First Third Conversations

The Dangers of the EYM: Fad, Fiction, or Future? by Jerry Watts

I was talking to a friend this week who wondered if all the hype about Exemplary Youth Ministry wasn't just that.

He was not discounting all the good stuff we’ve been blogging about but he did wonder if we were just moving on to the next new thing, the latest fad, the buzz in youth ministry these days. He wondered if we remembered that discipleship based on faith markers or what the Bible calls the fruit of the Spirit has already been around for a long time. He’s got a good point.

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Dispelling Cultural Myths by Tim Coltvet

In Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World, Chap and Dee Clark take on a popular cultural myth that, sadly, most of us in youth ministry buy hook, line, and sinker: simply, that teenage youth do not want to spend time with their parents.

We often run into the smokescreen when recruitment for small groups comes around. We think, "I bet Jimmy or Janie’s mom/dad would be a great small group leader." 

But, after planting the seed, we soon get the parent’s somewhat dejected

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First Third Dialogues: Ministering to Children of Divorce

In September 2010, Luther Seminary's Center for First Third Ministry, hosted a First Third Dialogue on the topic of Children of Divorce.

This conference was for those on the front-lines of ministry with children and youth who know the realities of divorce. Participants shared their own powerful experiences of divorce and heard from experts in the field about the impact of divorce on youth and young adults particularly in regards to sociology and faith.

The goal was to provide space to share stories

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Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce


Elizabeth Marquardt invites us into the strange and complicated experience of traveling between two homes, two parents and two families as a result of divorce. Marquardt asserts that couples are responsible for navigating the differences of their worlds and the conflict that comes when the rough edges of those worlds begin to come up against one another. However, when parents are divorced, this navigation of these conflicts becomes the job of the children.This happens when each parent has different

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Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being



The Children of Divorce is Root's fourth and most recent publication. It is a book with great personal significance to Root and draws on his own experience of becoming a child of divorce in his early twenties. The book argues, in Root's own words, "that divorce leaves an indelible mark on children, and such a mark that it strikes those who experience it (myself included) at an ontological level, at the level of their being. This book forces us to wrestle with the deepest, rawest, most unsettling questions

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