First Third Conversations

Play Chess!

ChessA blog post by Nancy Lee Gauche

There are so many fascinating people who have lived and contributed to our lives. Peter Drucker is one of those people in my estimation. Drucker was born in a suburb of Vienna, Austria on November 19, 1909 and died in November of 2005, just shy of his 96th birthday.  His kindergarten teacher taught “the concept of management,” and his 4th grade religious instructor asked, “What do you want to be remembered for?” His father held gatherings

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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

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Leading at Intersections

IntersectionA blog post by Terri Elton

Church buildings are often located at intersections; Main and 8th, County Rd 42 and Highway 35, Elm and University. Sometimes intersections have no significance, but sometimes they physically signify the coming together of different communities. Might physical intersections, like street corners, be a metaphor for leading ministry today?

In these changing time, intersections offer leaders clues about how to navigate the many and varied streams of our time. Think about it.

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Breaking News...

TwitterA blog post by Terri Elton

...students Tweeting in class at the request of the teacher!

Today might have been a first at Luther Seminary. Instead of discouraging social media in class, Terri Elton and Nancy Lee Gauche encouraged it. Today, as Nancy Lee Gauche lead a discussion with the theme “yourself as leader,” Terri Elton and a few other students posted what they learned, questions, and comments live on Twitter. It was fun, and we even had a few outside voices join in. Here’s

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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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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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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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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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The Dissonance of Fear and Hope: Reflections of a First Call Pastor

Lord LightA blog post by Adam Butler

By the time you read this post, I will be a real pastor.

I suppose that’s not completely true. I had my ordination service back in June and received a call as an Associate Pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a month earlier. However, today is my first day on the job.

And I couldn’t be more terrified.

This terror comes in all kinds of ways, varying in intensity. I’m terrified that I’m not prepared for the vocation

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