First Third Conversations

Tool: Identifying Your Church’s Culture

Nancy's blog The Race discusses the culture of busyness and how the church interacts with that race.

Terri's blog The Shift discusses how major shifts have taken place in culture which are reframing what people think and believe, as well as how they relate and imagine life. These new realities need to be integrated into ministry. 

So how do you investigate your church's culture as it interacts with the wider culture?

Viewing Your Church as an Outsider

Begin by analyzing your church’s

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Developing a Youth-Friendly and Youth-Involving Congregation

Dr. Nancy Going writes about The Faith of Adolescents and how young people must be integrated and central to the life of the congregation.

But how do you DO that?

Assessment

How would you rate your efforts in developing a youth-friendly and youth-involving congregation, building intergenerational connections between youth and the congregation?

Reflection  

  • Reflect on the results of your assessment with the church staff and youth ministry
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Resource: Strategies for Family Faith Formation

For the good of families and the whole Christian community, congregations can provide opportunities to equip homes as centers of faith formation at every stage of life. Congregations and youth ministries can make family faith formation a focus of everything they do as a church community, using an array of approaches and strategies to nurture faith at every stage of the family life cycle and in all the diverse forms and structures of the contemporary family. They can educate and

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Makin’ a list, checking it twice

By Andy Sahl

Sunday mornings can sometimes be a scramble in our youth ministry.  Our (Episcopal) Parish has a large youth center that gets used for a number of events every weekend.  This means we do a lot of setup on Sunday mornings.  Sometimes that setup can lead to us being distracted from being fully present from our youth and adults because we’re pulling a table out of the closet for donuts or setting up  the projection when we could be chatting with someone.

Inspired

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100 People: A Global Village

The ELCA World Hunger program has launched a line of Web-based resources, Hunger Education Toolkits. The Hunger Education Toolkits will help you design, host, and lead a learning experience on hunger or hunger-related topics.

100 People: A Global Village

This activity will help participants see the stark realities of our world by looking at important characteristics of the world’s population. In this activity, the world’s population is represented by just 100 people.

  • Hunger is
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Full Circle Training Activity

 

 By Tom Schwolert

Influenced by relational faith circles

“To encircle young people with authentic, available, and affirming adults who support them in their faith and life journey.”

The traditional model of youth ministry asserts that if we build a youth group that is big and active, we will profoundly influence the faith of young people. The reality is that most faith-nurture happens outside the church walls in everyday life through the people that encircle and are intentional

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Congregation Resources relating to Cyber-Bullying

 

Here are a couple of ways you can begin to get your church talking about and practicing the shaping power of living into a child of God identity rather than a consumer one, and address the issue of cyber-bullying at the same time.


  • Here is a resource that
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Leadership Insights: Leading EYM Style by Nancy Lee Gauche

Recently, I was asked, “If you were to go back and do youth ministry again, how would what you know now change what you would do?” I had quite a few things on my list, (hindsight is amazing!) and here are two of them that are directly related to the Exemplary Youth Ministry study results.

So, if I were leading youth ministry again I would…

  • Act theologically before programmatically. I often looked for the next “packaged program” to help me deliver the “message.” 
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Life Teams by Jerry Watts

For years I have struggled to move beyond the “if we build it they will come” programmatic formula for youth ministry.

In my quest for fidelity to the great commission I’ve asked if counting heads in our programs is not bearing fruit (as both my experience and studies like Christian Smith’s Soul Searching tell us)…then what do I aim at to judge the fidelity we seek?

Kneeling in prayer is always the best first step in responding to that question. After I did that,

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Coaching Your Pastor by Nancy Going

Exemplary Youth Ministry is really about leadership on multiple levels -- your leadership as the youth minister, your adult leaders. One of the key findings of the EYM study is that the pastor is the chief youth minister. A senior pastor who champions and keeps youth ministry central to the congregation’s culture is critical.

Now in case you are nodding your head saying, “I KNEW IT!  That’s why I’m having such a hard time. My senior pastor doesn’t get it.

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