First Third Conversations

Play Chess!

ChessA blog post by Nancy Lee Gauche

There are so many fascinating people who have lived and contributed to our lives. Peter Drucker is one of those people in my estimation. Drucker was born in a suburb of Vienna, Austria on November 19, 1909 and died in November of 2005, just shy of his 96th birthday.  His kindergarten teacher taught “the concept of management,” and his 4th grade religious instructor asked, “What do you want to be remembered for?” His father held gatherings

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Resources for the Journey

Leadership A blog post by Terri Elton

Every ministry leader has their eyes open for resources that will help them lead along the journey. Each week this month First Third will be sharing some of our best “go to” resources. Check them out, and then feel free to suggest your own.

Leadership Network is a great resource for church leadership trying to think beyond the everyday. Leadership Network is trying to learn about ministry from those on the edges -- innovating, experimenting, and reproducing

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Leading at Intersections

IntersectionA blog post by Terri Elton

Church buildings are often located at intersections; Main and 8th, County Rd 42 and Highway 35, Elm and University. Sometimes intersections have no significance, but sometimes they physically signify the coming together of different communities. Might physical intersections, like street corners, be a metaphor for leading ministry today?

In these changing time, intersections offer leaders clues about how to navigate the many and varied streams of our time. Think about it.

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Breaking News...

TwitterA blog post by Terri Elton

...students Tweeting in class at the request of the teacher!

Today might have been a first at Luther Seminary. Instead of discouraging social media in class, Terri Elton and Nancy Lee Gauche encouraged it. Today, as Nancy Lee Gauche lead a discussion with the theme “yourself as leader,” Terri Elton and a few other students posted what they learned, questions, and comments live on Twitter. It was fun, and we even had a few outside voices join in. Here’s

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Transitions...

Autumn LeavesA blog post by Terri Elton

...at the Center for First Third Ministry at Luther Seminary.

Many church leaders have experience with ministry transitions, some from years back, and others very recent. Transitions happen for various reasons, some planned and others not so much. Luther Seminary is in the midst of a season of transition. Last year we began thinking about a curriculum redesign, and we ended the year with an interim president, an interim CFO, and a much smaller staff and faculty. Like many

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Rally Sunday

Pew ParadeA blog post by Terri Elton

This weekend I sat behind a grandpa and his preschool granddaughter in worship. It was sweet to watch him guide her and explain the various parts of worship. At one point in worship small group leaders of children, youth, and adult ministry were invited up front, and we prayed for and commissioned them as they, like the grandpa, talk about what it means to be a person of faith today. Sitting with me in my row was a woman, another mom, whom I'd co-led small groups with for

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Leadership Advice Gleaned from a Race

DualthonA blog post by Terri Elton

Sunday I participated in my first race of the year, a duathlon in downtown Minneapolis. It was a hot, humid August morning. As racers made their way to the starting line, the race organizers warned us that they'd be keeping an eye on the weather and if the heat index got too high, they'd call off the race for safety reasons.

Now I was not in my best racing condition and hadn't trained in this extreme heat. So, I had mixed emotions regarding these announcements. But as

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The Best Ministry Resource of All Time

Ministry BooksA blog post by Adam Butler

One of the best things we did in the Children, Youth, and Family program at Luther Seminary was what we called Tuesday Lunch. We had lunch together on Tuesdays, hence the creatively appropriate title. It was a time I looked forward to each week, and I think that was the case for many of us in the program.

Each week would have a topic that we’d discuss, sharing our insights with the rest of the group. The topics were anything from sharing our favorite Autumn activities

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Let's Just Be Friends

RespectA blog post by Jesse Weiss

A good friend of mine is about to start his first teaching job in a couple of weeks -- high school English. As we were talking about what excited him and what made him nervous, he pointed to one area in which he was very unsure of himself: where is the line between friend and authority figure?

No doubt that most people in ministry with youth and young adults face the same question. Especially when our ministry is predicated on building relationships, we have the desire

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Ministry in the Outdoors

ImageA blog post by Jesse Weiss

Often, when we realize that we need to make changes in programming or other ministry-related endeavors, the tendency is to search for ways to change in places that might be more complicated than they need to be. Change is good, but we can be overcome with new curriculum, new worship styles, new schedules, etc. Instead, I’m going to throw out a relatively simple change that I think can make a deep impact youth and adults: embracing creation theology in ministry or,

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