First Third Conversations

Wrapping up some Monkey Business

By Dr. Nancy Going, Director of Children, Youth and Family Distributed Learning Program at Luther Seminary

The answer when it comes to what to do about Confirmation might not be what you think.  It’s harder.  But it’s better. 

And the stories are starting to come back.  People who attended the FirstThird Dialogue on the Monkey Business of confirmation are working on creating change across the church.  They are no longer willing to ignore the fact that we are

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Running into a Winnable Game

By Pastor Nancy Lee Gauche, Children, Youth and Family Ministry Program Associate at Luther Seminary

There is a remarkable story about a person named Anne Mahlum.  Anne is a runner and she passed by a homeless shelter every morning on her daily run.  She began to develop rapport with the men outside on the corner. What started out as waves and smiles from a distance became more intimate as they developed a comfort level with one another. And one morning a simple idea stopped her in her

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How to create adaptive change in your congregation

See this video of Pastor Nancy Lee Gauche and Coach Tom Langemo take us through the game plan process at Monkey Business: A First Third Dialogue on the Confirmation Process

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God called you to play a big game: Name it. Design it. Do it!

By Tom Langemo, Coach and HR professional, who coaches leaders and individuals to discover and act on their calling

What is a “winnable game”?

Winnable games are fun and challenging; they hit at the heart of what is important to the player (that’s you). They propel you toward mastery and wisdom. Winnable games are sized just right for you.

Designing a game brings a sense of creativity and openness to an otherwise daunting task of “goal setting” or “visioning”.

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Steve Jobs Confirmation Update!

By Hans Wiersma, professor of Religion at Augsburg College, where he also helps oversee the Youth and Family Ministry Program.

Those of you who were part of the "Monkey Business" First Third Dialog on the Confirmation Process may recall that Steve Jobs (Peace Be upon Him) was a recurring character in my two talks.  The late founder of Apple Computer was raised Lutheran. But according to Walter Isaacson, who wrote Jobs' authorized biography , Jobs' involvement with his Lutheran church "came

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Facing Reality: The Current State of Confirmation

By Dr. Nancy Going, Director of Children, Youth and Family Distributed Learning Program at Luther Seminary

Dr. Going shares the results of the listening project research that was done to take the temperature of youth ministry in the ELCA.

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Being Creative with the Catechism

As we think about Dr. Hans Wiersma's presentation on catechism, we all feel the need to find creative ways to communicate with young people.

> See video of Dr. Hans Wiersma speaking on 'Post-Modern' Youth and 16th Century Teaching Tracts

This piece on "How to Be Creative" from the Wall Street Journal might spark your imagination. It might give you some ideas if you're stuck in a rut on the sermon. (One of them - think like a child!) The jest of the article is "get out of focus before you want

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‘Post-Modern’ Youth & 16th Century Teaching Tracts

By Dr. Hans Wiersma, Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Augsburg College

Is Catechism relevant today? Dr. Wiersma discusses how the documents that articulate doctrines and practices are not just for kids. In fact, Martin Luther said that is was more important that the parents learn it! How do we engage the whole church with leaning the catechism in our media culture?

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Doubt as the Curriculum for Confirmation by Andy Root

Read this article by Dr. Andy Root in the Immerse Journal on doubt as the curriculum for confirmation.

Related Links:
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Confirmation: What are we doing?

By Dr. Nancy Going, Director of Children, Youth and Family Distributed Learning Program at Luther Seminary

Let’s take one more stab at the question related to the confirmation process. 

Think about all the time and energy we spend in churches working to get the confirmation program just right.  And the results of all that work are in:  Over 80% of ELCA churches are losing 50-75% of their confirmands after the rite. 

But now think about how your own faith has been formed. 

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