First Third Conversations

Caught in the Current - by Terri Elton

Flowing river 3 by Ernst Vikne, on Flickr

I don't know about you, but as a family with children in school, this time of the year I get caught in the current.

Our family tries hard to be intentional about how we spend our time, who we spend our time with and what commitments we take on all year long, but this time of year it never works.

The annual transition from summer to fall feels like someone else takes over the reins at our house for about six weeks:

  • Those dinners we were going to have together were eaten on the run.
  • That weekly
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Timeonomics - Part 1: Quitting Church

Roland Martinson, academic dean of Luther Seminary and long-time expert in children, youth and family ministry, invites you into a story of encountering a man who has decided -- with his family -- to quit church!

Martinson helps to tease out valuable lessons about how the stewardship of time demands our greatest efforts as stewardship leaders in today's church.

(This video was developed in collaboration with Luther Seminary's Center for Stewardship Leaders.)

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Stewarding God's Gift of Time by Tim Coltvet

Probably one of the finest lessons taught to me about time came from a wise and learned friend from Tanzania.

Clock

As a part of our growing congregational partnership, we were able to spend time together as ordinary people learning from one another and listening deeply to what the other had to share.

"You see, Pastor Tim" he would say, "in America you have watches, but in Tanzania we have time!"

Implicit in his message was a critique of what he was seeing here in America -- busy people with

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Stewards of God's Story

Our lives are filled with stories that compete for space, and sometimes clash dramatically.

In this video, Pastor Tim Coltvet talks about the economic story facing children and youth and the "God Story" that is an important foundation against which the economic story can be heard.

(This video was developed in collaboration with Luther Seminary's Center for Stewardship Leaders.)

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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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Name It by Kristen Baltrum

When I first started in professional youth ministry, I simply wanted to create an environment of relationship and “church fun” that mirrored my own experience as a teen. While that worked on some levels, I was pretty sure something else was happening that I could not name -- I had no language for it. After a number of years in the field, I decided I needed “Language Lessons.”

After a few years studying youth and family ministry, continued reflection on the assets of

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The Sweet Spot by Tom Schwolert

The term “sweet spot” is often used in sports. It is that place on the face of a golf club that creates the best possible shot or on the baseball bat that sends the ball over the center field fence.

Have you ever thought of having a “sweet spot” in ministry? I can think of a few times when a Bible study just seemed to have all the right ingredients for a unique ministry moment.  I can think of those times when a leadership team of youth just suddenly “clicks”

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What if? More from the D6 Conference by Jason Miller

There is a great deal of power in those words, "what if?"

What if children, youth and family ministries were more than a program?

What if they become the basis of a fully integrated mindset for the relationship between the church and the home?

Imagine the possibilities:

  • Parents taking on their God-given roles as the primary faith formers for their children.
  • Families committed to serving their church and the world in the name of Christ.
  • The end of “drop-off” ministry because parents
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