First Third Conversations

Being Church Beyond Our Walls

Did you read Amanda Nelson's thesis yet? If not, it is posted at the bottom of the previous post.

I want to commend Amanda on her work in digging into what the church needs to learn about the spiritual lives on young adults. Her stories of young adults are similar to so many stories of young people in our contexts. I agree with many of her ideas on what the church can learn and want to add some more thoughts on what can be done to reach young people who have so many gifts to offer the church.

One

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Young Adults and Outdoor Adventure

This week on FirstThird.org we begin sharing the amazing thesis work of our Luther Seminary Children, Youth and Family Ministry MA students.  We have five finalists, and will feature one writer and their topic for each of the next five weeks.  You'll be blown away by their ideas and the quality of their thinking about ministry with those in the first third of life.  ENJOY

 I began my seminary studies with a deep passion for outdoor ministry. My own experiences tell me that nature

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From the First Third Archives

You Belong

By Andy Sahl

I served for several years with a leadership camp in Western Illinois.  High school kids labeled as “student leaders” (read, well connected to their youth group) from all over the country would come together for a week of small groups, worship, workshops, and free time fun on a college campus.  What was amazing about this camp is that they had a culture and structure of assigning kids to random roommates and assigning the small groups so that they

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From the First Third Archives

Presently Separate & Separately Present

By Derek Tronsgard

Last Christmas my wife's sister joined us while we opened our presents.  A few weeks ago I did pre-marriage counseling for some friends.  Yesterday I showed a friend a picture of my dog.

Pretty unremarkable...

...except when you consider the fact that I live in Minnesota.  My sister-in-law lives in Denver and was at the dinner table via Skype. The engaged couple lives in North Dakota and were talking to me face-to-face

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What's the point, anyway?

We have spent almost two months offering various perspectives on mission and service, but at the end of the day...What's the point?

I love Chicago, and a few weeks ago I has in Chicago for a meeting. Taking the train into the city and walking the streets is exciting, at least for me. As an experienced traveler, I can navigate things pretty well. But one aspect of my trip left me uneasy. Here's what happened.

Walking with a colleague to dinner one night, a mother with two elementary age kids came

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Preparation, Action, Reflection and Celebration = Transformation!

 

Trinity Lutheran College is continuing its study on what makes service projects and mission trips transformational. It’s all part of the SALLT (Service And Learning Leadership Team) program. What they have found is so vital that they have even developed and APP to help leaders through this process. Check it out at www.sallt.org/store.

 This information was so vital that we structured the Practice Justice day at the last Lutheran National Youth Gathering all around this four-step

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Open your eyes to the community around you

By Eric Elton, Mission Outreach Director at Prince of Peace Church in Burnsville, MN

Ah yes … the mission trip.  As many of us know, on these trips, God often takes us to a new mountaintop place.  A place we may have never been before spiritually.  We return home … we are fired up ... we are going to trust that the fire will continue … until Monday morning, when we start checking emails and voicemails.  “I will get back to that flame on Wednesday. “

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Reflections on a Mission Trip

By Pastor Nancy Lee Gauche

It has been a rich dialogue on mission over the past month. As I reflect on this trip, I will bracket some key practices that shape my understanding around outreach and short-term mission to add to the conversation.  Enjoy!

Not too long ago I led a Women’s Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic. http://doulosdiscovery.org/    [Know your audience, this women’s trip is different from intergenerational trips I’ve led]   My goal

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Love God, Help Others, Jesus Loves You, repeat

By Julie Hagen

I am 29 weeks into my Church School calendar (only 4 more weeks but who is counting) and have a rotation of  the above themes over and over and over again. Please know I’m NOT sick of teaching kids to help others.  That will never get old!  I think we can dig deeper. In all of our discussion on mission trips over the last few months, I’m encouraged by how we can help children think beyond just ‘help others’. How can we teach them to discover

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Resources on Reclaiming the Servant's Heart for Mission

Want to dig deeper in the First Third conversation on mission?

Webinar: Inculturating the Gospel; Dr. Colleen Windham Hughes

 

A webinar from the Practice Discipleship Initiative by Dr. Colleen Windham Hughes, or California Lutheran University.

 

Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence by David A. Livermore (Apr 1, 2006)

Serving with Eyes Wide Open helps Christians understand the changing face of Christianity and how that affects short-term

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