First Third Conversations

An Unexpected Friendship

Friend A blog post by  Rachel Coen-Tuff

Image Credit: Rachel Coen-Tuff

There are a few things that you should know about Bobbie Masnyk. First, she hates being cold. Hate is a strong word, but it is also a strong emotion. Bobbie can be found wearing her fleece jacket on a daily basis. Even in the summer. Second, Bobbie loves to travel. While I was staying with Bobbie as a part of the program Young Adults in Global Mission, she visited Australia twice and New Zealand once. She also went to Turkey for

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Youth and an Earth Ethic

A blog post by Rich Holleque

I have been pondering a question lately as I have continued to write my senior paper for the CYF program here at Luther Seminary: “What would it mean in youth ministry to proclaim the message of the gospel with an intentional focus of Christian stewardship of the earth?” In other words, how do we incorporate the message of steward, not consumer, within the whole of youth ministry?

Right now, our youth culture forms its identity around being a consumer. Books

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"Simul justus et peccator"

rose A blog post by Jordan Gades

Image Credit: Luther Rose by Lars Hammar on Flickr

Simul iustus et peccator -- a few thoughts on an amazing Lutheran idea.

As I have been traveling along my journey through this season of Lent, I find myself thinking often of what it means for me to be a sinner in today's world. These thoughts and reflections are anything but new, and the tradition of preparation for Easter goes back to the earlier church.

And yet here I am and here we all are pondering these same

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Enabling Poor Stewardship for CYF Bodies

A blog post by Kinna Nordstrom

Image Credit: Fruit Salad by lisaclarke on Flickr

Hello, my name is Kinna and I am a food addict. I am a compulsive overeater who stuffs her feelings. And you know the best place for me to get my fix? Church!

I love being a youth minister, but now that I don’t eat pizza, sugar, or drink soda, I am finding that I loathe going to events with the youth that include food. For example --I am dreading our lock-in on Friday. There’s going to be pizza, candy,

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Lent, Youth, and Opportunity

lent A blog post by Timothy Siburg

Image Credit: Lent by Stephen Cuyos on Flickr

Every day is a good day to think about and create opportunities for members of your congregation to lead. This is true for youth too, who are also members of your congregation and community.

The season of Lent provides a time for intention. Congregations approach this differently but with great ideas and meaningful opportunities. To consider some possibilities, I am going to reference three congregations by A, B, and C.

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Bridging Life with Vocation and Identity

bridge A blog post by Sara Quarberg

Image Credit: Lines and Paths by Wendy Soucie on Flickr

“Today I understand vocation quite differently – not as a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received. Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice ‘out there’ calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice ‘in here’ calling

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Ready for an Adventure: Leading Youth Trips

A blog post by Tashina Good 

Image Credit: Tashina Good

Who doesn’t love the idea of going on a summer youth group trip? You get to hang out with youth, have an amazing faith experience, and fun is bound to happen. Planning for a trip and being “in charge” as you go on one is a completely different story than being a participant.

Almost three years ago, I was tasked for the first time with leading a mission trip. I had already worked with the youth for about a year and had

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Discipleship and Vocation

A blog post by Jody Wendt

Image Credit: Jody Wendt

In one of my classes at Luther Seminary, we have been talking about discipleship and vocation. This is something I have struggled with over time. But, I feel as if I have a better grasp on it now.

According to Michael Foss in his book, Power Surge, Discipleship is about individual Christians -- and the church as a community of Christians -- living in mission. Discipleship is about recognizing that Christ is the center of both personal and

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Lent, Spring, and Pondering Big Ideas

spring flower

A blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Spring Scene with Liverleaf by Randi Hausken on Flickr

Some days I’m not sure which hat I’m wearing …

There are days, in the midst of a meeting, I get the “mom I need you” text and suddenly I’m transported from my work agenda to caring for my kids.

There are times when I’m creatively and passionately trying to figure how to make one of the deep truths about Christianity come alive -- like talking with my group

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Framing Ministry in Transition

autumn leaves A blog post by Kris Borke

Image Credit: Red Leaves for Autumn by Dan Foy on Flickr

As if first third ministry wasn't hard enough in today's culture, how do we not only survive, but thrive in transition? Being part of a ministry in transition, especially when it affects those in the first third of life, is a little like trying to sweep the floor in a dust storm. Once you get one area clean another breeze comes. When faced with trying to “clean in a dust storm,” consider the following

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