First Third Conversations

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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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

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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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Living into Possibilities

A blog post by Suzie Porter

Image Credit: Failure is not final by Live Life Happy on Flickr

My New Year’s resolution for this year is to fail. Here we are, a few weeks into a new year, and I am sporting my first ever stitches. It’s not exactly the failure I was going for when I made this resolution.

It may sound rather bleak. Truth be told, I have no desire to have a year full of failures as I look back on 2014 next December. When I made this resolution, I was thinking of the year ahead

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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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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

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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

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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

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The BIBLE, yes that’s the book for me!

This post was originally published on 11/1/2012

By Julie Hagen

This past Sunday we celebrated the 3rd grade Bible milestone. Children processed into worship and stood in front of the whole congregation before receiving their New Adventure Bible! I was honored to read the names of each child as Bibles were handed to their parents. Remembering the Promises made at Baptism, parents placed Bibles in their child’s hand.  We encouraged them to read their Bibles and learn the stories of God’s

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The Power of Immersion Learning

See this video of Mike King discussing the power of immersion learning at our First Third Dialogue: Why Can't My Church Be More Like Camp? (This post was originally published on 12/19/2012)

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