First Third Conversations

Framing Ministry in Transition

autumn leavesA 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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Planting the seeds

By Julie Hagen

I recently taught the Parable of the Fig Tree to my Sunday school children.  I always struggle with this lesson.  I don’t like that we never find out if the fig tree makes it or not.  Don’t you want to know what happens to the Fig tree? Reflecting on our topic of “Reclaiming The Servants Heart” has helped me gain some insight into what I believe the parable is all about.  I hope you have been able to be a part of the Webinars hosted by the

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New ways of equipping leaders

By Julie Hagen

I’m done with winter, but according to the forecast, it looks like Mother Nature has a different opinion. I may be stuck in the cold for a little bit (or more) longer, but my church calendar is looking like summer! Summer registrations are open and we’re busy finalizing details and looking to the fall. 

Over the past few months, we’ve been blogging about the role of youth minister.  I’d like to add the youth minister as equipper. Ministry with young

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The Relationship Broker

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

I saw a job description last week for a Children's Ministry Leader, which listed as "able to write curriculum" at the top of the list of other capabilities this church was looking for. 

Have you noticed how common it is when times get tough, and there are fewer kids showing up, or fewer families committing to the program you are running, or fewer people in the pew on Sunday morning, for leaders to spend

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What are you doing?

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

 Here is how the job that many Youth ministers or pastors find themselves doing asks them to spend their time. Is this true for you?

Events planning (even if the event is a small group system), event recruitment, curriculum assessment, curriculum writing, marketing (finding goals and language to attract people to the programs) and then recruiting other adults as chaperones at the minimum, or ministry partners

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'Sam I Am'

By Julie Hagen

Sam, a shy 1st grader, asked his small group leader if she would call him 'Sam I Am' from now on.  They hadn't seen each other for a few weeks but last Sunday, she remembered and his face lit up when he sat down by their group and heard "Hi Sam I Am."  Every time he was called, his group called him by his new name.  As class ended 'Sam I Am' saw his parents coming to pick him up but before they left the room, he ran back and gave his leader a hug. They both know that

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The CYF Minister

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

 Leaders in Children and Youth Ministry have ALWAYS had a unique view of the church.  

Unique, generally because of the type of people that God calls to lead from the second chair.   (An aside:  Have you ever thought about that? You chose not to be the Senior Pastor, why was that?)

And unique, because you see things about the Church and your congregation that no one else can see in quite

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