First Third Conversations

Banging Your Head? Here's An Option For Your 2013

By Dr. Nancy Going, Director of the CYF Distributed Learning Program at Luther Seminary  

You've all heard that definition of insanity:  When you keep doing the same thing over and over, and this time expect a different result?  Could it be that we might just be there (insanity) when it comes to our churches and the vehicles we use for the spiritual formation of children and youth?  Sunday School. Confirmation. Youth Group.  

We at the Center for First Third Ministry at Luther Seminary are ready to move beyond helping you talk about what is wrong and how hard ministry is today and why the vehicles aren't working. We know that attending workshops and gaining important information and perspective about change in the church is often a helpful thing for leaders.  We've done a fair amount of leading those kinds of workshops or coming to your church to share this message over the last five years.  But as a team we are currently feeling called to do more.  Because we know that it takes more than information to walk into what God is calling us, all of us to in this time in the life of the church.     

Our God is a God of constant creativity.  The wonders of creation, the change built into God's created order, and the powerful witness of the active and winsome presence of the Holy Spirit among us today all call us as leaders to walk even more fully into that creative action of God in the midst of our communities of faith--for the sake of the next generation.  

We have been working hard to prepare to walk with you into a new vision for ministry with those in the first third of life.  It's a vision that flows from our Exemplary Youth Ministry Study.  It's a vision that can have a huge impact on the Spirit and culture of your entire congregation.  We've seen it happen.  We know it works for the development of maturing Christians.  And we can help you get there.    

SO, we've developed a year long coaching cohort that will launch in January of 2013.  We are offering it for this first year at a drastically reduced rate to get the momentum going.  We are looking for congregations who want to do more than think about what needs to change in ministry with children, youth and families and want to start doing it.  We need churches who are willing to look at themselves and their practices and are willing to build on their assets and develop the gifts that maybe they didn't even know God had given them.  We want churches who are willing to support and encourage other churches in the process too.   

We'd love to spend 2013 with you and your church. You can get all the details here.  But even more importantly, we're at the Center for First Third Ministry are here to accompany you. Let's do this.  

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Nancy Going is a life-long youth minister, who loves Jesus, other people learning to love Jesus, her husband Art Going, and the two new families that are her kids and grandkids. 

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