First Third Conversations

Thank you, Mrs. Jones: The Power of Words that Welcome

Sandy TroyanSandy Troyan, Luther Seminary student in Children, Youth and Family, weaves a powerful and timely story about the simplicity of connection for the development of faith.

"We really believe in the power of this message of welcome. We see the hope it creates. We see the transformative power it holds."

Download her article.

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Leveling the Playing Field by Nancy Going

EYM levels the playing field: We used to think that great youth ministry was built pretty much exclusively around a dynamic youth minister, so the church who found that person won!

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work, and they didn't win. Here’s some of what that faulty thinking produced:

  • A revolving door of youth ministers.
  • A youth ministry that is its own mini-church.
  • Fewer instead of more adult faith mentors in the lives of youth people.
  • Adolescents who have a hard
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Name It by Kristen Baltrum

When I first started in professional youth ministry, I simply wanted to create an environment of relationship and “church fun” that mirrored my own experience as a teen. While that worked on some levels, I was pretty sure something else was happening that I could not name -- I had no language for it. After a number of years in the field, I decided I needed “Language Lessons.”

After a few years studying youth and family ministry, continued reflection on the assets of

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About Your Pastor by Kristen Baltrum

One of the key ingredients to effective youth ministry is that the ministry is supported by the senior pastor. I have found this to be so true.

I will never forget the time I was sitting in worship listening to my pastor’s sermon. I don’t remember the text he was preaching on, but I do remember that he was preaching about how the home is the primary place of faith nurturing, and how we need to be thinking differently about the role of the congregation in this process.

Essentially

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The Sweet Spot by Tom Schwolert

The term “sweet spot” is often used in sports. It is that place on the face of a golf club that creates the best possible shot or on the baseball bat that sends the ball over the center field fence.

Have you ever thought of having a “sweet spot” in ministry? I can think of a few times when a Bible study just seemed to have all the right ingredients for a unique ministry moment.  I can think of those times when a leadership team of youth just suddenly “clicks”

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What if? More from the D6 Conference by Jason Miller

There is a great deal of power in those words, "what if?"

What if children, youth and family ministries were more than a program?

What if they become the basis of a fully integrated mindset for the relationship between the church and the home?

Imagine the possibilities:

  • Parents taking on their God-given roles as the primary faith formers for their children.
  • Families committed to serving their church and the world in the name of Christ.
  • The end of “drop-off” ministry because parents
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