First Third Conversations

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 ideas that are aimed at serving God’s church in these changing times. For more on Leadership Network go to: or for resources go to

Youth Specialties is a resource all youth ministry folks need to be aware of. They host two national conventions each year, offer regional training events, publish youth ministry resources, offer student events, and provide online resources. To find their online resources go to, and in particular notice Andy’s podcast on a chapter from his book “A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry”:

They also have a job bank if you are looking for a new ministry position or trying to hire someone. Check that out at:

Group Publishing is also a resource that ministry leadership should know about. Beginning with a focus primarily on children and youth ministry, Group now has expanded their reach to ministry leaders of all kinds. To find out more about Group, go to:

Congregations are the places much of children, youth, and family ministry takes place. And congregations have been studied a lot in the past decades. For current findings on the state of congregations, check out, or, or

These sites have many summary reports which shed light on the assets and stressors of the congregations in which we live and engage ministry.

In addition, check out some of the past posts on on leadership by clicking on "leadership" in the "filter by tags" section, or click here. 

Terri EltonAuthor Bio:
Terri is passionate about young people and their families, and loves the church. No really!  She's our Associate Professor and teaches with an eye toward developing leaders and leading change. She also serves as Director of the Center for First Third Ministry and hopes to help ministry leaders create environments that cultivate a faith that matters. Growing up in southern California, Terri discovered her love for the city, cultural diversity and the beach. You can usually find Terri running or biking the streets of Minneapolis/St. Paul, or wherever she happens to be. When not moving, she's watching a movie with her husband or traveling with her two young adult daughters.

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