffins to faithful volunteers arriving early each week to set up and serve; one thing is for certain, credit belongs not to First Priority of Sioux Falls but to the Lord and to the faithful community of believers who have willingly given of their time, treasure and talent.
The real heroes of our story reside in the businesses, churches, classrooms and homes of Sioux Falls. It is the hope and desire of First Priority of Sioux Falls that, by God’s grace, He would allow us to unite and mobilize the local church to help fulfill the Great Commission, so that every student in our community has the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.