First Third Conversations

Youth and an Earth Ethic

A blog post by Rich Holleque

I have been pondering a question lately as I have continued to write my senior paper for the CYF program here at Luther Seminary: “What would it mean in youth ministry to proclaim the message of the gospel with an intentional focus of Christian stewardship of the earth?” In other words, how do we incorporate the message of steward, not consumer, within the whole of youth ministry?

Right now, our youth culture forms its identity around being a consumer. Books

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Lent, Youth, and Opportunity

lentA blog post by Timothy Siburg

Image Credit: Lent by Stephen Cuyos on Flickr

Every day is a good day to think about and create opportunities for members of your congregation to lead. This is true for youth too, who are also members of your congregation and community.

The season of Lent provides a time for intention. Congregations approach this differently but with great ideas and meaningful opportunities. To consider some possibilities, I am going to reference three congregations by A, B, and C.

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Bridging Life with Vocation and Identity

bridgeA blog post by Sara Quarberg

Image Credit: Lines and Paths by Wendy Soucie on Flickr

“Today I understand vocation quite differently – not as a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received. Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice ‘out there’ calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice ‘in here’ calling

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Ready for an Adventure: Leading Youth Trips

A blog post by Tashina Good 

Image Credit: Tashina Good

Who doesn’t love the idea of going on a summer youth group trip? You get to hang out with youth, have an amazing faith experience, and fun is bound to happen. Planning for a trip and being “in charge” as you go on one is a completely different story than being a participant.

Almost three years ago, I was tasked for the first time with leading a mission trip. I had already worked with the youth for about a year and had

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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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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

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Connecting Your Narrative with the Biblical Narrative

BibleA blog post by Rich Holleque

Image Credit: Open Bible by Ryk Neethling on Flickr

If you’re like me then you’re continually amazed and humbled by how insightful youth can be during Bible studies. I have had the privilege of leading a small group Bible study at the context where I work.

Now don’t get me wrong, every bible study doesn’t lead to enlightening discussion in our group. In fact, if I had a dollar for how many times we get off topic onto seemingly pointless subjects,

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Doing Theology in Youth Ministry Part II

A blog post by Dr. Roland Martinson

Image Credit: Amazing Grace by Len Matthews on Flickr

Practical Theology -- Four Tasks

These youth ministry leader reflections and actions could look much like Richard Osmer’s definition and description of practical theology in The Teaching Ministry of the Congregation.

Osmer asserts that Christian ministry is best done when leaders attend to four tasks.

  1. The descriptive-empirical task which asks: What is going on? It focuses on the actual
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Doing Theology in Youth Ministry Part I

A blog post by Dr. Roland Martinson

Image Credit: Amazing Grace by Len Matthews on Flickr

Age-level youth ministry has historically focused on tactics, i.e., methods and programs. Youth ministers often do “theology lite” if at all. Youth ministry conferences, workshops, and websites are long on inspiration and “how to’s” and short on theological and strategic exploration that eventuates in faithful and effective mission and ministry by, with, and for young people.

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Stewardship as a paradigm for Youth Ministry?

  This article was originally published on 5/21/2013 on FirstThird.org.

The night before taking my first group of young people to camp as a rookie youth director, I became consumed by a desire to purchase a pair of brightly colored sneakers.  Feeling like I was on a game show to find the perfect pair of sneakers before the store closed, I finally landed on a pair of electric blueberry cross-trainers.  They were awesome – just like the ones I had seen on countless 11 to 14

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