First Third Conversations

An Unexpected Friendship

FriendA blog post by Rachel Coen-Tuff

Image Credit: Rachel Coen-Tuff

There are a few things that you should know about Bobbie Masnyk. First, she hates being cold. Hate is a strong word, but it is also a strong emotion. Bobbie can be found wearing her fleece jacket on a daily basis. Even in the summer. Second, Bobbie loves to travel. While I was staying with Bobbie as a part of the program Young Adults in Global Mission, she visited Australia twice and New Zealand once. She also went to Turkey for

Read More »
Comments (0)

Enabling Poor Stewardship for CYF Bodies

A blog post by Kinna Nordstrom

Image Credit: Fruit Salad by lisaclarke on Flickr

Hello, my name is Kinna and I am a food addict. I am a compulsive overeater who stuffs her feelings. And you know the best place for me to get my fix? Church!

I love being a youth minister, but now that I don’t eat pizza, sugar, or drink soda, I am finding that I loathe going to events with the youth that include food. For example --I am dreading our lock-in on Friday. There’s going to be pizza, candy,

Read More »
Comments (0)

Discipleship and Vocation

A blog post by Jody Wendt

Image Credit: Jody Wendt

In one of my classes at Luther Seminary, we have been talking about discipleship and vocation. This is something I have struggled with over time. But, I feel as if I have a better grasp on it now.

According to Michael Foss in his book, Power Surge, Discipleship is about individual Christians -- and the church as a community of Christians -- living in mission. Discipleship is about recognizing that Christ is the center of both personal and

Read More »
Comments (0)

Lent, Spring, and Pondering Big Ideas

spring flower

A blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Spring Scene with Liverleaf by Randi Hausken on Flickr

Some days I’m not sure which hat I’m wearing …

There are days, in the midst of a meeting, I get the “mom I need you” text and suddenly I’m transported from my work agenda to caring for my kids.

There are times when I’m creatively and passionately trying to figure how to make one of the deep truths about Christianity come alive -- like talking with my group

Read More »
Comments (0)

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

Read More »
Comments (0)

For Kids - Bible Stories or Faith Practices?

A blog post by Diane Shallue

Often in children’s ministry there is a focus on teaching children various Bible stories. What if we reframed children’s ministry as learning how to be part of a faith community, as learning about and then doing various faith practices? Would this change the focus of a Sunday School or week day program?

When children are baptized, they begin a lifelong journey in which they create relationships with God, other people, and a faith community. How does one help

Read More »
Comments (0)

Fostering Faith in a Digital Age - Wrap Up

social mediaA blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Social Media Apps by Jason Howie on Flickr

As we come to the end of our month thinking about this command and wrestling with what this question means for our leadership and ministry, let me pause and reflect on seven learnings.

1. It’s ok to feel incompetent! We live in a time when we are moving off the map, away from the territory many of us knew and into uncharted waters. It’s ok to be disoriented. But it’s not ok to let that

Read More »
Comments (0)

Digital Tools and Connection

A blog post by Kelsey Battleson

Image Credit: iPad & Friends by Yutaka Tsutano on Flickr

Every morning my commute to work is an hour on average, and within five minutes of my drive, I pass a billboard that every day for two months now has hijacked my train of thought as I finish my commute. On an eye-catching purple background, a clever advertising slogan for Roku is printed: “Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa. We all worship TV.”

If you haven’t used one yet, a Roku is a small

Read More »
Comments (0)

Thinking Through Media Use

A blog post by Jessica Thielke 

Image Credit: iPhone iPhone iPhone by Braden Kowitz on Flickr

I recently finished a class at Luther Seminary about the uses of media and ministry. How can we most effectively use media? Can we use it to build community? If so, how? How can we embrace the digital age we find ourselves in?

I don’t have the answers to any of these questions…I have ponderings, and perhaps a few tricks up my sleeve to take back to my current congregation, but definitely

Read More »
Comments (0)

Comfort in the Reality of Life

A blog post by Sara Quarberg

Image Credit: "Peace I Give to You..." by Sharon on Flickr

Almost two years ago, I met the love of my life. Before meeting Joe, I truly didn’t know what true love was. I now know that it’s a profoundly beautiful thing that can only be experienced with the right person.

So, naturally, what society and my childhood of watching Disney movies tells me is that when I meet my prince charming, birds will sing, life will fall into place, and we’ll live happily

Read More »
Comments (0)