First Third Conversations

What Does All This Mean?

ContemplateA blog post by Terri Elton

We’ve spent the month wandering through ideas, insights, resources, and research on younger adults, their understanding of faith, and implications for ministry. Each post offered a picture, a snap shot, of what’s important and meaningful for younger adults today.

We were reminded that Martin Luther was a younger adult when he reformed the church; we got a picture of the breadth and depth with which younger adults engage in ministry, among their peers and with

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Resource for Ministry with Young Adults, Installment #3

BibleA blog post by Terri Elton

Understanding young adults is one thing, but engaging them in ministry is another. This installment of resources will focus on two issues: Why are Christians who were connected with the church leaving? What about the faith and spiritual lives of young men?

Why are young adult Christians leaving?

There are several reasons, yet many young adults are open to reengaging. Knowing why young adults don’t feel like they are accepted in congregations is critical, but so

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Discovering More About Young Adults - Resources Installment #2

faithA blog post by Terri Elton

As we begin to imagine accompanying younger adults in their journey, what are some things to keep in mind?

1. Younger adults are tinkerers. According to Robert Withnow:

“The single work that best describes young adults’ approach to religion and spiritual life -- indeed life -- is tinkering. A tinkerer puts together a like from whatever skills, ideas, and resources that are readily at hand. In a culture like ours, where higher education and professional training

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Young Adult Resources, Installment #1

QuestionA blog post by Terri Elton

Over the next several weeks, we will share with you some resources that might help you understand some aspects of what’s going on in the lives of people in their 20s and 30s. This first installment address these three questions: Who are they? Why is this so important? What is their main “task”?

Who are they?

Demographics are helpful to a point. They do at least two things -- for those who know nothing about a population, they offer some insights, and

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Leadership Resources

A blog post by Terri Elton

Here is another installation of leadership resources. This time we go to the “non-ministry” world and see what insights they can give us on leadership. Watch, read, reflect, and enjoy.

Harvard Business Review

Anything with Harvard in its name in it probably means high quality, and this certainly is true with regard to the Harvard Business School. The Harvard Business Review highlights key ideas and research in the area of leadership. Most of their work does

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Blogs, blogs, blogs! Part II

typingA blog post by Terri Elton

As a continuation of yesterday's post, here are some additional blogs to check out from our ministry leaders who offer their voices of leading from the frontlines of congregations. Enjoy! 

Adam Copeland is a Presbyterian pastor who currently serves on the religion faculty at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. But don’t let either of those things confine your view of Adam. Adam offers a refreshing voice as he shares his thoughtful and critical perspective about

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Blogs, Blogs, Blogs!

typingA blog post by Terri Elton

Today’s virtual world is filled with more blogs than we have time to read. But blogs are a great resource for leaders in the church. Many people are aware of the blogs from “ministry stars,” and I encourage you to follow those church leaders because they offer a wide picture of the church.

But most of us are not a “ministry star” and will never be one. So often times reading their insights has a dual effect -- both helping us frame ministry

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Resources for the Journey

Leadership A blog post by Terri Elton

Every ministry leader has their eyes open for resources that will help them lead along the journey. Each week this month First Third will be sharing some of our best “go to” resources. Check them out, and then feel free to suggest your own.

Leadership Network is a great resource for church leadership trying to think beyond the everyday. Leadership Network is trying to learn about ministry from those on the edges -- innovating, experimenting, and reproducing

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The Best Ministry Resource of All Time

Ministry BooksA blog post by Adam Butler

One of the best things we did in the Children, Youth, and Family program at Luther Seminary was what we called Tuesday Lunch. We had lunch together on Tuesdays, hence the creatively appropriate title. It was a time I looked forward to each week, and I think that was the case for many of us in the program.

Each week would have a topic that we’d discuss, sharing our insights with the rest of the group. The topics were anything from sharing our favorite Autumn activities

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Resource for Ministry: Daring Greatly

VulnerabilityA blog post by Aaron Fuller

Some of you may be familiar with researcher and author Brené Brown. She’s gained traction through TED Talks and David Lose Her work centers around understanding human connection and the dynamics of shame and vulnerability. I’ve been reading her latest book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.

I’ll just say it: you need to read this book if you work in ministry. If you need convincing,

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