First Third Conversations

A Time to Connect

friendsA blog post by Terri Elton

Image Credit: Friends by Rodrigo Suarez on Flickr

Each year as I turn the calendar from November to December my mind creates a list of people I’d love to connect with during the holidays. Some of the connections are givens, like time with my brother and sister-in-law from California. Other connections are not guaranteed, like meeting with my college roommate. The “not guaranteed” connections require intentional effort to happen, and somehow the holiday

Read More »
Comments (0)

Ministry Starts by "being with"

Summer StaffA blog post by Luke Halverson

What is one thing I have noticed about young adults?

Early on in the book of Job, Satan is granted power over Job’s life. From Job losing his children to having sores inflicted all over his body, Job endured enormous amounts of pain and loss. When Job’s friends heard of his pain, they sought to comfort him, but when they saw Job, they just sat with him for seven days and seven nights without speaking a word to him. They didn’t offer a ten step -- or

Read More »
Comments (1)

From the First Third Archives

You Belong

By Andy Sahl

I served for several years with a leadership camp in Western Illinois.  High school kids labeled as “student leaders” (read, well connected to their youth group) from all over the country would come together for a week of small groups, worship, workshops, and free time fun on a college campus.  What was amazing about this camp is that they had a culture and structure of assigning kids to random roommates and assigning the small groups so that they

Read More »
Comments (0)

From the First Third Archives

Presently Separate & Separately Present

By Derek Tronsgard

Last Christmas my wife's sister joined us while we opened our presents.  A few weeks ago I did pre-marriage counseling for some friends.  Yesterday I showed a friend a picture of my dog.

Pretty unremarkable...

...except when you consider the fact that I live in Minnesota.  My sister-in-law lives in Denver and was at the dinner table via Skype. The engaged couple lives in North Dakota and were talking to me face-to-face

Read More »
Comments (0)

'Sam I Am'

By Julie Hagen

Sam, a shy 1st grader, asked his small group leader if she would call him 'Sam I Am' from now on.  They hadn't seen each other for a few weeks but last Sunday, she remembered and his face lit up when he sat down by their group and heard "Hi Sam I Am."  Every time he was called, his group called him by his new name.  As class ended 'Sam I Am' saw his parents coming to pick him up but before they left the room, he ran back and gave his leader a hug. They both know that

Read More »
Comments (0)

You Belong

By Andy Sahl

I served for several years with a leadership camp in Western Illinois.  High school kids labeled as “student leaders” (read, well connected to their youth group) from all over the country would come together for a week of small groups, worship, workshops, and free time fun on a college campus.  What was amazing about this camp is that they had a culture and structure of assigning kids to random roommates and assigning the small groups so that they were not with

Read More »
Comments (0)