First Third Conversations

Leadership Advice Gleaned from a Race

DualthonA blog post by Terri Elton

Sunday I participated in my first race of the year, a duathlon in downtown Minneapolis. It was a hot, humid August morning. As racers made their way to the starting line, the race organizers warned us that they'd be keeping an eye on the weather and if the heat index got too high, they'd call off the race for safety reasons.

Now I was not in my best racing condition and hadn't trained in this extreme heat. So, I had mixed emotions regarding these announcements. But as

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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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Let's Just Be Friends

RespectA blog post by Jesse Weiss

A good friend of mine is about to start his first teaching job in a couple of weeks -- high school English. As we were talking about what excited him and what made him nervous, he pointed to one area in which he was very unsure of himself: where is the line between friend and authority figure?

No doubt that most people in ministry with youth and young adults face the same question. Especially when our ministry is predicated on building relationships, we have the desire

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Ministry in the Outdoors

ImageA blog post by Jesse Weiss

Often, when we realize that we need to make changes in programming or other ministry-related endeavors, the tendency is to search for ways to change in places that might be more complicated than they need to be. Change is good, but we can be overcome with new curriculum, new worship styles, new schedules, etc. Instead, I’m going to throw out a relatively simple change that I think can make a deep impact youth and adults: embracing creation theology in ministry or,

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Being Brave: Daring Greatly Part II

braveA blog post by Megan Clapp

Have you heard “Brave” by Sara Bareilles? I’ve been listening to it on repeat all summer. If you haven’t heard it yet, check out the lyrics video below before you keep reading:

http://vevo.ly/2AqimM

Also on my summer agenda has been reading, processing, and living with Brene Brown’s incredible book, Daring Greatly. She writes about vulnerability and how it can transform the way we live, love, parent and lead. She also writes about shame and

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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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Leadership of a New Pastor

Walking TogetherA blog post by Adam Butler

My wife and I are buying a house. After living with my parents for a few months and moving into a short-term lease apartment here in Sioux Falls, we’re pretty excited to have our own place -- our own house. To repeat my wife’s sentiment, “I can’t believe someone is actually letting us do this.”

One of the most difficult things about this home buying process is realizing how little you know about these kinds of “grownup” things.

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Living into the Kingdom

love GodA blog post by Megan Clapp

There’s been a lot of “talk” online lately about millennials and the church, why they’re leaving, why they need the church, and a whole bunch of responses along the spectrum.

I’ve read a lot by Rachel Held Evans, the author of all the links above, and I appreciate the way she wrestles with questions of faith and church in an honest and authentic way. I like her ideas about what millennials are hoping to encounter in church,

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Bringing Justice into the Light

Justice into lightA blog post by Jesse Weiss 

Recently, a group of young adults that are serving as camp staff this summer got into a fairly deep conversation about salvation and the question of God’s justice. Their conversation was good, but it was grounded more in cliché answers than in theological understandings. As we further explored the issue of a just God, not only for their own understandings but also for their roles in the lives of our campers, we tried to gain a better understanding of

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Social Media: Why one youth director chooses to embrace it

facebookA blog post by Sarah Bane

My relationship with Facebook has been contentious throughout the years. I can still remember when Facebook made its debut on my college campus, and I intentionally made the decision that I was not going to get sucked in. Witnessing countless friends become slaves to their virtual communities, I wanted no part in their Facebook.

In the summer of 2006, a camp coworker sent me an email request to join Facebook. The only thing stopping me from having an account created was

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