First Third Conversations

Framing Ministry in Transition

autumn leaves A 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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Stewarding the Other "T"

A blog post by Tim Coltvet

Image Credit: iPad and iPhone by Sean MacEntee on Flickr

Time, talents, treasures, and...Technology?

How my fifth grade son has become so adept at typing may not surprise you. Playing Minecraft and a host of other online games has him punching the keyboard like a rag-time piano player. Building fictitious worlds and kingdoms, communicating with other gamers, fingers flying on the keyboard…quite frankly, I am impressed!

That being said, I do have moments of pause

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Halloween Post: Is teaching kids about money too scary? - by Rev. Tim Coltvet

Pumpkin cousins

This article was originally posted on 10/20/2011. If you didn't catch it then, we hope you enjoy its message anew!

Dorothy C. Bass and Craig Dykstra once unpacked the meaning of Christian practices. They write: "By Christian practices we mean things Christian people do together over time to address fundamental human needs in response to and in the light of God's active presence for the life of the world. Thinking of a way of life as made up of a constitutive set of practices breaks a way of life

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Taking Time to Rest, even if it means saying "No"

Serene A blog post by Tim Bowman

I haven't been working directly in youth ministry for very long, but there is one thing that I have learned, which is that youth ministry is hard. Seriously, it is not an easy profession to be a part of. There are so many different voices coming to you on a day to day basis: senior pastors, associate pastors, other church staff, synod staff, parents, volunteers, and of course, the youth.

We have a lot asked of us on any given day and even more in a given month or semester.

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Faith Five Steps for your family

Hands faith five A blog post by Megan Clapp

I recently moved from Arizona to Iowa. Before we left, my husband and I spent an evening with a family that we had grown to be friends with. We played laser tag, raced go-karts, and finished up the evening with a round of mini-golf. It was our last time all together before we moved. As the moving van pulled up to our apartment and the moment came to say our goodbyes, we all became quiet. We hugged and tried to hold back our tears.

My friend Elizabeth, a spunky eight year

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The Reality of Scattering

By Dr. Terri Martinson Elton, Director of the Center for First Third Ministry at Luther Seminary

Several weeks ago I wrote about the power of gathering . Gathering is a vibrant part of abundant life, of living a Christian way of life. But there is other side of that coin, the reality of scattering . No matter how rich the gathering, taking leave of one another is a necessary reality.

Yesterday after a great weekend, I lived the scattering side of the coin. I came into the weekend tired and stressed.

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The Power of Gathering

By Dr. Terri Martinson Elton, Director of the Center for First Third Ministry at Luther Seminary

We have just ended the season of “gathering” – the six weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year when friends, family and co-workers come together over food and conversation to celebrate the holidays.  Some of these gatherings I look forward to, and others I obediently attend for one reason or another. And next year, like this year, these gatherings will happen again because

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Traditions, and more

By Dr. Terri Martinson Elton, Director of the Center for First Third Ministry at Luther Seminary

Thanksgiving has been celebrated, and now the Elton family has turned their attention to preparing for Christmas. There is excitement in the air, and there’s no turning back. We have entered the holiday season.

This season is filled with rituals and traditions, and rituals and traditions are crazy things. They have power, yet they also create tension and lose meaning. Our family has adopted an

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Home

By Dr. Terri Martinson Elton, Director of the Center for First Third Ministry at Luther Seminary

This morning the idea of home was swirling in my head. This past week I was on the road traveling, so sleeping in my own bed, hanging with my family and even cleaning my house was a gift. Home , a shelter and place for family. Last night my college daughter returned from a week traveling abroad and our family got to join her for dinner. There in the restaurant sharing stories, a feeling of home . A friend’s

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Attention Parents! We Need You!

By Julie Hagen

This fall my congregation began a new format for our children's church school. We need a significant larger amount of leadership from parents than years past and I've discovered that much of my job is finding ways to communicate the importance of being involved. We need parents to be a part of the ministry that is happening each week.   Nancy Going recently blogged about The Race we, as the church, find ourselves in against all of the other things children have going on in their

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